Monday, November 19, 2007
When you are deprived of it, sleep takes on monumental proportions. It becomes a goal, measured down to the minute, protected by earplugs and rules that warn friends and family not to call until ten on weekends.
Ten? Ha! I wish. But I hold to that rule just in case, because you never know: one morning I might wake, and instead of seeing the sun's horizontal rays creeping across the frosty grass, I'll see a golden noontime glow.
Time Magazine's November 26 issue has a section called: "One Day In America." It's devoted to the average American, who of course is a mirage. Still the article is interesting.
I'm above average in some ways. I have four tenths more of a child that the average family, and I'm 20 plus years above the average age.
I'm below average in the exercising department due to the over achievers who exercise for more than an hour every day and make my exercise stats look sick . . . maybe because they're nonexistent.
When it comes to sleep, I'm pretty average it turns out, which means I'm part of a large group of groggy women. We should call each other up at 3:17 a.m. and talk about it since we're awake anyway.
Average when it comes to sleep stats isn't a good thing, though. It means I'm going to bed at the average time women across the country do--11:02, but not getting the required sleep time. Time magazine says, " . . . only half of us will have a good night's sleep-- 8 hr. 38 min. on average." So sadly, I'm average.
Counting on my fingers, because I'm too groggy to do real math, I figure I sleep about two hours fewer than eight. And I'm only counting "in bed" time. If I subtract the two or three times a night I wake to kick the covers off (sweating) and wake to pull them back on (freezing), I'm in sad shape.
The article goes on to say 67 percent share our beds with another person or pet-- in my case, both, which probably makes me above average here too. Studies find that men sleep just fine in these conditions, but women don't.
Solutions? Go to bed earlier . . . alone. Or get older when sleep time is said to increase, maybe because of retirement. Hey! There's something else I can look forward to in 120 days, but who's counting?
Read To Sleep, Perchance to Dream. You'll see the pet I sleep with.
Read Time Magazine's article and find out how average you are.
O GENTLE SLEEP! do they belong to thee? These twinklings of oblivion? O gentle Creature! do not use me so, But once and deeply let me be beguiled. ~William Wordsworth