Sunday, January 29, 2012

Going to Sleep

I admit, I'm not one to give advise about going to sleep.  I suspect I do everything wrong, including the biggie, ingesting caffeine too late at night.   Also, since I don't care for routines, and going to sleep is a routine, I generally do so grudgingly.   Far from making my peace with the world, I frequently find myself somewhat irritated at having to give in to biology in this regard, so I'm probably doing everything wrong.

Furthermore, I don't understand sleep.  I'm not alone in this, there are scientists who study sleep after all, so obviously there is a lot to learn about it. But I don't understand the basics of it.  It happens, I can't question that, but I can certainly question why, because I don't really know.  I'm curious about the transition.  It's both gradual and sudden.  There has to a instant where you are technically awake, then the next instant you aren't.  I don't understand the process that goes on in a person's body that makes that happen.

The way I know I'm about to fall asleep is because at some point I start thinking unusual things.  I have no control over this.  Also, like my dreams, I can rarely remember it.  That's too bad.

When you're asleep you cede control over everything, you're pretty much helpless.  Dangerous storms, fire, people and lord knows what else could threaten you, and you have no clue until it's way to late.  'Cause you're asleep.  Of course we have a dog who'll make a ton of noise if someone was trying to get into the house, so I guess that's a decent early warning system.

I know how terrible it can be when you can't sleep or are forced to stay awake or don't sleep well for long periods.  I've worked all kinds of shifts in my life, and I've spent years in jobs where I was on call at all hours of the day and night, 7 days a week.   It can wear you down.

Since I removed myself from the traditional work force back in 2006, I will admit that over all I get a lot more sleep than I used to.  I don't work any kind of shift work, I'm not on call, I pretty much set my own schedules, for the most part there is a lot less to worry about or stress over, and in spite of myself, I generally sleep better.

I still don't understand it though, and I don't like it.  Frequently when you're falling asleep, you have these body jerks.  Sometimes its not much, sometimes it's your whole body.  I don't know why that happens, but I know I'm not the only one it happens to, because once when I was working for Electronic Data Systems at the Baltimore GM Assembly plant (may it RIP), my fellow Systems Engineers and I (all of whom were on call, all the time), sat around discussing it at lunch.  I'm fairly certain most of us did not get enough sleep. 

Going to sleep and sleeping is a strange process.  I suppose I have to admit it's natural, since most people do it on a regular basis.  However, it seems to be a forced requirement of living, and  I don't like it one bit.

Even though my tendency is to resist going to sleep, I'm not a morning person.  I don't wake up quickly and jump out of bed refreshed and ready to go.  I wake up slowly with a fair amount of grogginess, and find myself getting out of bed in stages:  the sit and stare stage, the standing up slowly stage, the bumping into the dresser stage and so on.  I don't understand any of this.


Anonymous said...

I like your Homer!

A Valdese Blogger said...

Homer's Homer.