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Slumber Encumbers

Photo by Maria Koliopolous

Photo by Maria Koliopolous

Photo by Maria Koliopolous

Slumber Encumbers

Why sleep is overrated

August 31, 2017

Wanna hear a joke?
Yeah, I don’t get it either…

With life being both exciting and ephemeral, it’s disconcerting to hear how highly most people regard sleep. There’s nothing less productive than habitually putting on special garments, lying on a mat, and then pretending to be unconscious until one is.

Think about that. As people, we have many shared idiosyncrasies, but nothing tops the absurdity of man’s superfluous slumber.

From Unconscious to Conscious
My awakening began freshman year. As activities took off, I’d come to terms with homework attempts growing Sisyphean in the time frame I had. How else to solve this other than extending said time frame? Now, as a junior, my waking hours are the only ones that matter.

The Amount of Sleep Needed by the Average Person is Five More Minutes
Of course I need some sleep. The question is, how much? As Newton would say, an object at rest remains so, whereas an object in motion stays in motion. The less sleep I get in a night, the better I feel. If I get upwards of seven hours, I need to peel my lethargic self off my mattress as my blood congeals with caffeine. It’s physics! I believe this is because I take one “rest day” a week. I will sleep about 10-12 hours on a Saturday or Sunday every week. On a normal day with above average sleep, my sleep-deprived mind may be tricked into thinking it’s my rest day, throwing off my circadian rhythm for the whole week.

Sleep Is Death Without the Responsibility
Every now and then, I don’t manage my sleep. Once, I slept merely five hours in a full week. I don’t feel tired necessarily, but I grow addled and capricious. I may obliviously mix up the definitions of words or make invalid arguments which are entirely false to begin with. I recall describing some things as ‘tree.’ I believe ‘tree’ has been used by me to be synonymous with ‘resplendent,’ ‘quaint,’ and ‘virulent’ at different times. While I may function on less sleep, I must be responsible for having enough.

To Sleep or Not To Sleep?
Most of my precious hours past 7:00 are spent reading, texting as I listen to music and watching speeches or debates on YouTube. Half my homework is done before I get home, and I finish the rest the following morning when I wake up. On days I don’t have homework or any events/activities, I certainly don’t sleep! I may pick up Rubik’s Cube, pencil spinning, juggling or some other skill. I’d always rather do something than not. Sleep is the biggest time-waster.

Sleep Data
I sleep 16 minutes short of six hours on average. My sleep time ranges from 30 minutes to a little over six hours. See the graph below for more data.

This is an anecdotal account; I do not offer this as empirical evidence of reduced sleep being healthy. Your body needs sleep for your immune system and aesthetics. This works for me, though, and I’d encourage you to find a sleep regimen that works for you.

A graph of my sleep on an average night; recorded June 20-21, 2017

Hope Stratman - Features Editor

Hope became a member of The Flightline in August of 2016. She is a senior this year involved in activities including Speech and FBLA. Outside of school, she enjoys lists, photography, and naming inanimate objects. You can email her at [email protected]

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