July 29, 2008

Twelve O'Clock and All's Well

Sleeping is a KER-RAZY thing to do. It doesn't seem that way when I'm having an easy time sleeping: I do my whole day, and then I climb into my nice soft bed and go to sleep until morning. Perfectly natural! Any children's book can explain to you how it works!

But when I'm NOT sleeping, and I'm the only one awake in a house of sleeping people and animals, it seems like something out of a science fiction novel. Something about androids, maybe. They need to power down for 8 hours to recharge. The lights in their eyes go dark, and their limbs go slack. They need to be properly stored or they'll collapse to the floor and be damaged.

That IS what it's like. At night, human beings must find a safe place to lie down, because our bodies are going to lose consciousness. There we all are in our dark houses, unconscious, while hour after hour goes by unnoticed and unfilled. Picture those houses, stretched out across the miles, all quiet and still. CREEPY.

When I write my thesis on this (tentative title: "Sleep: That Sh*t Ain't Right"), I plan to study in depth why there isn't more looting. It seems like we're easy targets, lying there with our slack limbs and lightless eyes.

I'm on watch, though. You go ahead and sleep.



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32 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Sleeping and breathing are the two things I can't think too much about or I get FUH REAKED out.

Libby said...

I would love to be able to just power down and switch off to sleep, that'd be lovely. Instead, I think of 3 things that I've forgotten to do, re-run conversations that could have gone better, and fret about the future. All things that I don't do when it's daylight.

What a comforting thing to say, that you are on watch. I often think that you say Very Good Mom things.

Kristi said...

This post is really doing a whole lot for my insomnia. I'll be going to bed now, right after that last shot of Tequila.

Anna said...

Ooh. I like this. Sometimes I'm in a room full of people, and I think about all the hearts simultaneously beating almost independently of their hosts, and THAT freaks me out.

Bird said...

Totally stole my idea about posting about insominia and how it seems to happen to so many people. I am a HORRIBLE sleeper. When Charlie was first born I would have KILLED for six consecutive hours, but when the sleep is mine? doesn't always happen.

Caitlin said...

Anna's comment? Awesomely freaky.

Sleep IS weird. I think being awake in a house full of sleeping people is at once kind of creepy and awesome. I actually love getting up really early for - say - catching a plane, in part for this reason. You're half way to paradise (or Cleveland!) before anyone has even scrubbed the crust out of their eyes! MAGIC!

Omaha Mama said...

I'm with your first commenter. If I ponder sleep too much, which sometimes happens when I'm trying to fall asleep. The lack of control, the loss of consciousness, it is a little freaky.

Erica said...

Great. Now I'm totally freaked out about being asleep and VULNERABLE.

Cherish said...

Well Im happy to say that I have zero trouble sleeping os this woudl totally freak me out. Im usually so exhausted by the time I get into bed that I just pass out without thinking about much.

Jen said...

great, now i'm thinking about zombies again. there's that part in the dumb book where they're all "rebooting" in the stadium? *shudder*

Akimbo said...

You are freaking me right the he-zell out. Especially with the "lights in their eyes go dark" bit. (shiver)

Nowheymama said...

Hmm. And I always thought of sleep as being so peaceful. Should I reconsider?

Mommy Daisy said...

Funny how we view things when there is no sleep involved.

the planet of janet said...

now that? is downright creepy.

thanks for giving me something to lose sleep over.

nicole said...

If you want to feel better about your sleep you should watch Wide Awake: Portrait of an Artist as Insomniac by Alan Berliner.

It made me so glad I sleep well most of the time.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought this! Why do we need to sleep? Literally shutting down for hours, every single night? The unconsciousness? The vulnerability? WTH? Your descriptions totally nailed the creepy factor!

the new girl said...

OMG. I think of this SO often. Really. You're right about the weird feeling in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep.

I so WISH I could just power-down and re-boot in the morning.

I was an AWESOME sleeper before I had a kid.

Karly said...

The title of your thesis? Perfect.

I'm going to be thinking of that all day long and giggling. Sleep: That Sh*t Ain't Right. HA!

Leeann said...

If I had an award for

"the creepiest, most twisted, yet funniest post I have read in a while,"

you would have just earned it.

Congratulations....I think!

Leeann
niccofive.blogspot.com

el-e-e said...

You are SO RIGHT. I can't believe how many other people have had the same thoughts, me included! You made it funny as heck, though.

And who said something about beating hearts??! THANKS A LOT... *shudder*

;)

Cindy said...

This is hilarious. I was just thinking about this recently while watching my three year old sleep. She was just... laying there, belly up, eyes closed, so incredibly vulnerable. Why did we ever evolve to do something so incredibly stupid and risky??!

Swistle said...

Nicole- Thanks! I've added it to my Netflix queue!

Ginaagain said...

Sleep didn't used to creep me out. When my kids were little I would fall asleep quickly and sleep lightly, able to pop out of bed and be fully functioning at the first hungry squeak from the baby or the creaking of floorboards as someone crept toward the kitchen to raid the cookie jar. Now I have teenagers and I'm either lying in bed wishing I could sleep or paralyzed by exhaustion. Maybe I could just stop sleeping for a few years?

Astarte said...

I am never alone, even when I'm up in the middle of the night, because the dogs are always hoping to either play, eat, or go outside. Baci in particular can't seem to let me do any more than pee by myself at night, and it's a miracle if I can do even that.

What I wish is that I was more motivated when I'm up at night. I mean, since I'm up, why not balance the checkbook? Make quiche? Do yoga? But, no - I watch TV that I don't like in the hopes it will make me go to sleep. Stupid, really.

squandra said...

Holy God I think this ALL THE TIME. But I have never put a name a la "Sleep: That Sh*t Ain't Right" to it. Brilliant.

Erin said...

As a chronic insomniac, I laughed harder at this than anything in a loooong time. "I'm on watch though. You go ahead and sleep." That's FUNNY STUFF.

Also, I have watched this 60 Minutes special (twice now) about sleep and what they think our brains are doing during that time. FASCINATING. If I see it scheduled to aire again, I'll email you.

Michelle said...

Wow. That's an interesting take on insomnia. I feel a little depressed now actually. 8 hours though, wow. That sounds so delectable and debauched.

Good luck on the sleeping tonight!

Maggie said...

I am a terrible sleeper, but maybe I will sleep better knowing that you are on watch. Hey, it certainly can't hurt!

And I have my new PIF contest up and open until the end of this week at http://andtheducksaid.blogspot.com/2008/07/its-contest-time.html

skiplovey said...

Grrr, I hate when my sleep goes all wonky.
If only we could just power down, that sounds awesome!
Hope you're off the watch and snoozing away.

may said...

I love this post. I've often thought about how strange it is, too, when I'm trying to fall asleep and it seems so easy for my husband. Anyway, thanks for the laughs. : )

suddensilence said...

Swistle, this is so funny! You have a great way of cutting to the heart of the subject so that's it's just honest, true and *hilarious*.

I'm not an insomniac but I do usually take some Melatonin at bedtime; otherwise I lay there thinking about how now I'm only gonna get 6 hours of sleep if I fall asleep right now...well, now it's 5-1/2 hours...you get the drift. :-)

But what's really weird is now sleep is a chore. I had my surgery last week so I have cochlear implants in both ears now. They basically put a computer in each ear, to help me eventually hear again, and that makes me technically a *cyborg*, which is even weirder!

But every night now I think, "Oh crap, I have to go to sleep. Ugh." It hurts, I have to lay on my back ONLY because I can't turn to either side (where the incisions are). It's times like this when I wish it was an optional activity because it is not pleasant!! :-)

Thanks for the laugh today,

Wendi

Carrie said...

Brings back memories of nursing my most recent baby at 3 a.m. in February, looking down on our Chicago street and marveling how much time passes with NOTHING happening out there. Except snow falling.

But these days, so many houses are empty all day that I think most robbers find that a safer time to break and enter.