Feeling sleep deprived
March 22, 2019
by Ivan Raconteur

I have said for years that youth is wasted on the young. Lately, I’m more convinced of that than ever.

When I was a lad, we were forced to take naps. I hated that. I had things I wanted to do, and I had the energy to do them.

It seems most young people didn’t appreciate the value of naps, and I didn’t either – at least not then.

I wish someone would force me to take a nap today.

To be honest, nobody has to force me to take a nap these days. They sort of just overtake me whether they are planned or not.

I suspect it may have something to do with a chronic stretch of 86-hour work weeks.

If I do happen to have some down time on a Sunday (which is, after all, supposed to be a day of rest) I take unscheduled naps with a vengeance.

Lately, it is as though I have been cursed by a plague of sudden-onset narcolepsy.

Last week was especially bad. I nearly fell asleep three different times during meetings. I’m going to have to start carrying a pin so I can jab myself when I start to doze off.

Then, on Sunday, the one day I wasn’t in the office, I took a nap in the morning (a planned one). Then I got up and went to the lounge to see what the cats were up to. The minute I sat down, I was asleep again. I think that lasted about an hour. Bizarre as that was, it didn’t end there. It happened a couple more times after that. It was about 2 p.m. before I became sufficiently alert to actually get some things done.

I would have said it wasn’t possible, but I suspect I may have got more napping in than the cats on Sunday, and that’s not easy to do. It didn’t seem to bother the cats. They just piled on and enjoyed it.

The trouble is, as necessary as those naps probably were, they made it difficult for me to be productive. I’ve always found it hard to work when I’m sleeping. It’s not as if I were a member of Congress. I need my wits about me if I’m going to get anything done.

It might be better if I could get more sleep in during the week, but I haven’t figured out how I’m going to do that. As it is, there are a lot of days when I work so late, I pass myself on the way to the office when I’m going home.

I’ve considered renting out my house since I’m rarely there anyway, and when I am there I’m sleeping. For that purpose, I could just rent out a locker somewhere and sleep in it. That would be a lot cheaper than a house payment.

I think I read somewhere the Japanese are already using a system like that. There are banks of sleeping pods, and people can just stretch out in one of those and catch some kip. It must be a bit like having a cocoon. I suppose one doesn’t need much space if one is sleeping.

I could probably fashion something like that in my office, but then I really would be there 24 hours per day, and that seems like a defeatist attitude.

I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I guess there is a positive side to all of this. It really would be bad news if I was a window washer or a truck driver, or even an airline pilot. If I had a job like that and fell asleep at work, there would be consequences and repercussions.

As things stand, about the worst thing that happens is I get a crease across the forehead if I nod off at work and my head hits the keyboard.

There’s always a silver lining if we look for it.

Advertise in over
250+ MN newspapers