My theory on sleep has changed many times over the years. When I was a baby, I loved a good nap just like all the other kids in the nursery. My homie’s and me would all wake up and start crying at the same time just to tick off the nurse. Then just when she got us all settled down we’d all fill our pants at the same time. What a bunch of characters! Good times. I sure do miss that bunch.
As you age, sleep is dictated to you. Your parents tell you when to go to bed and the school district tells you when to get up. You get a reprieve on the weekend, unless, like me, you have a babysitter who liked to invite her boyfriends over after we all went to bed. And then, believe it or not, she became my aunt. Thank God for blackmail. It made for some great Christmas presents. She wasn’t my Aunt for too long, so the presents kind of faded.
As a teenager, we all enjoyed the “Sleeping till noon” disease we acquired at the age of 15. As it turns out, the medical field figured out it is the direct result of the growth that occurs in the teenage years. During the summer, we didn’t even think about calling a friend until at least 1:00 P.M. Failure to observe that rule could lead to a major wedgie during the next neighborhood baseball game.
As a young adult, I had no problem running on 4 hours sleep. I’d go to my full-time job, and then go to dinner and a movie, followed by a trip to the disco to shake my groove thing, shake my groove thing oh yeah, show them how you do it now! Sorry, broke into song there, sometimes, I can’t help myself. (Eileen had to get me down off the desk). Then I’d get up the next day and start the whole process again. Sleep wasn’t important then. My theory on it was simple…” I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.
As the marriage, children, and mortgage come along, you get up early and get to bed late. We all develop dark circles under our eyes, the ability to drive while sleeping, and become hardcore coffee addicts that can’t do anything until the first cup of coffee has been consumed. And they put people in jail for being addicted to crack. Starbucks is the Colombian cartel of the non-narcotic addicts of the world. I love coffee! If you keep me from it in the morning, things are going to get ugly. You remember Jimmy Hoffa…that was me. He tried to take my coffee.
So now I’m 56 and I have a hell of a time falling asleep at night. Why? Maybe it’s the fact that there is no dimmer switch in my brain. I can’t seem to turn it off or even down. It could be the recurring nightmare I have. It goes like this…There’s this guy who looks like me who suddenly realizes that all 4 of his children want to go to college. The poor guy tries desperately to come up with a plan and before he knows it, he can’t seem to sleep at night. What a terrible nightmare for this poor sap! Hey, wait a minute…