I Sleep, Therefore I Am (Asleep)

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

People often ask me... "Andrea, what do you like to do for fun?"

Usually I'm too busy playing with my PEZ dispenser to answer. When I tire of the thrill of flipping the head off of a cartoon character to shove candy down its throat I tell them this, "Sleep... that's what I do... sleep." Although, since I found a new PEZ dispenser - it’s a transport truck, you flip the cab and candy pops out - I... oh never mind.

Sleeping is my idea of a good time, which is why I'm such a hoot at weddings. I am the girl who always looks like she just woke up. I am the girl who people call at noon and say, "Oh, sorry, did I wake you?"

I love the concept of morning. Watching the sun rise, sitting on the front porch with a warm cup of coffee, listening to the happy birds sing and watching the giddy bugs fly... All of that stuff appeals to me a great deal, in a very abstract way. For, I am the girl who sees setting her alarm for 7am as an intensely violent form of self torture.

I justify my behavior by telling all who know me that I am a night person, that I am at my most fully creative between 10:00pm and 1:00am (therefore I must then sleep for thirteen consecutive hours). It’s full of holes, but its the only defense I have against those who sleep three to five hours a day and still manage to safely manoeuver heavy equipment (like coffee mugs and Bic pens) while ringing me at noon and cheerfully chirping, "Wake up lazy."

Well guess what? According to a recent poll conducted by my friends at the National Sleep Foundation, over 100 million North Americans are sleep deprived and get this, "...a potential hazard to themselves and others."

Although it is not known exactly how many ailments, accidents and how much lost productivity can be traced to sleep deprivation, researchers have estimated the cost at "billions of dollars" which is, if I'm not mistaken, a whole lot. Not surprising then that 64 percent of adults agree that when they are sleepy they are, “...more likely to get impatient or aggravated, such as when waiting in line or driving in traffic.” Aha.

So you see (she said, stuffing the holes of her defense full of goose down), I am not lazy, or boring. In fact, every time I crawl into my cozy bed with my fluffy pillows, I am only just thinking of others. That's right, I doze off for thirteen hours at a time to keep you unharmed. The last thing I want is to become irritable and anxious, while forgetting my name and driving my very heavy car over top of each and every one of you... or something like that.

*Scientific fact... most adults need eight hours of sleep a night but average only six or seven. Use that the next time you find yourself drool-glued to your desk. Tell your boss Andrea said you need your sleep.


Note: I posted this article strictly for nostalgic reasons. Truth is, I haven't had a thirteen hour sleep since before I became pregnant (approximately 660 nights ago - but who is counting?). Although, I adore my little sleep snatcher, I long for the pre-baby days when I could crash without fear of teeny tiny cries reaching out to me through the baby monitor. Ahhh yes. In the melodic words of Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton, "Those were the days..."