SLEEP IS TRASH.
When will science cure this blighted involuntary unconsciousness?
Like all edgy teenagers of the 1990’s, I read and adored Jhonen Vasquez’s celebrated indy comic, Johnny The Homicidal Maniac. Amidst its blood-soaked pages, there recurs a striking symbol: the letter Z followed by a question mark, often encased in a thick, rectangular frame. The significance of this symbol, Jhonen does not make us guess—he spoonfeeds us the answer. It means “QUESTION SLEEP.”
I always found the symbol visually fascinating, but only recently has it’s meaning started to arouse my deeper interest. I seek to become better than what I am. I seek to live up to my full potential, physically and intellectually. In both regards, I am told by expert after expert that 8 hours of sleep a night is crucial to the execution of these tasks.
Not getting adequate sleep is associated with a gargantuan list of maladies—everything from memory loss to high blood pressure to a lack of libido. None of those things sound very appealing to me, so part of my mission on the self-improvement journey I’ve embarked on is to master sleep. How’s the going? Well, I’m writing these words at 7AM, and it’s not because I woke up early.
One of the first things that was told to me by a sleep-advocate on my twitter page is that, “Navy Seals can fall asleep in two minutes!” I pointed out to him that I’m not a Navy Seal, and that my brain is probably a lot bigger and sexier than any jarhead military bitch. Do I sound conceited? Let me prove it then. Here’s the great Navy secret for falling to sleep in 2 minutes.
Relax all your muscles.
Clear your mind.
I’m not even fucking with you when I say, that’s literally it.
What if you can’t clear your mind? They’ve got you covered. Just chant, “Don’t think,” in your head for 10 seconds.
If I could relax my muscles and clear my mind then of course I could fall asleep. The problem is I can’t do those things. You might as well go up to a crippled non-binary personin a wheelchair and say, “Try my new patented walking technique! It’s amazingly simple. You just stand up and place one foot in front of the other in and alternating pattern! “
Do you know what my circus-brain does when I tell it “Don’t think?” It thinks about not thinking. It thinks that thinking “don’t think” is thinking, technically. Then it thinks about all of the unpopped popcorn kernels that never got to be popcorn. Then it tries to remember the name of Rip Torn’s character in the 1982 cult-classic shlockbuster, The Beastmaster. Then it starts singing Love Machine by The Miracles, but it only knows the line “I’m just a love machine” so it sings that over and over again 6,000 times. While this is going on, I’m turning from side to side trying desperately to find the elusive “comfort” than I’ve heard others speak of as though it were a real thing.
The bottom line is that it takes me 2 hours, minimum, to fall asleep. And then the sleep is raggedy and full of turmoil, tossing, turning, waking up periodically, and then when I can’t stand to be in bed one more goddamn minute, I stand up and my back hurts because apparently my bed doesn’t support it enough or supports it too much or something. Who fucking knows?
I’ve tried meditations. They’re corny and they don’t work for me. Breathe in, breathe out. Picture yourself on a sandy beach. Blah fuckity blah blah blahhhh.
I’ve tried pills and supplements. I don’t fall asleep any faster. I just feel groggy and awful the entire next day.
The only thing that kind of works is muscle relaxers. Which this one is starting to kick THE FUCK IN so I’m fucking off.
But the point of all this gibberish is that one day, science, in all of its wisdom, should figure out a way to make sleeping easy and convenient for everyone. Better yet, they should figure out a way to make us no longer need sleep, and to no longer experience fatigue or to need rest of any kind.
That would be swell.
Why is the person in this example non-binary? Representation, bitch.