So here’s the deal: the longer you live, the more sleep you need. They say old age is like returning to babyhood. Well, bring on the warm milk and a pacifier…I’m tired!
Not to be dramatic or anything—I’m not exactly ancient—but we’re all heading in the direction of 80 or 90 or (my chosen age of death) 101, and we need to rest up for it. And despite the popular wisdom that says older people need fewer hours of sleep because they expend less energy, I find the opposite is true. My sleep cravings are stronger these days, and not just at night; I take naps, too.
I’ve been waiting for the 5 a.m. “woke up to go to the bathroom and can’t get back to sleep” syndrome that I’ve heard about, but frankly, I love to sleep and nothing can stop me! Take this morning for example. My bedmate had to get up at 8:00 a.m. to teach a 9:00 class, so we turned in early last night. I don’t remember him leaving.
What I do remember is that sometime around 5:00 a.m. I woke up with the urge to relieve a bladder filled with that last beer we had as Major Strasser was saying, “Perhaps you have already observed that in Casablanca, human life is cheap.” And I distinctly remember telling my bladder that it could damn well wait until morning. (Let’s get one thing straight: 11:59 a.m. is morning; 5 a.m. is the middle of the night. Mama don’ wanna get up.)
I am proud that my bladder waited for me to arise at precisely 9:45 a.m., which for me is the crack of dawn and I deserve a medal but will settle for a mimosa.
I am proud also that sleepwise, I take after my dad, a man I will admire until that final sunrise fails to wake my earthly presence up.
One day, as I feigned adolescence by sleeping until noon on a visit to my parents’ house, my mother told my staggering, coffee-deprived body-in-pajamas that I reminded her of my dad, who’d been up running errands since 11:00 or so. “He says sleep is his favorite activity,” she said.
Mine, too! (No offense to my partner, who is responsible for several of my favorite non-somnolent activities. And I’m sure my dad meant no offense to my mom, either, as her wit and energy can keep even the School Board awake.)
The fact is, I just really, really like to sleep, more now than ever. And I expected that tendency to change, but no. It hasn’t. And I daresay it won’t. My Sealy Posturepedic is my friend—on Facebook, even!
Now to watch a movie while Mr. Sig. Other is out at a music gig. How about The Wizard of Oz! That ought to put me in the mood for some Zs.
“Poppies…” the Wicked Witch of the West will say. “Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeeep. Now they’ll sleeeeep!”
Anne Nicolai is an American writer and editor living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.