Do you get enough sleep?
Every doctor I've gone to asks that question. And the answer is always a belly laugh.
My alarm goes off at 1:30 am. 1:30.
At 1:30, you are getting the most restful sleep of the night. That time of the morning, you are losing weight, your brain is also purging itself of unneeded info. You are dreaming. You are regenerating. You are blessed. I am envious.
I am jealous, because about that time, I am eyeballing my little Moka pot, wishing it would populate itself with delicious grounds...and turn on the stove by itself. There must be a way...
My longtime radio friend, Dan Mitchinson, who does the same shift at KFBK in Sacramento, texts me every morning. Our conversations almost always start with a very hopeful question. "Hey, didja sleep?" We ask this like teenage girls, wondering if Billy asked us to the dance.
He went through a sleep study recently and we've been comparing notes. When I did mine, the chart looked more like a Richter scale readout during Northridge.
I don't think I got more than 15 minutes of sleep at a time. I stopped breathing...a lot, and for long periods of time. One of the nurses told me they almost woke me up once, because my heart was beating dangerously fast. Only I could manage to try to blow up my own heart during a nap. Sheesh.
So I sleep like Darth Vader after a 3 day bender. Air constantly flowing down my throat so I can breathe. That stupid CPAP machine has probably added years to my life. I hope it has. I look like an idiot, and I don't hold out a lot of hope for a hot love life. My mask could slip!
Last night, I went to bed at 5 pm. I was really hoping for a good, deep sleep. I live in hope.
Instead, I tossed and turned and kept looking at the phone for the time. I woke up every hour last night. That is ridiculous!
Dan and I seem doomed to toss and turn. And mostly, it's related to the weird hours. Normal people are not normal at 1:30 AM. Or maybe we were never normal...
I'm lucky I have that king sized bed all to myself. When I get out of it, it looks like a battalion of Marines fought Operation New Dawn in it. It's a mess. Sheet pulled out, pillows wadded up like used Kleenex, duvet bunched up in its cover and mostly on the floor. This is not the bed of a sound sleeper. And it ain't like I'm having any fun...the Marines are, alas, fictitious. It's just me and Phred, the cat.
The health risks associated with not getting enough sleep are scary. Increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Obesity (hello!) Type 2 diabetes. So if you are finding yourself sluggish and a bit snappish in the morning, consider your sleep.
It's just about all Dan and I do.
Photo credit: Getty Images