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Who needs sleep?
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
As I write this, Iíve been up for 33 hours straight. The sad thing is, Iím just a little bit sleepy. Iím waiting for the Unisom to do its magic. Or not. Last night, I took two of them, probably two or three hours apart. I tossed and turned, watching the windows get lighter, and lighter, and by 10 a.m., I said a variation of ďscrew itĒ that Mr. Fort Wayne Reader canít print in the paper and got up.
I donít get it. I never had this much trouble sleeping as a kid, and theoretically, I should have. Isnít that the time of your life when you have the most energy? Arenít those the days when you can stay out until 3 a.m. drinking and still make it to work by 8 the next morning? (I never partied, I just heard stories about this from others.) Instead, Iím middle-aged and contemplating getting a third shift job to go with my two part-time jobs and grad school gig, just to prove that I can do it. Iíve got some time off coming up, and I may just see how many days I can stay up, just for fun. Plus, I canít sleep anyway, so why not?
Nearly 50 years ago, 17-year-old Randy Gardner stayed awake 264 hours, or 11 days. I guess he did it for a science fair, and ended up with a world record. Supposedly. His feat was scientifically documented, but the Guinness Book is no longer keeping track of people who are staying awake for scienceís sake, or just to win a bet with their frat brothers. This is according to that super-reliable-because-everyone-gets-to-edit-the-articles site, Wikipedia. Guinness wonít record sleep-deprivation records because theyíre afraid something might happen to someone who attempts them. Translation: lawsuits. What ever happened to stretching the limits of human ability for an entry in Guinness, or for the sake of science? If you are willing to die for science, thatís badass, in my opinion.
Iíve wondered if I should go to the doctor to see if I can get some prescription meds that will do a better job of knocking me out. Sominex seemed to work, but I never see it on shelves anymore. The Unisom is hit or miss, or maybe Iím building a tolerance to it. It doesnít seem to matter if I consume caffeinated drinks or not. Iíve chugged down Coca-Cola, only to feel a sugar crash an hour or two later, which sometimes makes me want to curl up on the floor of whatever store I happen to be in and catch a quick nap. Other times, Iíve not had any cola, or coffee, or chocolate, and Iím pumped up like Iím about to hit the stage of the Jerry Springer show or Maury.
I suppose Iím not helping matters any by surfing the web on my Galaxy III. Itís such a luxury to be entertained in bed by all sorts of gory, creepy or gross websites or videos. Sometimes, I even learn something. It was checking out pimple-popping videos that I came across something called tonsil stones. These are sort of like pimples, except they collect in your tonsils. They are made up of bacteria, calcium and other fun stuff and when they are in your tonsils, it feels like something is stuck in your throat. I first encountered these when I was in my twenties, and wondered what these little off-white, tiny, dough-like blobs were. Iíd be walking along, and all of a sudden, Iíd feel a pop in my throat, and the blob would be on my tongue. Iíd fish it out and inspect it. They look harmless, but Iíd take a whiff and be horrified. To be perfectly honest, this blobs smell like shit. Literally, like shit. And this thing came OUT OF MY MOUTH. Iíd be freaked out and embarrassed and wonder what I was doing to get them (sometimes, they are hereditary.) Sometimes, years would go by before I realized I hadnít had one in a while. But if you ever run across someone with truly disgusting breathóyou can probably bet everything you own they have tonsil stones. One is bad enough. But a whole nest of them? Ghastly. (Yes, I watched a video of them being removed. I have some weird obsessions.)
So being an insomniac can have benefits. I am pleased when I go online and figure out something Iíve struggled with or have had for years, and it answers my question as to what it is, and if thereís anything I can do about it. Who needs cable when the Internet has so much more for a little over a dollar a day? Why get out of bed when your entertainment system is literally 6x3 inches and weighs perhaps an ounce?
Some people have theorized that the reason I canít sleep is because of my ongoing financial problems. Not soóIím better off now, (sort of) than I was four years ago. Even if I won the lottery tomorrow for $100 million, I still wouldnít be able to sleep. Instead of watching pimple videos, no doubt Iíd be shopping on Niemanmarcus.com picking out a Balenciaga Le Dix Cartable Flap Satchel Bag in Aubergine for a totally reasonable $2,075. And Iíd get the adorable Paper Envelope Cross Body Bag (also by Balenciaga) in yellow for a mere $1,275. It wouldnít matter that I couldnít sleep for days, because with that much money, I wouldnít have to do anything for a living. So if I stayed up five days straight, what would it matter? Iíd sleep whenever. And buy whatever. And life WOULD be a dream.