10 October, 2005

*sigh*...long post--only read the caps if it's too long

SO...if you haven't noticed (check the time of posting), I have a problem with falling asleep. I think it has to do with my elvish genes, but it so happens that I am not completely elvish. Ergo I need more sleep than an elf. In any case, I figured I'd outline my different philosophies of sleep just for fun & to make myself laugh at the futility of my plans when God is in control anyway. To quote the fantastic poet Robert Burns, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men /Gang aft agley, /An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, /For promis'd joy! (The best-laid schemes of mice and men/go often astray/And leave us nothing but grief and pain/For promised joy)

SLEEP IS OVERRATED. Who wants to sleep when there's so much interesting stuff going on? --This philosophy usually results in me staying awake bumming around the 'net (LIKE THIS BLOG) or talking to friends or organizing old memories or searching for a favorite passage in a book.

I SHOULD JUST SLEEP WHEN I'M TIRED. --I've never been able to follow this philosophy fully. Falling asleep in lecture or on the job is simply not an option. Staying awake all night because of low serotonin levels, though frequently occuring, should not happen either. Trust me on this one.

I MUST ONLY NEED CHUNKS OF SLEEP, not a whole 8 hours like most people. --This usually results in an extended afternoon nap, and late-night studying after school. Which is nice, but it's hard to study late at night 'cos I seem to waste more time. LIKE THIS BLOG.

I SHOULD JUST LAY DOWN FOR 8 HOURS, whether I'm tired or not. --Laying down, while resting and helpful, is NOT sleeping.

NO DRUGS!!! --This philosophy I follow all the time. No melatonin, serotonin, or any other addictive supplements, even if they're natural. I don't want to get addicted to pills just so I can fall asleep! I've survived for 20 years like this, I can keep going & avoid addiction. I do drink tea & sugary stuff :-D if I'm REALLY not falling asleep. No, turkey doesn't help. Trolley rides REALLY help, but unfortunately they kick me off at the end of the ride (seriously...that happened one time).

LISTEN TO MUSIC/READ BOOKS/distract myself in general from my purpose. --While this has allowed me to read wonderful books and listen to fantastic music, for many, many undistracted hours, it really doesn't help me fall asleep. I get too wrapped up in whatever media I'm pursuing, and can't stop until the book is over or I've finished analyzing the musical quality or lyrical content in a song. Still, if I'm going to stay awake, I'd rather do this than homework :-P

THINK ABOUT NOTHING BUT SLEEP. --After a while, this gets extremely monotonous. Especially since I think about sleep a lot during the day anyway.

SLEEP FOR 2 WHOLE DAYS AND BE AWAKE FOR 2 WHOLE DAYS. --This one I'd love to try, and next semester I'll organize my schedule so I can try it out for a while. I heard about a lady in China who lived to be very old, and that was her sleep schedule. I'm not sure how Sunday would fit into that schedule. Sunday's a day of rest, I suppose, but would that mean 4 days of sleep and 3 days of activity? I'm not sure.

THINK ABOUT NOTHING. --I can only do this for so long. When I do succeed in calming my mind down for long periods of time, I usually feel pretty refreshed mentally, but it does somewhat disturb me that I'm thinking about nothing. It requires an intense amount of discipline to accomplish this, but I need to remember to fill that empty brain with God when I "come back." I can also get the same refreshing effect if I think about one specific aspect of God's character. When my thoughts wander toward the hugeness that is God that is apparent in all of his aspects, I don't cower in fear because of my smallness. I try to "un-embrace" the bigness, that is, to open my mind & allow my smallness to become so small that it's nonexistent. Then I feel like I have no mind and I'm just IN God. That's a really cool feeling, and I much prefer that than just emptying my mind.

AS you might be able to tell, this issue is like the elephant in the room for me, but others don't often notice or find out. For example, how many of you who saw me this Sunday figured out that I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before? And I still can't fall asleep tonight! Anyway, during my long times alone at night I can think of some pretty weird stuff (like philo. #8--I seriously suggest trying that sometime, though. It's amazing).

I could make another list just as long. Every night brings a new Philosophy of Endeavors for Somnolency. In this case, I ascribe to Thomas A. Edison's philosophy: "Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work. I found five thousand ways how not to make a light bulb [sleep]."

Someday I will also be able to draw a connection between this and the gospel.


me cause said...

Like , quit makeing Philosophy like it was your job and start doing cool stuff!

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Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Yeah, bully for you...you must have been reeeeally bored reeeeally late at night :-P

I will indeed read your post, & perhaps type a comment demanding that the insomnients of the world unite, or something...something...I dunno.

Yeah, I'm waiting eagerly for the day that I find out why God is putting me through this fire. What kind of dross is he trying to burn off? (I mean, it's obvious I'm a sinner, but is he after something specific? Is this the "thorn in my side" that will plague me for the rest of my life, like Paul's did?)

Hey, any sleep problem is hard to work through, whether it's losing large amounts of sleep or not. And yes, it is much easier to waste time late at night when I'm the only one awake, my lights are the only ones on, and no one's around to look over my shoulder :-P