Insomnia tip #54

If you already know you’re having trouble sleeping, don’t — for the love of all that is right and holy DON’T — give in to the temptation of that ice cold bottle of the Nectar of the Devil known as Pepsi sitting in your fridge. The angels will weep.

I’m just sayin’…

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Evil, thy name is snooze button

The lobby of my building has a radio station piped through 24/7. I don’t listen to the radio at home (I’d rather listen to my iTunes) so that’s the only place that I get exposed to it. Anyway, early Friday morning, I’m waiting for the elevator after a dumpster visit during the big clean when they start talking about the perils of snooze alarm addiction.  Essentially, while sleeping a little longer may actually beneficial to your health, the excessive use of the snooze button to do that is detrimental, leading to an increase in high blood pressure and other ailments that come from a lack of quality sleep. 

I love my snooze button. I’m clearly not alone — the I Need Rehab For My Snooze Button Addiction Facebook group has almost 6,000 members. (As an aside, “clock sniping” as used in the description of that group is THE perfect term for what a snooze button addict does.) You can hit the snooze button on my alarm clock forever and it will never stop coming back on. I’ve been known to do that for several hours before finally getting up (I think my record was four hours — that’s 27 snooze button hits, which even I acknowledge is ridiculous) and I’ve actually deliberately set my alarm early to account for the snooze-buttoning I know I’ll do.

Those little nine-minute microsleeps are wonderful, almost intoxicating, which should be a dead giveaway that they aren’t good in the long run. Mind you, unless I’m dead tired, I sleep fitfully anyway: I wake up when I change position or when something starts to ache too much or when the cat decides to join me. So I guess my entire night’s sleep consists of microsleeps. No wonder I’m always tired.

Left to my own devices, with no alarms, nothing to *have* to wake up by a certain time for, and no phone calls waking me up in the middle, I awaken naturally after about nine hours sleep. But that seems like such a huge chunk out of a 24-hour day, and I guess I’m ever hopeful that I’ll actually manage to be able to function on a significantly smaller amount of sleep. It’s been a vain hope. And that’s where the snooze button becomes my enabler. Or rather lately it’s been my TV that is my enabler — since I’ve been sleeping in the living room, I’ve been setting my TV to channel 998 (which, because the building’s security channel doesn’t work properly with digital cable — does anyone’s? — is blank and black and thus non-intrusive) and using the timer settings on the digital cable box to turn to specific channels at 1/2 hour or hour intervals. So, longer snoozes but still snoozing for a couple of hours each day. All the more reason to get my bedroom decluttered so I can start sleeping there again — I deliberately have no computer or TV in there. (See, I was sensible at one point.)