My girlfriend and I have different schedules. She gets up earlier than me, usually an hour or more before I do. That means that she either has to do her makeup in the bathroom or turn on the light to do it in her room which wakes me up. We had to reach a compromise. So I went to Walgreens and bought a sleep mask. It only cost ten bucks and it’s already proven itself to be a worthy investment.
A sleep mask is self explanatory: it’s a mask you wear when you sleep. It covers your eyes and blocks out the light, allowing the wearer to sleep better. I have to admit that I kind of like it. It only took a few nights to get used to, but I wake up feeling more rested. It really helps to block out any light, and by extension the outside world. Yeah, it looks ridiculous but I don’t care if it helps me sleep better. A sleep mask at night is as good as coffee in the morning.
A pillow is a sealed cloth bag primarily used for supporting your head or neck while you’re sleeping or lounging about. They are often filled with soft stuff like foam or feathers for added comfort. They have other uses besides being a sleeping accessory. They can be decorative. A nice pillow can really hold the room together. You can use them to battle siblings or friends at a slumber party. You can use them to put hospital patients out of their misery. You could spend thirty dollars on a fleshlight or use your already accessible pillow.
A pillow is one of those things that you never appreciate until you don’t have one. Anyone who has ever gone camping but forgot a pillow will agree with me. A folded sweatshirt is not an adequate substitute. A good pillow is vital to a good night’s sleep.
I spent last weekend sleeping on my friend’s air mattress in San Diego. It wasn’t a very good air mattress. It had a hole in it. It was a pinhole leak so the air would slowly seep out during the night. I’d fall asleep in relative comfort, only to wake up a few hours later sprawled out painfully on the floor, at which point I’d have to reinflate the air mattress. Luckily it had an electric pump so I didn’t have to use any lung power. Sleeping on a deflated air mattress is like trying to relax on a sinking ship while pretending nothing is wrong. Sooner or later you’ll have to deal with the problem or else you will drown. Or have a sore back in the morning. Either way it’s going to suck. I don’t recommend sleeping on a deflated air mattress. I’d rather sleep on the couch, in the car, or even on the floor. At least you don’t end up on the floor when you start out on the floor.
There are few things in life more amusing than a dreaming dog. Your favorite pooch will be splayed out on the floor fast asleep except for the occasional yip and soft growl. You can’t help but smile as his legs start twitching and moving, and you know that he’s running around in dreamland, chasing squirrels and barking at skateboarders. You’ll never know what he’s actually dreaming about. He could be dreaming about eating delicious people food, finally catching his tail, or winning his war with the cat. You’re golden as long as he’s not dreaming about gnawing on your face. Let sleeping dogs lie, but have your camera ready just in case he sleep runs into the wall. Then you can be a YouTube sensation like this guy.
Sometimes when I’m really tired and lying in bed, seconds away drifting off to sleep, I’ll have a sudden twitch that wakes me up again. It doesn’t hurt or anything, but it’s annoying because I was right about to fall asleep and now I’m back at square one. So I had a sleep twitch the other night and it woke me up enough to inspire me to write a Critically Rated article about it. I Googled “sleep twitch” to do some research and found out that it’s a perfectly natural and common occurrence that can be caused by stress, anxiety, exercise, and caffeine, but sometimes they just happen for no reason. The technical name for it is Hypnic Jerk, which I think is awesome. It sounds like an insult or a shitty punk band. Hypnic jerks keep you awake, and you get stressed because you can’t sleep, and stress causes you to have more hypnic jerks. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m pretty sure that’s where the expression “circle jerk” comes from.
You have a big day tomorrow and you need to get a good night’s sleep, but your mind is racing and falling asleep seems impossible. You start thinking about how you can’t sleep, and that stresses you out even more so you become even more restless. That’s when you need to distract yourself and start counting sheep. You imagine a bunch on sheep jumping over a fence one at a time and count how many sheep jump over the fence. It doesn’t matter what’s on the other side of the fence, and you don’t need to know why they are even jumping over the fence in the first place. Just count how many sheep jump over the fence. It will calm you down and you’ll gradually start drifting off to sleep. It might take a while. There have been nights where I’ve counted over two thousand sheep. That’s a lot of lamb chops. But I’ve always fallen asleep eventually. Just keep counting sheep until you run out of them. Nobody is quite sure how tallying livestock cures insomnia, but it really does help.
Sleep talking is when someone talks in their sleep. It’s pretty common and it happens a lot. Some people talk in their sleep every single night, some people do it every once in a while, and I’m pretty sure that everyone does it at least once in their life. Sometimes sleep talkers make sense, sometimes they don’t, sometimes you understand them clearly, and sometimes they are just speaking gibberish. It’s pretty funny hearing your friend or lover talking in their sleep because you can make fun of them the next morning. It’s kind of scary to find out that you talk in your sleep because it means your subconscious is in control. You can’t filter what you are saying. Your carefully crafted house of lies could suddenly collapse with a single slip of your sleeping tongue. The best way to avoid sleep talking is to avoid sleeping entirely. That’s why the good lord invented caffeine and cocaine.
The other night I was trying to catch a late bus to get back to my house. I got to the bus stop with a few minutes to spare and was waiting for the bus to show up, and that’s when I heard somebody snoring. I looked around and discovered the source of the sound: it was a bum sleeping on the street right behind the bus stop. It was mindboggling how anyone could possibly be sleeping so soundly without a care in the world, especially on a crowded sidewalk by a busy street. I was actually a little jealous of him because I can’t remember the last time that I had a peaceful slumber of my own. It’s kind of sad when a snoring homeless guy gets a better night’s sleep than me. It’s not fair, my bed is way more comfortable than his cardboard box but he’s sleeping like a baby while I toss and turn. At least I don’t have to worry about getting shanked while I’m passed out.
It’s Saturday night until the Sunday sun comes up and you have to take advantage of it. Stay awake and have fun for as long as you can. Your eyelids will become heavy and start drooping but you’ll get your second wind if you avoid sitting still. The goal is to stay awake as long as possible. You want to be going to bed when other people are waking up. That’s a good indicator of having a great night. You want to collapse under the covers when you hear your neighbor leaving for work. You were having fun the whole time he was sleeping, and now you’ll sleep for the whole time he’s working. Life isn’t always fair but sometimes you’re the lucky one.
Some people love taking naps. I never got into them. I would just pretend to fall asleep during designated naptimes in preschool and kindergarten. I can’t even take naps when travelling. I just can’t force myself to sleep. The daytime is for running around and doing random things, not for sleeping.
Sometimes you have to take a nap. You got up too early, or you started drinking too early, or maybe there’s something happening later that night. There’s nothing wrong with taking the occasional siesta, but I feel weird when I take a nap. I wake up disorientated and have to remind myself what day it is and if there are still things I need to do.
I prefer caffeine over catnaps, but if you feel like you need to lie down and close your eyes for a minute, I’m not going to judge you. I might go through your things as you sleep, but I won’t judge you.