Get a load of this insider information: Did you know your brain actually needs SLEEP? I’m pretty sure that none of us are ACTUALLY SLEEPING, and you know who I blame this entirely on?
Holy mother of dragons, discovery of the decade: If I have wine at night, I will not be able to sleep. And by “not be able to sleep,” what I mean to say is that I’ll be laying there in bed like a pissed off two year old, staring up at the wooden rafters in our Costa Rican cottage, wishing death upon myself and everyone I’ve ever met.
REALLY I’M A NICE PERSON I SWEAR.
Then, I’ll finally fall asleep at 3am, but at 5am, C will tickle my ass, because he’s waking up to go down to the dock to see our clients off on their boat charter, AND AT THAT POINT HE WILL HEAR A VOICE SUMMONED FROM THE DARKEST PARTS OF MY SOUL THAT NO HUMAN HAS EVER HEARD BEFORE.
It’s as if a predator were coming after my baby cub with a baseball bat, except in this case, my baby cub is my braaaaiiiinnnnnn, and waking me up after I’ve just fallen asleep is a direct assault on EVERY WORD I WILL WRITE THE NEXT DAY.
So anyway, I’m not sure if it’s the alcohol or the sugar or maybe those delicious tannins, those bastards, but basically this means I’ll have no choice but to resort to day-wining only. Which wouldn’t be all that bad if I were still, you know, twenty-five. Or maybe even twenty-six. But for the love of christ, I am a woman approaching her mid-thirties—which basically means I’ll have to hide it from the neighbors. (And all of Instagram, of course, because if all my pictures start showing up with a red tint to my teeth, you can rest-assured it’s proooooobably not a filter.)
But—real talk—do you know the difference a good night’s sleep makes? A good night’s sleep is the equivalent of giving your brain a 5-star luxury vacation every night. You’re all refreshed and rejuvenated, like your brain's just gotten a relaxing eight-hour massage, and you can finally get back to your old ways of scheming to take over the world without feeling totally fucking overwhelmed by yourself. Because when you aren’t sleeping, I’m pretty sure this makes everything feel impossible.
I’mmmm—*slur*—suppose to—*slur*—open—*slur*—the mail?
And we all know this. It’s not like the act of sleeping is some ancient hidden secret. But none of us really take it seriously because the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep don’t come printing out of your earlobe every morning like a receipt for a parking meter.
Sleep Achieved: 8 hours.
- Guaranteed 4-hour stream of brilliant, uninterrupted thoughts
- 1 hour feeling motivated enough to actually do some fucking exercise
- 2 hours where you’ll be convinced your life is actually going to work out just fine
- 30 minutes empathy for endangered pandas and little children who cry on airplanes
- 45 minutes of email without wanting to off yourself (which should really be the name of an app)
- And a 3.4 minute window in which you can ACTUALLY SPEAK JAPANESE.
Oh, you didn’t know? You actually spent 3 months in Tokyo but totally forgot because you’ve been so sleep deprived ALL OF YOUR MEMORIES ARE ABSOLUTE SHIT.
So instead, you wake up and stumble into the bathroom, not thinking to even take note of the correlation between your sleep pattern and the residual outcome that is that hideous thing you’re looking at in the mirror. You’re too busy trying to get the wherewithal to shove a miniature horse brush into your mouth before throwing up inside it at the mere thought of your day, so it’s easy to pooh pooh sleep as something that you “need” but not something that will maybe quite possibly change your life foooorrrrrrreeeeeeeverrrrrrrrr.
And by the way, I have more tricks for sleeping better, you know. More tricks than just easing off the bottle. You wanna hear ‘em? Do ya? DO YA? GOOD BECAUSE I WAS GOING TO TELL YOU ANYWAY.
The first and most important thing I now know to do in order to get a good night’s sleep? Is to shove plastic little teeth trays into the mouths of those you love! (Don’t worry they dig it.) Alas, the magic that is the mouth guard. And alas, I am the mouth guard evil OVERLORD. Do you know how fantastic these things are for preventing the human sleeping next to you from making terrifying sounds in the middle of the night as if they were scraping their front teeth literally down the front of a chalkboard? Teeth grinding isn't cute, and as it turns out, it’s one of the few things in life that actually makes you want to murder another member of the human race. Solution: Mouth guards for everybody! Hooray!
Solution #2: Make sure you have a pair of the most rudimentary, uncomfortable-looking ear plugs you can find. Forget those hot pink ones with the feminine curves that look like an adorable little bell and are just suppose to mold to your ear like a gentle little hug. Like: Oops! Pardon me! I just thought I’d slip this dainty little thing into my ear canal. *giggles* No. You want the straight up EAR TAMPONS. The kind that look hard and square like a brick you would throw through somebody’s window. (Not like I’ve ever done such a thing, but if you were to throw something through a window, it feels like a brick would be a satisfying choice.) These are the kinds of ear plugs that mean business—and the only ones that seem to block out the noise of that motorcycle who thought he would do a wheelie down your street at 2 o’clock in the morning. (What can I say? I’m surrounded by intellectuals.)
The third? I LOVE that Sleepytime tea shit. I say “tea shit” because I still have a love/hate relationship with tea, in the sense that I sorta love it, but there’s still a real-big woo-woo stigma around tea, and I just can’t get past it. Like tea is the gateway drug to patchouli oil. I worry about this. (Alas, the solution is adding a swear word to any other word that you feel is just a little too soft for your liking. And there we go: Tea shit. Works like a charm.)
Next, I have two words for you: Euro Pillow. You know—those big, gigantic, oversized square pillows that fancy hotels always have on the bed and that are suppose to be “decorative?” Oh my god, GET ON THIS TRAIN. First of all, they’re amazing because they make your bed look like you aren’t actually a homeless person who’s just stumbled upon a random mattress. Second, they’re awesome for sitting up in bed and reading at night, because lumbar. Third, they’re the best for pillow fights with anyone who enters your home (obviously). And fourth—and the real reason we’re talking about this—is because when I’m having a really rough night? I WILL BREAK ALL THE RULES AND I WILL PUT MY OILY LITTLE FACE RIGHT ON TOP OF IT TO SLEEP. It’s springy, like magic. And for whatever reason, my head seems to really get along with pillows three times its size.
And last but not least, I really like the f.lux app, which automatically dims your screen to a super unattractive yellow color after a certain hour at night. This way, if you’re like me and you’re pounding the keyboard before bed, then all of that bright light won’t signal to your brain that it’s actually 6am and actually you’re suppose to be getting up and going for a run!!!! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Nooooooooooo, we do not want to wake up. We want to fall asleep. And I have to say, even if it doesn’t really work, the fact that my screen dims at 8pm makes me feel super adult. And that’s reason enough.
I’m pretty sure that as we all become more adult (my favorite euphemism for old), we need to start seriously considering all of the so-called healthy things we were suppose to be doing all along, like getting eight hours of sleep, and not spraying gallons of Cheez Whiz into your mouth (does Cheez Whiz still come in an aerosol can?!?!), and suffering through more than two push-ups before collapsing onto the floor as if you’ve just survived a war zone.
You know, I don’t know. Maybe all that stuff we were suppose to be doing all along isn’t so bad for us after all. And maybe we can finally do that thing everyone’s been talking about for YEARS—this whole “realizing your potential” thing. And maybe, just maybe, the next time you see a woman sipping her afternoon wine?
You won’t judge her by the color of her glass, but by the content of her character.
Because we all know that these are the women to look out for the most, for they?
Are the ones who are SLEEPING.