Saturday, November 17, 2007

Never enough sleep

Sleep is such an important part of our lives. So many of our body's dynamics depend on it. But I find that I can never seem to get enough of it. Because I'm so damn busy, I'm rarely able to get to bed at a decent time. I usually average about six hours of sleep, while my body craves more like eight. I've always thought that if days were 26 hours long instead of 24, I'd be in great shape.

Insomnia has never been my problem. I'm almost always asleep within five minutes of lying down and usually much quicker than that. But over the past 10 years, I found that I was sleeping less and less comfortably and that I could no longer remember my dreams. To make matters worse, I would wake up most mornings with back pain and stiff joints.

About six months ago, my wife and I gave up on our futon mattress and spent more than we should have on one of those space-age foam mattresses that "conform to the contours of your body." My wife was against buying it. She despises anything unnatural or made with "chemicals." But I put my foot down, arguing that the futon was literally killing me.

The first night I slept on the new mattress, I couldn't stop smiling. Never before had I slept so comfortably. Even my wife had to admit that it was fantastic. Since that night, it's only gotten better. I often find myself waking up in the same position that I fell asleep in, while before I would toss and turn all over the place. And I'm remembering my dreams again. I must be sleeping far more deeply.

It's not all good news, though. I still don't go to bed early enough. It's almost midnight right now as I'm typing this. And my wife and I have become so spoiled by the mattress, we don't sleep well anywhere else. Twice recently we've been to nice hotels, and both times the beds felt lumpy and awkward. Too bad our mattress, a super-king, is too damn big to carry around with us.

Well, I'm off to bed. Since tomorrow's Sunday, I should be able to squeeze in a full eight hours! Still, Sunday night is looming, followed by the much-dreaded Monday morning.

Is there any way we can pass some sort of resolution to lengthen days to 26 hours?


bunnygirl said...

I'd love to have longer days, although I'd probably use the extra time for more stuff, not sleep!

Jim Melvin said...

Yeah, me too. I often wonder, though, how I would feel physically if I averaged 8 hours a night instead of 6.

Jeanne Malmgren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanne Malmgren said...

You forgot to tell them about how your buffalo-decibel snoring stopped, once we got the new bed!

Jeanne Malmgren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Melvin said...

I only snore while in my werewolf incarnation!

Kappa no He said...

My futon pains me as well. But then I go home to the States and find my old bed is too soft. I think I need one of those conforming matress thingys....juuust right. That and some porridge.

Jim Melvin said...

If you can afford a Tempur-Pedic, get one. I"m not usually into that kind of thing, but those mattresses are beyond belief.


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Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

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Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.