Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sleep Hygiene and Justin Bieber

One of my many, MANY failures in life is my inability/unwillingness to practice good "sleep hygiene." 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is "a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness."

Well, I have neither. 

And it's obviously because I fail to do ANY of the following--and in fact actively violate---every last one of these six mandates, nearly every single day:

1. Napping: You're supposed to "avoid napping during the day," as "it can disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness." SHIT! Napping is literally my favorite thing to do in the entire WORLD. I would drop anything to lie down, anywhere, anytime, and take a nap. In fact, I get angrier than a schizophrenic aardvark in a hornet's nest if I can't get my weekend nap. And during the week, I need to ingest a constant stream of caffeine just to stay awake. Which of course brings me to ...

2. Caffeine: You need to "avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime." Again: SHIT!! I don't smoke cigarettes, at least, but only because I hate them. Not because I am virtuous. Indeed, I stand ready to die at the hands of all my other vices, including alcohol and caffeine. If I don't drink at least a small bucket of coffee first thing in the morning, four diet cokes before 3:00 p.m., and at least one gin or vodka gimlet upon arrival in my front door at 5:00 p.m., it's T-minus 40 minutes until my head feels like a Slayer concert with an orchestra of jack hammers playing in the background. 

3. Food: "Food can be disruptive right before sleep." Also, "if someone is struggling with a sleep problem, it's not a good time to start experimenting with spicy dishes." Also, "remember, chocolate has caffeine." I just have a few questions about this. Specifically, are the following verboten?: ch
ocolate chip cookie dough at 8:30 p.m.? A carton of chicken Pad Thai drenched in Sriracha at 9:00 p.m.? A block of fudge the size of a Rubik's Cube at 10:00 p.m.? What ... No good?

4. Natural Light: It's recommended that we "ensure adequate exposure to natural light" because "light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle." To this I say: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA! Does the National Sleep Foundation have a satellite office in Alaska? I didn't think so. That's because even Alaskans with normal sleep patterns go to bed at 3:00 p.m. in December and at 2:00 a.m. in June. The Land of the Midnight Sun simply does not promote "adequate exposure to natural light" (especially the part of Alaska where the sun don't shine, a.k.a. the "asshole" of Alaska, a.k.a. Juneau). That's why we all have to order SAD lights online and run away to Maui every chance we get. So unless and until I leave Alaska forever, "adequate exposure to natural light" is out of the question.

5. Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine: Apparently, you should "avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before trying to go to sleep. Don't dwell on, or bring your problems to bed." Uh oh. Oh boy. Ohhhhh BOY. Ok. Again, just a couple of questions on that one. Just wondering if the following qualify: screaming at your children and thereby failing to cherish every moment with them; systematically ruminating on all the day's ample personal and professional failures; envisioning the future primitive dystopia we are bequeathing our children; imagining all of the statistically unlikely cataclysmic horrors that could befall your children every day and taking zero comfort in their statistical unlikelihood? Oh these things do qualify? OK, then I guess I've fucked myself on this one too.   

6. Associate your bed with sleep. "It's not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read." Oh OK. So I guess that means you are not supposed to watch three hours of Forensic Files and then you are NOT supposed to sleep with your iPhone right next to your bed just in case you need to troll Facebook at 3:00 a.m. and see this on the Juneau buy/sell/trade group?:


And then you are NOT supposed to suddenly be completely alert with curiosity, and feel compelled to read all of the comments, which lead you to discover this:


And then you are NOT supposed to start laughing hysterically and start composing a blog post all about sleep hygiene and Justin Bieber, and think of all the unbelievably hilarious things there are to say about a perfume called "Justin Bieber's Girlfriend," right? 

And you are NOT supposed to contemplate how we can possibly live in a world where such a thing exists and is readily available for $25.00 at WalMart, and where husbands buy a carcinogenic bottle of processed chemicals for their wives and then try to re-sell it on a buy/sell/trade group?

And you are NOT supposed to wonder what "Justin Bieber's Girlfriend" smells like. Or doesn't smell like. Definitely not B.O., a teenager's sweaty crotch, recently-huffed Scotch Guard, acne medication, day-old pizza, or a meth lab, I am guessing? Probably not. 

Right. 

And you are probably NOT supposed to stay awake for another hour thinking about how "Justin Bieber's Girlfriend" and her eponymous signature scent probably smell like butterflies, rainbow juice, unicorn sharts, warm vanilla sugar cookies, Justin's hair products, bubbly hearts, fairy dust, glitter, ice cream sprinkles, bikini wax, hyacinth petals, non-alcoholic pink champagne, butter-cream frosting, the Bible, Bonne Bell bubble gum Lip Smackers, a crisp hundred dollar bill, candied apples, buttered popcorn, honeysuckle pollen, gummy bears, lemon zest, cherry blossoms in May, a strawberry frozen yogurt parfait from Pinkberry, and the inside of a new Mercedes convertible, and how all of these ingredients are probably listed right there on the back of the label not shown in the above picture?

Nope. 

You are probably NOT supposed to think about any of that. So stop thinking about all of it, and go back to sleep only to have a vivid dream about downhill skiing with Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie.

Good Night!

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