New Sleep Recommendations Mean What?

If you don't get on Facebook, congratulations. But if you do, then you've probably noticed in the last couple of days that the National Sleep Foundation is trending. And maybe this is also trending in national news, but I'm in grad school, and I don't read it if it's not on PubMed or Facebook.

Apparently, the National Sleep Foundation - the real experts on sleep after the Tooth Fairy and Boogeyman - updated their recommendations for how much we need to sleep. And let's be real, I saw this article on Facebook after midnight when I had to be up in less than seven hours. After all, what is life? And what is grad school? Lo siento, National Sleep Foundation, who say I need 7 - 9 hours of sleep.

You would think if they're going to update the sleep recommendations, they would at least be realistic. I scrolled through looking for confirmation that it really is healthy I run six or less hours and iced coffee. Alas, no. In fact, we need more sleep.

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And that's the reason not to sleep away your Sunday

There's a lot to be said about the pleasure of sleeping in on the weekends. However, as walking has proved more effort than I am willing to expend this weekend due to the injury I incurred in the beginning hours of Thursday, I've been going to bed early and waking up equally as early. Waking up at 8:30 AM on a Sunday morning gives you a whole lot of time that I am frankly just not accustom to having. While I was going to the bathroom at 8:30AM on Sunday, I noticed how dirty the sink was. So I cleaned it (clearly I'm usually too busy to see that, but early on Sunday, it's totally obvious). Then I went downstairs -- had a mild flashback to trying to get down them on my butt in the late hours of Wednesday -- and noticed how much animal hair was on the steps (not to name names or anything, Sam and Bessie). So I vacuumed them. And since the vacuum was already in-hand, I vacuumed the hallways and rest of the rooms as well.

When I went to go clean out the vacuum, I noticed the trash was full. Now's a good time to take that out. And oh what,  let me grab that box of trash from the bottom of the stairs that has been sitting there for three months.

When I was putting the vacuum away in the pantry, I noticed we had a pile of toilet paper, which I knew would serve a better purpose being stored in the bathroom. So I brought it upstairs. Then I was going to lay down on my bed (you know, cleaning for fifteen minutes really takes a lot out of you), but then I remembered that I couldn't remember the last time I cleaned my sheets, so I stripped my bed and brought them downstairs to do laundry.

Now I have 40 minutes to waste until they'll need to be dried. Mine was well wash up the dishes, right? Yup, and now that all the dishes are gone, it's really obvious how dirty the countertops are. Just going to scrub those off a bit.

And then I was going to be perfectly content to lay on the couch and wait out the rest of the 40 minutes unproductively, but Sam was outside and I remembered how gross our backyard is. Can't say I weedwacked (or weed-walked as we call it in this household), because my dad once weekwacked and weedwacked his leg on accident and I just didn't want to risk that, already having one leg currently being held together with stitches. But I did at least throw out beer cans and cups from our housewarming party (which was in August).

So then the sheets were washed, and another 40 minutes on the clock until they'd be dry. I was going to sit still and watch some more tv, but I recalled how I'll be in and out of the doctors this week for my stitches, and I didn't want them to accidentally vomit into my wound on account of how gross my toenails are. So I nicely trimmed them and repainted them. You are quite welcome doctors.

Once the sheets came out, I made my bed, and was going to take a nap because I had been so busy all day, only to realize that it was but a mere 11:30AM. Hello, all day, I've still got you. And that's the reason not to sleep away your Sunday.

A restless nights sleep

Sleep is a time for your body to relax and rejuvenate itself for the next day. It's graceful and peaceful and pictureesque. Except not for me.

Sleep is a time for me to be in about as much physical motion as I am awake. Let's just say I'm like a weird zombie when I sleep. It's probably one of my most embarrassing traits because I have no chance of controlling how weird it gets. At least when I'm awake and being a creep, I know it's happening and can mitigate it. So with a bit of shame, here's a list of things I've done in my sleep that are bizarre. And I'm sure it's not an exhaustive list because someone has to be awake to tell me it's happening for me to know it happened.

Let's start off mildly and work our way to the extremes. When I was younger, I used to share a room with my sister, so we can thank her for the observations she's collected over the years.

You sound like a beached whale.

Ahhhh, what a compliment. It takes me awhile every night to find a comfy way to lay, so as eloquently as my sister said it, I sound like a big dying fish out of water.

And if I couldn't find that comfy way to lay, I'd shake my legs because I'd be getting annoyed that I could not fall asleep. So let's call that my restless leg syndrome.

Then, I'd eventually fall asleep, wake up again, and convince myself that I had never slept at all. So then I'd go downstairs to tell my mom about it. Or better yet, I'd wake her up to tell her I wasn't asleep.

But what can be even worse than that? Oh, just me sleepwalking downstairs. Then I'd wake up mid-way through some mumbles to my mom and get terribly freaked out.

Or I'd wake up sitting in my closet.

Or in the middle of the floor.

Or sitting in between me and my sisters bed on the shag rug.

And then it'd be really dark, so I'd just lay back down and sleep on the floor until it was light enough to be able to see my bed again.

So THANK GOD I stopped sleepwalking in my later years, but I'm not totally out of the woods yet. I'm still a creepy sleeper from time to time.

I talk in my sleep pretty regularly, and then have to remember to warn people that it'll probably happen. I grind my teeth, and I'm somewhat convinced I snore a little when I sleep on my back.

And oh yeah, I dress and undress myself. For example, I like to sleep naked a lot. There's just nothing like the feeling of sheets all over you. Anyways, if I go to bed naked, there's a pretty good chance I'll wake up with a shirt that I had put on at some point in the night.

And vice versa. Sometimes I wake up and I just so happened to be missing my shirt. Awesome.

But potentially the creepiest thing I have started doing is looking at my phone. This really should be a sign of the times. I shit you not, I've read and answered texts before. Nothing major, and most of the time I just instinctively read it and roll over, but this one time I looked at my phone and realized I sent a text saying "just don't even worry about it," to a statement that really did not deserve anything remotely similar to that response.

I no longer sleep with my phone within reach, but I wouldn't put it past me that it can happen again.

So now that I've shared probably the trait that I have that freaks me out the most, who wants to have a sleepover?