15-Jul-2011

Sleeping beauty


It was one of those intense moments of self-awareness.

Sis was telling about her work-from-home job and I eagerly asked her ‘so do you nap in the afternoons?’

The spark in my eye was discernible for a mile around.

‘No’, Sis mentioned nonchalantly, nearly causing me to fall off the chair.

‘But why?!!!! You work for someone in the U.S. You work from India. You take a short nap in the afternoon. No one is the wiser’ I worked out the logic for her.

‘Er..because I don’t like to sleep in the afternoons. Remember, you are the one who enjoys sleeping’ she replied

Voila. Just like that the truth that had been starring me in the face, was released.

I love to sleep.

Mind you, when I say I love to sleep, it does not indicate a life of sleeping-in on weekends till noon or oversleeping and waking up with a groggy head. It simply means, when it is time to sleep, I sleep.

I do not stay up too late partying or watching TV. I sleep.

Weekend afternoons are not spent cleaning the house or reading a book or watching reruns on TV. I just sleep.

I get my 8 hours of beauty sleep in the night and then an hour more in the weekend.

The evidence was visible from early on. As a baby I was apparently a pro at going off to sleep and then waking up well after the sun had risen and the birds had started twittering etc. My naïve parents were fooled into thinking that it was a cinch managing a baby and soon enough, along came Sis. Ironically, Sis turned out to be the type who would wake up at 5 a.m. and insist someone play with her.

Sometime around the age of two, I insisted on getting my own bed so I could sleep with arms outstretched, instead of being squeezed into a bed with the whole family.

From class 9 to the end of graduation, classes got over in the afternoons giving me enough time to catch an afternoon nap. If the occasional school activity kept me busy, I still managed to squeeze in forty minutes before tea time. Days when I did not manage even that, saw me surly and red-eyed.

B-School was a much bigger challenge than anything I had seen though. Most people gave up on sleep in order to get acceptable grades and still have a decent social life. It was not unusual for people to work all night and then doze in classes.

Not me. Early on, I figured out how much sleep I was willing to sacrifice for grades. The answer turned out to be ‘none’. In the first year, the compulsory courses ensured I had to skip the post-prandial siesta occasionally. But in the second year, I chose my courses wisely. In the only one that was held between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., I nearly lose a grade point for having inadequate attendance.

As for late night studying, that was unheard of unless one meant 11 p.m. Friends soon learnt to walk past my room making as little noise as possible during these sleeptimes.

Unfortunately, since then, the precious noontime siesta has not been a part of my life except on weekends.

Come Saturday afternoon, I draw the curtains, prop up my pillows and carry a book to the bed. Then as the effect of lunch takes over and the sun becomes a hazy light beyond the curtains, I gently slide further and further down the pillows. Finally, my eyes are closed, I am drooling on the pillow and snoring like a Hippo with a flu. D usually tiptoes around me at these times, having learnt very early in our relationship that waking me was unnecessarily putting his life in peril.

Given the mounting stack of evidence, one would have thought I would have started putting down ‘sleeping’ as a hobby early in life.

Interestingly enough, no. I always assumed sleeping meant this much to everyone.

Till my sister shook me up by revealing the scandalous truth that she was rather indifferent about it.

Strangely enough, learning the truth has had quite a happy effect on me. Perhaps a younger me would have felt guilty about enjoying something as inactive and non-intellectual and unchallenging as sleep. The older and wiser me though relishes the fact that here is an activity that involves zero effort from me, is a pleasure to do and can easily fill time when bored.

Weekend naptime, here I come. Zzzzzz.

3 comments:

deeps said...

siesta is always sweet
esply if it s during class hrs :P

Sonal said...

ah am envious of you my dear...all health experts advise a good amount of sleep so think of it as part of your health regimen and sleep away :)

Anita said...

deeps - :) I have done that as well

Sonal - ha ha. Am sure in a few months you can catch shut-eye too.