I believe in sleeping during the day. I’ve been a practicing night-sleeper for much of my young life as a sort of trial period and I have found that that particular time is when I am most active; in creativity, in humor and even in working. There is also the unspoken fact that nighttime can be quite scary and I would rather not leave myself vulnerable at such a time.
I remember when I was younger, my mother and I would take road trips; Boston, New Orleans, Charleston, Norfolk. For the longer distances, my mom would stay up late into the night packing and we would leave a few hours before dawn. Of course, I would fall asleep watching old Twilight Zone re-runs and later awake only to find that the massive clutter from the night before (our stuff) had been neatly packed away into the trunk of the car. Later as I grew, I used this as fodder for the hypothesis that maybe nighttime made certain people more diligent. Many stuffy nights in my room were spent sitting in front of my surprisingly hot computer monitor, typing essays, throwing together projects and even working for myself. It was around then that I lost touch, I realized I didn’t want to keep going through with the established sleep pattern.
Naturally, school got in the way. I went to a boarding school for a few years in which a specific time to go to sleep was enforced. I’ve never been much of a rule-breaker, but I did find one small, albeit harmless, way to rebel. If I could not sleep when I wanted, then I would sleep in my bed backwards; stuffing my feet under my pillow, half-heartedly draping a blanket over myself and falling asleep in a throw pillow at the foot of my bed. As I lay grudgingly with my arms folded, the most inconvenient memories of my manifested childhood terrors would creep into my thoughts. The multi-colored glow of the icicle Christmas lights adorning my window did nothing to abate the fear of my dolls coming to life and murdering me or the prospect of a fanged ghoul watching my tender little form through my bedroom window—the heart-stopping terror that would grip me if our gazes were perchance to meet. None of the same imaginative thinking happened in the daytime, however.
Summer approaches as does my freedom from high school and imminent servitude to college. My only request of my future is to allow sense, dignity; nap time. Just like in preschool where young children were primed to sleep during the day and enthusiastically tackle the mysterious alphabet and numbers 1-10, I shall pay attention to a lecture, promptly fall asleep and then pay attention to yet another lecture. It makes my life worth the hardships to nod off without fear or guilt, to slowly adjust to the adult world in order to live happily in the many rushed nights and restful days to come.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.