Campus Life

Squid vs. Whale

Shopping for a New Sleep Schedule

The 24-hour day is so overrated. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get anything done in 24 hours. Usually by the time I’ve put on pants, half the day is gone. How am I ever going to get a PhD at this rate?

But hey, who says I have to stick to this completely arbitrary notion of a “day”? Just because the Earth revolves once in 24 hours doesn’t mean I have to follow it around meekly. There are two kinds of people in this world: sheep and sharks. Sheep wake up every morning and eat grass. Sharks sleep and swim at the same time. They also have rows and rows of regenerating razor sharp teeth. I know who I want to be.

This is why I’ve been considering better ways to divvy up my lucid/snoozing time. And since most of the people I know around here look like they could use more rest, I thought I’d share some of my insights into alternative sleep patterns.

Having thought about this thoroughly in place of studying, I’ve decided that my optimal sleep strategy would be a 30-hour day. I’d stay up for 20 hours and then sleep for 10. Imagine how much you could accomplish in 20 wakeful hours! You could put on pants AND get things done!

In my case, I’d never wake up tired because regardless of how long I’d been up, about 10 hours of sleep completely recharges the batteries. No more tired Chaz means no more grumpy Chaz.

Here’s how it would work. With 30-hour days the regular work week turns into 4 extended days. Some days you’re nocturnal, other days you’re an early bird. You get to see two sunrises and sleep through all of humpday, which is a big bonus. Granted, if you try this, you’ll miss half of your classes and meetings, but so what? You were going to skip them anyway. At least now you get some variety, and variety is good.

And the best part is, late on Thursday night, when all the sheep are out partying and blowing off steam from a hellish week, you can wake up fresh and totally be the life of the party. Not looking worn and haggard will give you serious leverage with the opposite sex, provided that you showered.

But what’s that you say? You’re still spending two-thirds of your time asleep in a 30-hour day? You’ll never get that pset done? Well, have you ever heard of polyphasic sleep? It’s a highly touted sleep strategy where you take brief naps every two to three hours. Apparently when you sleep, you spend very little time actually dreaming. And since dreams are where I’m a Viking, they’re very important for regeneration. Lab rats that aren’t allowed to dream go crazy and die within a few weeks. It’s something about all work and no play making them dull rodents. And as far as I’m concerned any time when I’m not dreaming or awake is wasted time. If I can’t remember it, then I didn’t enjoy it.

Actually, I’m going to retract that last statement.

So as a polyphasic sleeper, you’re sleeping in little chunks and spending less time in deep sleep. This means more time dreaming about getting into Hogwarts (get over it, Gryffindor’s full, you’re gonna get Hufflepuffed). More dreaming can have a big boost on your creativity. Many prolific poets have advocated polyphasic sleep, including Lord Byron and P. Diddy. Perhaps polyphasic sleep was responsible for such probing and inquisitive lyrics as, “So you want to be a baller? Shot-caller? Who be dippin’ in the Benz wit da spoilers?”

Others have praised polyphasic sleep for allowing a more productive and energetic existence, but I see some other potential benefits. For starters you’ll never have to watch a Michael Bay movie in its entirety ever again. You’ll never have to feel guilty about sleeping through class. And even better, being a polyphasic sleeper is also a great excuse to get out of anything. It’s like the new vegetarianism! Any time you’d rather be napping, you can be!

Best of all, sleeping in short batches really minimizes awkward post-hookup sleepy time. It’s not your fault you have to get up and leave at 1:30 a.m.; you’re a fitter, healthier, and more productive human being! Why should you have to cuddle? You don’t need that!

If polyphasic sleep sounds like fun, then get into it! (A little note of caution: I hear it takes two hellish weeks of no sleep to get into this routine. Perfect for finals!) There are even Google groups dedicated to polyphasic sleep where they have periodic get-togethers. I imagine these meetings are basically like nap time, which was always my favorite part of high school.

But if it’s not your bag and you’re still living a hellish existence of too much work and too little sleep, well don’t worry: another suicide prevention day is always just around the corner.