An Indulgence I Could Do Without

Every day we spend a large portion of our time unconscious in bed. With a little practice I’ve managed to get down to a little over five hours a day during the week and about seven on weekends. However, even with 130 hours of active time per week, I feel I’m being lazy. There’s a great deal that can be done in the 38-odd hours that I’m asleep. Friends and family have suggested time and again that this “isn’t normal”, that people generally want — and should get — seven or eight hours of rest per day but, when the bulk of my time is spent in my head, why does the body need so much rest?

Sleep is quite enjoyable at times, of course. I rarely have issues falling asleep anymore, as the polyphasic sleep patterns have all but eliminated the insomnia that I have regularly struggled with. Waking up, however, is a terrible chore. The mind is foggy. Muscles are stiff. People are shouting. What an awful way to re-enter the world. If it were possible to go without sleep for days at a time and still be useful, then I’d give up the nightly block of rest in order to have a little more personal time and maybe relax a bit. So much of my waking day is spent doing things for others. Every so often I can do things for me, but not often enough. Being awake all night would also make it possible to escape the house for a proper walk through the neighbourhood while avoiding anyone that might be carrying a virus.

But this is almost impossible. While I can generally remain awake for 36~40 hours in a row and remain productive, the mental cost of doing so is excessive; I’m pretty much useless the following day, stuck in a perpetual mental fog.

Perhaps a better-tweaked sleep schedule would solve the problem of wanting more time while giving the mind enough unconscious time to stave off the insanity that arises with a lack of sleep.