For so long I have had the same routine. Classes in the early mornings, work in the afternoon, and homework in the evening. The few hours that are left, I use to exercise or to catch up on sleep.
Now, why is it that most Americans are sleep deprived? Why must I always catch up on sleep?
Before I moved to California, about six years ago, I spent most of my life growing up in Sydney, Australia. And, if you haven’t been to Australia, I can only say it is completely different from California. Almost everything in Sydney is in walking distance, and the funny thing is, there’s always time to walk. Australians find time to do everything. Last year when I was in Australia, I caught up on my journal writing. Who writes journals anymore? Apparently, I do.
But, only in Australia did I not feel the need to keep up to date with my favorite television series, and I did not feel the need to spend money on high fashion clothing. In Australia, I felt the need to get in touch with nature and explore my spiritual self.
Living in California, I am lucky if I find time to fill up my gas tank before the orange light turns on. After adapting to the “up and go” attitude Californians possess, I cannot adapt to the Australian way of life again. Well, at least not until I retire. Like Europe, they enjoy the finer things in life – food, the weather, and probably find more time for love.
Why are humans so obsessed with being awake and breathing in every minute of life that we fight sleep, exhaust our senses with studies, hobbies, socializing and educating ourselves with ever inspiring television shows of our generation that we forget to sleep?
When I wake up in Australia, the birds are chirping, the sun shines through the window and brightens the room. I can almost hear Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake playing in the background as I stretched myself out of bed.
Can you imagine waking up to classical music?
As a college student, a part-time career woman, a poet, a casual writer, and a girl in a wicked world, I now wake up to an alarm clock. And every morning the alarm clock gets a kick in the head. Every morning it seems that the alarm clock awakes me up a little earlier than the previous morning.
Why can’t I find eight hours to sleep? According to a recent study, college students are reporting sleeping one to two hours less than they did 20 years ago and that number is still decreasing. Why is this?
What about caffeine? Has caffeine become your best friend? Millions of people would say they turn to caffeine to stay awake. But, how much coffee is OK? Is it acceptable to turn to coffee, or, even worse, pills to keep us awake? Is it natural?
Let me ask you. Is it natural to sleep less than eight hours a day? Could lack of sleep be the cause of most of our problems? Possibly. According to different studies, college students need at least eight hours of sleep but most are getting less than six hours.
As an Irish proverb says, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures.”
So as of today, try to have a good laugh, and organize your time so that you have a long night of sleep. And maybe, when you wake up in the morning, you will hear classical music.
Mineli Grigourian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org