I don’t trust early risers. There’s something suspicious about a person who can get out of bed before 11 a.m. in one swift, sure movement. Each morning when my alarm goes off, I am filled with self-pity. Poor, miserable, sleep-deprived me. No one understands how I suffer. During the first half-hour of the day, I am convinced that cold bathroom tiles, sunlight, and roommates who don’t have class until 1:30 in the afternoon were created for the sole purpose of causing me pain. I look and feel like an impressionist painting in the morning. And not necessarily a painting of a person. Maybe a foot-stool.
I don’t know how my roommate puts up with my Snooze Button shenanigans either. I discovered long ago that hitting Snooze allows me another period of blissful sleep–in seven-minute increments. More than once I have lain in bed hitting Snooze every seven minutes for an hour or more. Sometimes I’ll get fancy and set my alarm for 9:03 so that if I hit snooze once, I’ll end up (theoretically) rising at ten past nine. This plan never works and I end up getting out of bed at awkward times such as 9:17 a.m. Who gets up at 9:17 a.m.? It wreaks havoc on your karma.
I scheduled an 8:30 a.m. class during my freshman year and prided myself on my brilliance, but my plan backfired. I thought I could outwit myself into starting my day at 8 a.m., but my body knew perfectly well that it didn’t have anywhere special to be when class ended at 9:50–except for bed. The temptation to go back to sleep was too great to resist. I would sit in class and all I could think about was going back to sleep when it was over. I was led on a downward spiral of binge-napping. Sometimes I would nap after an early class, and then that evening I would have the urge to nap again. I always told myself I could stop any time I wanted. Next time, I thought, I’ll go to the library in the morning after class and get some work done. But I knew that I was lying to myself. I lied to my friends about my sleeping habits, too. When they knocked on my door I would tell them I was drinking. By the end of that semester, I had sunk to new lows. I could get up at eight in the morning, eat something, go to class, come back and get back into bed without having once opened my eyes. Sometimes the only way I could tell I had been to class at all was because I found a pen clutched in my fist (or because I woke up wearing my shoes). I took tests and wrote in-class essays during R.E.M. sleep.
Fortunately those dark days are behind me. My earliest classes now start at 10 a.m. I’ve found there’s really no excuse for going back to sleep once they’ve ended at 11:20. Come on. Some people are already on their way to lunch by then. The maniacs.