Sponsor Me in the Sleep-a-thon

27 Sep

nap timeIf sleeping was an Olympic sport, then I would be on a Wheaties box.

I have always loved to sleep – and in my 20s, I developed quite a reputation for it. I was the person on girls’ trips who always got her own bed – and sometimes my own room – because I slept later than anyone else. Eleven in the morning was entirely too early for brunch, and I really wished I was Catholic so I could go to church at night.

The problem was that as good as I was at sleeping  until the late morning or early afternoon,  I had a hard time falling asleep at a normal time – like before midnight. I was best at sleeping from 2 a.m. until 10 a.m., but since I wasn’t working as bar tender, that schedule didn’t work out so well for me.

Fast forward to age 39. With two small children, I have been suffering from sleep deprivation for the past 52 months, 2 weeks and 2 days. Because exhaustion is a permanent state of being, I have become like a house cat. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances. If you wake me I will hiss, swat my tail and skulk off. My children have cured my proclivity to lie awake fretting about work deadlines, about what I said after three glasses of wine, or the likelihood that I will get cancer from my mobile phone. I hit the pillow, and I am out.

Because I love to sleep so much – and I am now get to sleep so little – I wish I could escalate sleeping to a hobby rather than simply a basic need. I am a woman who doesn’t have a hobby per se – and while generally I think hobbies are overrated and sometimes downright strange (extreme couponing, rock collecting and macramé come to mind) – I have always felt that I needed a hobby because most people have one. Turning sleep into a hobby – in my opinion – is not a stretch. After all, other basic needs like eating are quite fashionable hobbies. People discuss with great enthusiasm recent restaurants they’ve tried, they plan vacations around dining and Thanksgiving basically revolves around food. That’s not to mention the passion that some people put into cooking – taking cooking classes, investing in cookware that costs more than my freshman year’s tuition – and of course there’s the Food Channel, need I say more. 

I have also thought that sleep should be considered a sport. It’s a physical activity, it’s good for your health, and it makes you look and feel better – just like exercise. As with hobbies, I’ve never really had a sport that was my passion. I have dabbled in everything from ice skating to synchronized swimming, but nothing has really stuck. So I think creating an “a-thon” related to sleeping really makes sense for me. I always try to support friends who are competing in a triathlon for disease X or walk-a-thon for good cause Y … so why not a sleep-a-thon? Of course I would need a cause to raise awareness of and money for. Perhaps under-privileged sleep apnea suffers? Adolescent insomniacs? Those injured while sleep walking?

I would like to have a little spirit and “rah-rah” around my sleep-a-thon efforts. So here are my ideas for building team spirit:

Team Mascot: Sheep; Uniform: Midnight blue pajamas; Fight song: Braham’s lullaby.

I am still trying to come up with a team name, so I would love your suggestions on that.

I hope other people will join me in training for my sleep-a-thon (of course we will all be training individually in our own beds – this is a NONCONTACT sport). I recommend that we start with two events – a sprint and a long distance event. The goal of the sprint will be to fall asleep the fastest; and the gold medal for the long distance event will go to the person who sleeps the longest overnight.

Of course, doping will be absolutely prohibited – no alcohol within 24 hours of game time and no Tylenol PM, Ambien, Melatonin or other sleep aids six months prior of the sleep-a-thon. We need to keep the game clean – this isn’t track and field after all.

I plan to tell my husband that I am going to train for the long distance event every Friday night, and he shouldn’t disturb me until 11 a.m. on Saturday. My sprint training will be Sunday afternoon from 2 until 4 p.m.

If you are interested in participating in the sleep-a-thon or would like to sponsor me, please comment below. Now, since my children are asleep, I think I will squeeze in a quick work out myself. Sweet dreams.

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9 Responses to “Sponsor Me in the Sleep-a-thon”

  1. paige September 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    you are hysterical!

  2. Jennifer Venable September 28, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    I’m a terrible sprinter, but I could go the distance! Dave could give you a real run for the medals in both events!

  3. Anonymous September 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Oh, Kathleen … We have so much in common! Great, great piece this week. Love it. zzzzzzzz

    • 40countdown September 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting … I will sign you up for the sleep-a-thon team!

  4. Geetanjali September 30, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    I never understood how people could sleep into the afternoon until very recently. Now that I have an 8-5 job among other things, I realize that I never appreciated my sleep time enough until now. Sad!

    Enjoyed reading this 😉

  5. Holly Favell Gray October 6, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    This is absolutely priceless! I’m lauging out loud, and plan to forward to many friends and family who can relate.

    And remind me to ask you about synchronized swimming this weekend…

    • 40countdown October 6, 2011 at 1:57 am #

      I am so glad you enjoyed it! I hope I get to “train” for the long-distance event this weekend. I would love to tell you about my Ester Williams wannabe experience in the pool. (and thanks for doing your homework … you will get an A+ on the quiz … I am thinking Cindy will probably get a D, but I love her anyway!)

  6. julie October 7, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    Kathleen I’m so with you! My daughter asked me today what my favorite thing was and I instantly said “SLEEP!”

  7. tita buds October 9, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Should the PJs be in flannel? How about some terry-cloth eye masks in place of golf visors?
    Ahh, to dream… perchance to sleep. 🙂

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