by Alexandra

I pretty sure that online, there are about eighty million different articles preaching the importance of sleep.

During high school, my friends playfully called me “the granny” because I was always in bed by 10 pm. Then, when I woke up and responded to their text messages, I received responses such as “WHY ARE YOU UP AT SUCH AN UNGODLY HOUR?!” and “shekbejdjj&@@/&@@&@@@$””&#*%*%djkdo!!!! You woke me up! $%#*^!!!!!”

But when I don’t go to bed by ten and my schedule demands that I wake up at six o’clock in the morning, things start to fall apart.

Take today, for example: I woke up at 6:30, on a grand-spankin’-total of 6 hours of shut-eye. I hardly had enough time to choke back a cup of coffee, I didn’t even brush my hair, I pulled on my work clothes and stumbled into my car to go to work. I. was. tired.

Surprisingly, things went pretty well for a while. The shop was busy, I was running around to and fro, serving up coffee and sandwiches and muffins and the like, and then before I knew it, ten o’clock came and went, and that’s when things started to get ugly. The eyelids started dropping, the coordination stopped existing, I was bumping into counter corners and splashing HOT coffee on myself and my energy was just gone. Gone. None. 11 am.

By the time I took my lunch break, I was sweaty and sleepy and downright done, but I still had 3 hours left until the end of my shift. I was counting the minutes.

I finally got home at about 4, mindlessly swallowed a bowl of gluten free pasta and a handful of chocolate covered almonds and sluggishly trudged to my room where I proceeded to pass out on the floor. A two-hour nap followed.

Did I feel alive and awake and happy to be here today? Definitely not. I felt like a walking zombie.

I LOVE my job, I love chocolate covered almonds and I love coffee, but did I enjoy any of those things today? No. Because I was so doggone tired.

One short night of sleep doesn’t kill a person or throw them into the whack that I experienced today. However, being an exercise slave and forcing myself to get up at the crack of dawn to beat the heat day after day (this is why I hate summer) combined with many late nights, early-morning shifts, a recent chest infection and consequent round of evil antibiotics combined with the stress of figuring out how to feed myself, well…my body had had enough. And I crashed.

And alas, folks, I certainly recognize the importance of good old-fashioned sleep. And I’ll be damned if I don’t start respecting it, too.