‘They’ say we spend a third of our lives asleep. Which third? I’ve taken enormous pains here to clock the life cycle of human sleep.
Babies: At this stage, they stay awake the whole night, and fall blissfully asleep at 6 in the morning. Any attempts to wake them will be at your own peril, as new moms discover soon.
Kids: Kids never want to sleep. They treat your entreaty to sleep with major suspicion.
Me: Niks, time to sleep.
Niks: I doesn’t want to. Please I will be a good boy. Please I want to play. Please I doesn’t want to sleep.
Teens: Study/ play computer games/ chat mindlessly online or on phone through half the night, then sleep till afternoon, and demand breakfast at dinner time.
Adults: (I am presupposing here that you consider me one). Adults are all sleep-deprived. New parents walk around like robots, pouring coffee at regular intervals into their mouth, and walking into walls. When their children grow into teens, adults will stay awake all night waiting to hear their kid’s bike engine throb into the driveway after a late night party, after which they will scramble hurriedly into bed, and stay awake wondering whether the kid’s come in alone or not.
This is pure honesty, is my sleep pattern:
11 p.m. Finally Niks crashes out, and I put my weary head onto the pillow.
11.05 p.m. Remember that I left the food out and it will be cockroach-fest, so run downstairs to put it into the fridge.
11.20. Head hits pillow when Marco begins to bark his head off at phantom imaginary cat.
11. 35. Pillow over head, close eyes. Someone begins to sing. Oh, only the TV. Someone has left it on. Walk down to switch it off. It is not my TV. It is the house opposite. Also note strange things happening through the curtains of their window. Takes up 5 minutes more of amused watching. More entertaining than the TV.
11.55. Yippeee! Made it to sleep before midnight.
Midnight: Cell phone shrills. Someone wishes Anjal a Happy Birthday. Assure them I am not Anjal, and it is not my Birthday, and tell them to sue Facebook.
1 a.m. Have spent last 20 minutes staring at Niks asleep and wondering how, at age 3, he can snore so loudly. It is inherited for sure.
1.45 a.m. Finally. Good Night.
2 a.m. Alarm begins to screech. S has a football match to watch in the middle of the night.
Give up and spend till 5 am. Reading in the lamplight.
At 5 am, fall asleep. Do you see what’s happening here? The sleep cycle is a CYCLE indeed. I have regressed, in adulthood to baby sleep patterns.