By Nicole Schmidt
It’s 1:42 a.m. and I’m staring at my computer screen trying to remember the last time I went to sleep before midnight.
It certainly wasn’t last night, because I spent it stranded in Washington, D.C. after Air Canada booked me a seat on a non existent flight. The two hours of shut eye I got on the cement floor of the airport didn’t really cut it, but that was mostly because some cruel, heartless human decided to blare a Daniel Bedingfield album over the loudspeakers. The night before, after an unanticipated 4 a.m. detour and a two hour nap, I woke up in Baltimore. For anyone who’s counting, that’s a grand total of four hours sleep over the past 48 hours.
Can I go to bed yet? No? Okay, I’ll keep writing.
It’s nearing 2 a.m. and I’ve decided that an early bedtime might as well be synonymous with unicorns. Right now, it seems like an imaginary construct that only exists in folklore about the Sandman (and no, this doesn’t just apply to unexpected airline screw ups and week-end adventures).
Since I started university, I’ve become well acquainted with the early hours of the morning. It’s a habit that’s followed me into my post-grad life, when I started working two full-time jobs because I am a masochist.
The cycle is always the same, regardless of what I’m doing: at first, I feel like I can outrun sleep. I push my body until I become so mentally and physically exhausted that I start to lose touch with myself. I get quiet, anxious and emotional. Take yesterday: while I was stuck at the airport trying to figure out how to get back to Toronto, a friend texted me to tell me it was snowing in Canada and I started sobbing. Another night, on my way home from the office at 4 a.m., a man bumped into me on the streetcar and my eyes welled up with tears for no justifiable reason.
Eventually, I reach the point when coffee loses its effectiveness and end up collapsing into a hopeless pile on my bed. Then, almost always, I get sick.
For this week’s feature, our writer limited himself to three hours of sleep per night for nine days to see how it would affect his ability to function. By the end of the experiment, he was completely drained— a feeling that’s all too familiar for many students.
This may be hypocritical, considering my current state of mind, but since exams are right around the corner, I feel obligated to give you the basic self-care spiel: don’t be like me. Make time for yourself and try to get some sleep, because sometimes, things can wait until morning.
And with that, I’m going to bed.
Oh yeah, and fuck you, Air Canada.