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Without Sleep I Am Alarmed and Dangerous

By Stephanie Berger

Every morning, I wake up to a fiesta. No matter how many times I’ve reset my alarm clock, it somehow re-tunes itself to play a random, blaring Mexican music station each time it goes off. However, my a.m. amigos aren’t the biggest problem. I recently started a job as an editorial assistant at a magazine, and while I love having a reason to get up in the morning, I don’t love the getting up part.

The snooze button used to be my best friend, until I realized that ten-minute increments weren’t giving me the supplemental sleep I desired. Now, I’ve gotten so used to resetting my alarm for an extra 15 or 30 minutes. I can even do it with my eyes closed.

Once I manage to drag myself out of bed and pump the requisite quantity of caffeine into my veins (thank you, Starbucks quad espressos), I start to think of reasons to blame for my morning malaise. After all, I was able to wake up at the crack of dawn in high school without too much complaint. Making it in time for first period at 8 a.m. was so much easier than now rolling into the office at 10.

So have I become a sleepier adult? I think so, and I blame my college years. After a class that started at 7:40 a.m. as a freshman, I vowed never to start my day earlier than 9:15. My journalism professors must have felt the same way—the majority of my upper-level classes didn’t start until the late afternoon, making sleeping in on a regular basis an attractive option.

Oh Arizona State University… You treated me to the forbidden fruit of late morning slumber! Then, to top it off, I only had to attend classes in 50- or 75-minute intervals, with plenty of cushy breaks for snacks and naps in between. Now, I have to work all day long, with just one measly lunch break. Adulthood is so unfair.

Don’t get me wrong—I understand that if I got rid of some of my bad habits, I’d likely feel more rested. I stay up too late as a result of the espressos that keep me lucid during the day but turn me into an insomniac at night. Unfortunately, if I cut out the caffeine, I’d likely pass out at work, and getting fired after a week isn’t the most practical answer to my desire for more z’s.

Now if you excuse me, it’s 7:30 a.m.—and time for a nap before my shower.

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