Sleep is something that people seem to get increasingly worse at as they get older. Being in my 30s, I now frequently injure myself while sleeping, so that’s a fun surprise that no one warns you about when you’re in your 20s and think you’re going to live forever. But it’s completely unnecessary to announce to everyone you encounter during your day that you’re tired. Even if you are sure that you’re the most sleep deprived person since Al Pacino in Insomnia, someone will always be there to one up you.
“Oh, you only got four hours of sleep? I only slept for twenty minutes!”
“I wish I got twenty minutes–I haven’t slept since March!”
“You got sleep this year? I haven’t slept since 2007!”
This is just the base level of sleepless competition. Once you introduce parents into the mix, it’s all over.
“Oh, you’re tired? TRY HAVING KIDS!”
As a parent, I more than understand that kids can interrupt your sleep. There have been nights where my kid is awake at 3AM, singing the entire soundtrack of Moana, and I’m begging him to please go to sleep, you can have my car, I’ll literally give you my car, I just need you to close your eyes for a little bit, please, bud. Please. But just because I chose to have a kid doesn’t mean that I now have a monopoly on being tired. People don’t get enough sleep for lots of reasons, and my own exhaustion isn’t more “valid” just because I decided to have a tiny human in my home.
Recently, I decided to try and learn how to sleep better. Clearly, I don’t have the innate skills required to do this so, much like when I needed to learn how to fold a fitted sheet, I turned to the internet. I quickly came across Arianna Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.
I nearly threw my computer against a wall.
To preface this indignant rant, I have not read this book. Maybe it’s super helpful and I’m just being a judgmental dick. But I’m so tired of rich, white people explaining how simple things can be. It’s the same reason why I can’t deal with Gwyneth Paltrow or Orlando Bloom’s hilariously out of touch “day in the life” article. When you have that level of wealth, you cease to become relatable in any real way to the average person because you have resources at your disposal that most of us don’t have. And that’s not even a bad thing…until you try to pass on “advice” to those with fewer resources and can’t seem to comprehend that not everyone has a full household staff including a chef, personal trainer, and round the clock nannies. Yeah, I’d love to get a full night’s sleep, but Arianna Huffington on The Tonight Show reminding everyone how important a full night’s sleep is to your overall well being isn’t helpful. It’s not that we don’t know we need sleep–we just don’t all have the means to get that rest.
I think this is where the competitive tiredness kicks in. We’re all cranky from not getting enough rest so we need the tiny rush of dopamine in knowing that we “win” the exhaustion olympics. But honestly, everyone is tired of hearing you say you’re tired, so let’s all just agree that we’re miserable so we can stop having this looping conversation every day.