Olympics and Sleep: You Winsome and You Luge Some


I would have medaled, probably repeatedly, had sleeping been an Olympic event.

With the Sochi Olympics in full swing I’ve been wondering what sport I would have excelled at had I been so inclined when younger. Let’s be honest, Olympic games are all about youth, winsome smiles seen through hockey cages, childlike exuberance and apparent complete lack of fear while riding a luge literally at break-neck speeds. When it comes to the Olympics, you winsome and you luge some.

Then it all became clear. I would have medaled, probably repeatedly, had sleeping been an Olympic event.

When it comes to sleeping, I’m one of the lucky ones

I fully appreciate that I am one of the lucky ones when it comes to sleep. I certainly could sleep for Canada; from long, full nights in the arms of Morpheus to catnaps and siestas I can do them all. Waiting-rooms in doctors’ offices – that’s me snoring in the corner.  I’ve even been tempted at longer red traffic lights to pop the car into park and nod off until the guy behind me honks, but I’d  probably just reach out to hit the snooze button.

I certainly could sleep for Canada; from long, full nights in the arms of Morpheus to catnaps and siestas I can do them all. Waiting-rooms in doctors’ offices – that’s me snoring in the corner.

Like many a growing lad I racked up countless hours of sleep as a teenager, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Nope I’m talking about fully adult sleep. On an ideal day, let’s say a weekend, I like to get up before eight o’clock – I’ve become a morning person as I’ve aged – and I like to ease into the day. Some people can wake up and get up. Not me, I have to slowly work my way out of the slumber that has been enveloping me for the past several hours. No jumping out of bed for this agent lest the smell of smoke permeates the room. A few whacks of the snooze button usually does it. But once up, I’m great. No crankiness or morning grumpy mood – nor do I have much patience for those who display these traits.

Catnaps and siestas

National Sleep Foundation

National Sleep Foundation

Early afternoon, right after lunch, is nap time. Somewhere between one and three o’clock is my target. Any later than that and I’m not a happy camper upon waking.  This siesta can be 30 minutes or an hour and a half depending on available sleeping time; after all, I do have some sense of responsibility. But any and all sleep is worthwhile. I used to organize and coordinate political conventions for a living. The time spent at the actual meeting, usually a weekend, was very intense and extremely tiring. I can recall on many occasions when, much in need of sleep, I would set my travel alarm clock for six or seven minutes as that was all the time I had. Even that small respite added some juice to my depleted batteries

Close attention must be paid to possible doping

And of course the marathon; who can sleep the longest. Strict attention would have to be paid to possible doping: no hot rum toddies, no chamomile tea, and certainly no nighttime cold medications.

The way I see it the Olympics could feature short sleep events like dropping-off time in which contestants vie to be the first to achieve REM sleep.  Depth-of-sleep competitions would see participants sleeping through loud noises such as sirens, music and babies crying – wake-up and you’re out, last one asleep wins. And of course the marathon; who can sleep the longest. Strict attention would have to be paid to possible doping: no hot rum toddies, no chamomile tea, and certainly no nighttime cold medications.

I was going to try to get a movement together to lobby the IOC for these events to be included in future Games, but then I realized it was nap time,

This post is a bit old, but seems to fit the Daily Post

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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