The Cavalier Daily
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Grieving my Loss… of Sleep

Sleep is for the weak, and I am weak

Each morning, I begrudgingly awake to my stupid alarm. Since classes have started again, my sleep is so rudely and aggressively interrupted by a blaring ringtone from my phone. As you will come to learn in this column, I love my sleep, and I despise anyone or anything that disturbs it. When I battle with my alarm clock each day, I inevitably concede and get up. But, in the process of mustering the strength to get up and face the day, I enter a drawn-out grieving period full of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — and I mourn the sleep I just lost.

We all know the first stage — denial. When the first alarm sounds, I deny my reality and close my eyes again. When the second alarm inevitably goes off, I’m stuck in my denial, thinking “I can’t believe I’m awake right now — I want to go back to bed.” My strategy here is “if you don’t think about the fact that it’s early and you have classes, then it’s not really even happening.” I deny and ignore the responsibilities I have to face during the day, and I stay under my comforter. 

At the sound of my third and final alarm, I reach for my phone and check my notifications — I inevitably end up on TikTok. As I scroll and the minutes pass since my alarms went off, my anger settles. I fight the urge to fall back asleep. This post-sleep anger was definitely a problem when I was younger. My mom always tells me stories of her and my dad waking me up from my beloved car-ride naps in my car seat — good times. Whenever I was woken up, little me would instantly cry. It was not a sad cry, but rather an angry one — I was furious to be disturbed from my peaceful slumber. Thankfully, as I have grown up, however, I am much more capable of reigning in this fury and being more pleasant when I wake up — most of the time. 

True story, the other day, when my first alarm went off, I lifted my arm to snooze it and instinctively did so with such anger and momentum that I broke a leg off of my dresser by slamming my alarm so hard. The thud of my dresser hitting the floor woke me up faster than any clock ever has. So yeah, I would say most of the time I can get through the anger phase quickly each morning. 

After the anger phase, I begin to explore potential solutions — shifting from pure rage to the bargaining mindset. However, trying to convince yourself to skip classes and stay in your warm bed is a lot like arguing with a Trin bouncer when they’re in a “mood” — you both know what the end result will be, so you might as well just move right along. Nevertheless, I bargain and think if I get off of TikTok, skip breakfast and go to class naked, I can save enough time and gain 10 more minutes of precious sleep. Logical, right?

Eventually, I triumph over my inner voice that is putting up a strong fight, and I do it — I get out of bed! But as I brush my teeth and progress through my morning routine, the depression settles in. I feel sad that I have to put on my big girl pants for the day and be productive — life is hard!

By the time breakfast and, more importantly, coffee enter my system, I am past the depression phase. I have come to terms with starting the new day ahead of me, and I accept that I actually need to attend the classes I pay for. I feel ready to go — that is, to go do whatever it is we do all day in college. As my friend Abbie put it, we really just walk around and drink coffee all day, hopping from one place to the next. In accepting and embracing the fact that I’m up and at ‘em, I check for my phone, wallet, keys and I am out the door.

Evidently, I am a difficult person to wake — just ask my current and past roommates, my old camp counselors, my parents or my dresser.