Marsh

Let’s talk about sleep, baby.

Are you getting any? I know all my mom friends are slowly, defeatedly shaking their heads no. But lack of sleep does not seem to be confined to parents of young children. Everyone I know, save for the better-rested retired folks among us, is sleep deprived.

Is this just because I’m in a middle stage of life when everyone I know is stressed about their mortgages and retirement funds, parenting, climbing the corporate ladder, and taking their car in for an oil change? Is it because we’re Americans who work too much, don’t take vacations and generally treat our bodies like garbage? Is this something else I can blame on Trump?

I believe all of those things are true, but it doesn’t help to solve the problem. And sitting here, writing to you all on just a few hours of sleep, I can definitively say it’s a problem that needs solving.

There have been multiple days recently where I have rolled into work on (a liberally estimated) 2 or 3 hours of sleep. And my coworkers seem similarly haggard. I know that my insomnia is due in large part to graduate school and spring being the busiest time where I work, and my friends and coworkers all have their own reasons. But when I think about how the world is intended to function I wonder if anything at all is getting done if the majority of folks are walking around the world in a semi-conscious state like me. I worry about doctors and pilots not getting enough sleep, but I also want to make sure that my tax preparer and the kid making my sandwich at Snarf’s are well-rested.

Fortunately my coworkers and I seem to alternate days of being dazed. As soon as one of us has a good night’s sleep someone else shows up with bags under their eyes and tales of being up all night with a sick kid, or being so worried about a presentation that they woke up at 1 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. It’s helpful that whomever has the most melatonin in their system is able to pick up the slack for everyone else, but it’s not really sustainable. And I don’t feel like we’re really excelling at this whole life thing on any given day.

We are all intertwined and dependent on what others bring to the table, and right now I don’t think we can trust that anyone in the working world is functioning at a high level.

So what do we do. We live in Colorado, can we slip some indica into the water supply? How about a four-day work week? Maybe we can just all agree to CTFO. Maybe we can stop competing about who stayed latest at the office, or whose kid is in the most extracurriculars. We live in a society that values business and productivity over self-care, and I for one am not here for it. I’m too tired.

Read more Marsh: coloradodaily.com/columnists

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