Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sleeping Upside Down: A Few Thoughts

Last night I was trying out a new app, one that would track my sleeping habits. For it to work, however, I had to keep my phone next to my head on the mattress so that it could pick up the sleeping cycle; this is a problem since I'm a restless sleeper, and everything tosses and turns on the bed. In addition, the app recommended that the phone be charged. The nearest outlet to my bed is nowhere near the headboard and instead closer to the footboard. Thus I moved my pillow to the bed's other end, wedged my phone in a place where it wouldn't get lost.

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To try something new like an app terrified me. I worried about what would happen if it failed, what my disappointment would be. At the same time, I wanted to see if it could help with my issues of getting to bed and tracking my sleep health, especially with three terms to go. I want to be as energetic as possible each day.

I learned several things: one is that the part of a mattress that your tiny legs don't reach end up being quite stiff; second is that it takes a while to adjust to the new space, although it's not that far away from your headboard in terms of feet, and that it can mess up your waking up time; third is that apparently reversing the arrangement of your pillows is called "sleeping upside down," according to my beta reader, and some people place the pillow under their feet. By trying out a new device, I had exited my comfort zone in more ways than one.

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The literary character Pippi Longstocking sleeps "upside down," with her feet on the pillow and her head resting on her mattress in her Swedish villa. Pippi turns many other things upside down, including notions about what was right and proper for girls and kids her age, and knowing her absent father wasn't dead. As a kid I thought that she always bit off more than she could chew, but as an adult I can appreciate her courage and refusal to accept adults' perspectives on her life. Although some of the values she preaches wouldn't carry nowadays, such as claiming her father became king of an island in the South Pacific over the natives -- values that jar with the campaign to acknowledge conquerors like Christopher Columbus brought harm and genocide with them-- she was braver than I was, and still is.

Tonight I'm going to try again, this time moving my pillow back to its original spot and not plugging in my phone this time since I'm not going anywhere tomorrow. Comfort zones are one thing, but I like that space at the headboard, where the mattress knows me and I know it. I certainly have a new perspective on things, but I think that perspective will do for now. Sleep well, everyone!

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