My 20s and 30s were unduly consumed with the pursuit of sex. I spent an inordinate amount of time and energy thinking and fantasizing about it. My girlfriends and I could not hangout for more than five minutes before the topic would arise. “Is he cute?” “Did you sleep with him?” “Was it great?”
My personal grooming was set on full throttle: perfect hair and makeup; non-tattered matching panties and bras; tight blue jeans; white teeth; the list was long. I had the full ‘build a woman’ at the ready just in case there was an opportunity. Sex played a starring role in my daily life.
Flash forward a couple of decades and I’m there again. Fully committed to and passionate about the pursuit. But the elusive, ‘I can hardly stand myself if I can’t possess it‘, has a different name – SLEEP.
Now a days, from the minute I open my weary, blurry eyes, I am scheming ways to get more and better…. sleep. I have no shame in my relentless hunt. I’ll use ‘drugs’ to get myself in the mood; melatonin and lavender essential oils sit on my nightstand. I am not ashamed of my toys either; sleep mask, ear plugs, my white noise app on my iPhone.
Sex swings be damned, I am more interested in Tempur-Pedic® pillows, gel memory foam mattress toppers, and thread count. I get it anytime or anywhere I can and then hide the evidence by re-making the bed before the family comes home. I love to do it by myself; I know exactly what i like and what position is most likely going to bring me relief. If I don’t get it; I am resentful, cranky, and mean. I need it all the time. And, just because it was good and long last night doesn’t mean I don’t crave it again tonight. Thinking of my new guilty pleasure makes me blush.
I am not alone. My girlfriends and I almost always lead off with sleep-talk when we get together. ‘Did you sleep last night?’ Length and quality are essential details. ‘How many hours?’ ”Did you sleep through? ‘What about the dog?’ We also have no issues sharing any and all secret personal tricks. ‘What? Drinking magnesium helps make you drowsy? Send me the link.‘ Anything that will help a sister get more and better is fair game. We are each other’s sleep wingmen.
Googling the search term ‘sleep trouble’ yields 42,200,000 hits and while it is slightly behind in comparison to ‘sex trouble’ at 53,600,000, I contend that sleep is actually way more important. To my knowledge no one dies from celibacy. And, while no human, that we know of, has died from sleep deprivation, animal research strongly suggests it is possible. In the 1980s, a University of Chicago researcher named Allan Rechtschaffen conducted a series of groundbreaking experiments on rats. After 32 days of total sleep deprivation, all the rats were dead. There is some controversy around whether or not it was related to body temperature drops that led to hypothermia or depressed immune systems that allowed bacteria from their intestines to spread. And to that, I say ‘Who cares?” – those were direct by-products of sleep deprivation.
I am not suggesting that I am over sex. A healthy sex life wards off irritability, stress, and boosts our immune systems. Sleep deprivation does make for a better, sexier, dreamscape; and that, my friend, is incentive enough for me to sneak in a nap later today. Maybe I’ll do it on the couch to mix it up.