Stop Looking Forward to Bed

By: Josh Petteruti

I remember a time in my life when each and every day was profoundly more exciting than the last. I dreaded bedtime and had to be restrained just to stay under the covers. My parents would chase me around the house for over an hour to see that my lights were shut off. It was awful. My raging adolescent energy fought my own urge to go to sleep (since it was the quickest way to the day), and I spent my nights bouncing off the walls to tire myself out. As a toddler, I figured that if I could fatigue myself enough, my body would be forced to fall asleep. Essentially, I would faint.

And just like that, it’d be day again.

The sun would come up, largely overdue. I could stay waiting for hours on end, reading Mary Pope Osborne and sifting my way through mountains of Legos. And when I thought there was just enough light in the sky, I would barrel through my parents’ door and use their bed as a bouncy castle, until they got bounced off. Luckily for them, this stopped, and like everyone else in high school, I began to put myself to sleep. The magic faded overnight, and one morning, my mom woke me up. She told me to get ready for school, and I moaned. Ever since that day, which I have tried hard to forget, I have moaned. I have rolled and dug and pulled and fought for the freedom to go back to sleep, because something about the day just doesn’t seem appetizing enough to stir me. It’s almost intimidating. So I wondered,

When did we become afraid of the light?

Why are mornings the refuge of our worst moods and most horrendous appearances? What is it about life that makes it less likable the more we live it? I fear too many people wake up, smell the coffee, and dive right into the rat race. For too long. I fear that we look forward to going to bed, to resting, as if it deserves to be a high point in our lives. As if a period of unconscious breathing is worthy of even the slightest praise. Sometimes I look forward to my bed. And like any other human, I thought of an explanation to justify my own actions. I said, “I look forward to bed because I am tired from a long day of doing great things!

Yet I just can’t see how anything “great” could fall second to sleeping on a list of my pleasures in life. I can’t see how being forced to wake up equates to a happy day, a happy lifestyle. I can’t see why we don’t hate sleeping anymore. As I write this, I stare at my bed. I long to pass out onto it, and sure, that could be because it’s 2:00 A.M. right now, but it also could be because I can sleep in tomorrow. It’s summer after all, so why not spend it doing what we all seem to love most! Unconscious breathing!

Frankly, I don’t know where the magic went. Probably to the land of lost childhood luxuries, right next to metabolizing and innocence. But this one seems more plausible than the others to bring back to life. We should all be able to hate going to bed, and look forward to the morning. And no, the solution is not 5-hour energies and alarm clocks. It’s finding something that can tap into the buried potential we all have to be 5 years old. The solution to waking up happy is to go to a place that makes you happy. Happier than you are when you are carefree and snoring. Your life should be brightest in the light, not the dark.