Why do we count sheep to fall asleep?
The alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. sharp.
The loud, screeching sound pierces my ears as I struggle to stay asleep. But I’m not built for this kind of endurance. After tossing and turning for a few minutes, I give up and sit up with my legs dangling off the side of my lofted bed.
I pace back and forth across the floor of my room, feeling the cheap, grainy dormitory carpet abrade my soles. Three hours of sleep really make one aware of their surroundings, or at least create such an illusion.
Look, don’t be one of the sheeple: Why sleep when one can read up on one’s abstract algebra textbook? I’m kid-ding. I love sleep when I can get it, though sometimes I truly cannot fall asleep regardless of how physically or mentally drained I am.
I feel fine. I feel alert. My entire being feels like it’s drifting in an ethereal bubble; the world is my ball pit. My vision is distorted, but I can still walk. That’s all that matters for the sake of this column anyhow. Despite being in quarantine, I can still walk in circles around the arches in the so-called Random Hall four-room.
Yet, one can probably throw a kin-ball at me from 10 feet away and I’ll hardly notice. It can hit me and I’ll hardly flinch. In fact, in times like these, I wish someone would hit me with a kin-ball just to wake me up somehow, seeing as I’m not going to sleep again anytime soon.
Speaking of sheep and baby goat kids, they both require, somewhat ironically, very little sleep to function. I’m starting to suspect that maybe I’m the sheeple here, not those of you who do get the recommended hours of rest per night. Fine. I accept.
Despite my sleep deprivation, I’m still more alert than an MIT Alert can ever hope to be.
Specifically, in regard to MIT Alert texts, I just absolutely love knowing that after spending a week in quarantine essentially without seeing the light of day, I’ll get to spend another 34 hours in isolation because people didn’t get their COVID-19 tests!!
I’m just kidding. As much of an introvert as I am, I still need to socialize sometimes over things other than problem sets or club activities. Having originally expected that I would be able to interact with my friends again after 7 a.m. Feb. 22, 5 p.m. Feb. 23 can’t come soon enough.
I continue to pace, half of my brain trying to figure out what the heck representation theory actually means (existentially) while the other half’s gone on vacation thinking about sheep and grass and, for some reason, the delicious taste of catnip. The alarm is still ringing outside. I’m certain that everyone on this side of the building is awake by now.
A kin-ball flew across the room, and drained me of my glum and gloom!
My best friend says I often talk in my sleep. He claims that I speak in couplets whenever I doze off. Assuming the claim’s validity, which I trust, maybe that explains why I can’t sleep deeply. After all, how can I rest when there’s so much left in my head to think about?
Do these bedtime thoughts make any sense? No. Have I at any point accidentally muttered a chant that summoned some entity? Probably. At this point, I’m just trying to rationalize my sleep-talking and (more rarely) somnambulism.
In light of all these questions, I suppose I have yet to ask the most important one: What’s up with sheep, and why do people keep telling me to count them? See, that’s the most confusing thing ever.
It’s always the pollster’s dilemma: Did I remember to count myself? Do I even count myself in the first place? So many questions, so little time. How is this supposed to help anyone fall asleep? I feel like this would quickly spiral into an existential crisis of such magnitude that my brain would simply collapse in on itself.
My pod-mate calls me and tells me that dorm security told her that the alarm must’ve been triggered by the wind and that there is simply no way to turn it off. I baa internally, vexed by a lack of closure and resolution.
At some point, my pacing must stop. But if my pacing stops, so will this article. In fact, this column simply cannot continue to exist without my walking. Wow. I can hardly believe that I’ve been walking for a whole year now… in theory, at least.
I panic. I have class in an hour. I have to stop thinking about sheep, for sheep do not ponder the existence of sheep. To truly tune into my inner artiodactyl, I must cease to concern myself with such primate thoughts.
Hence, I will see all of you again in two weeks. I hope that by then, I will be able to adjust to my new room and get some sleep again. I also hope that Q-Week ends by 5 p.m. on Tuesday. I suppose, dear reader, that by the time this article gets to you, you will already know of that outcome. But alas, for this I currently know not. For now, I’ll count my meadows and carry on.