The Picky Sleeper

Sleeping and eating are two daily functions that people need to survive. Sure, our bodies can handle a night without sleep during finals week and a day of fasting during a religious holiday but our bodies eventually need to refuel. Everyone has to eat like everyone has to sleep but the way we fulfill these basic human behaviors is different for everyone.

Sleeping is one of my favorite activities but there are four conditions that keep me from tirelessly counting sheep to fall asleep:

Sight: The room should be pitch black. No light in the room. Period.

Sound: Unless I am extremely tired, I’m easily distracted by the faintest noises such as snoring (bear-growl snoring or puppy-dog snoring alike). To help, I prefer to fall asleep to the soothing noise of a fan that simultaneously cools the room and cancels any sounds in the background.

Temperature: There is nothing worse than sleeping in a hot room. The window should always be cracked no matter what winter advisories are happening outside. The room must be cold.

Touch: While body heat isn’t always unwelcome, it is particularly uncomfortable to wake up with one sweaty side of my body. I am strictly business when it comes to sleeping – cuddling is for naptime.

Sleeping in a chair never looked so comfortable
Expert chair-sleeper

As a picky eater, my eating habits are as specific as my sleeping preferences. To start, eating in the dark is a dreaded activity. I need to look at every bite so I can declare it picky eater approved before it enters my mouth. Next, foods such as gourmet salads, curries and paellas are out of the questions because they are too “loud”. There is too much going on for my simple taste buds to appreciate. My food also has to be the right temperature. Pizza, ham and soups are only supposed to be eaten warm and will not be consumed if they are cold for any reason (and vice versa – lettuce and ice cream should never be eaten warm). Lastly, everything on my plate has to be separated. I don’t like when different foods touch. Needless to say, the importance of sight, sound, temperature and touch are invaluable to my survival as a picky eater in this non-picky world.

My eating habits and sleeping habits have never been comparable to those who can sleep anywhere and eat anything. What I mean is that some people are seriously gifted at sleeping and eating. When I was little, I could sleep anywhere at anytime. I was known for falling asleep in my spaghetti in preschool. I slept on the floor of my dad’s four-door pickup truck on our family vacation to Louisville. I slept in the middle of the big game, during a concert or at graduation ceremonies. No matter the time of day or the amount of noise around my resting ground I could find a way to fall asleep.

Similar to my youthful sleeping habits there are people who can eat anything. These garbage-disposal-like-eating-machines, like my boyfriend, eat whatever food is available. In fact, it seems like there isn’t food that Mitch doesn’t like. He eats spicy food and he eats bland food; he eats slimy oysters without flinching and he eats bologna sandwiches; he eats leftover soup without warming it up and he eats steaming hot pizza out of the oven. Whether it is five in the morning or midnight the time of day doesn’t matter to him because whenever food is around, it’s time to eat. The amount and variation of foods that he eats would make any picky eater squirm. Then again, picky eaters are uneasy around most foods that range from a to zzzzzzzzzzzzz……

-MW