Do most Americans get enough sleep? The answer, you’ve probably guessed, is no. I spoke with Princeton sleep neurologist Dr. Joffrey Tams, who explained how “sleep debt can build up over time and have a variety of effects on your body and mind.”
For example, someone who sleeps six hours a night for ten days straight performs daily tasks like someone who’s been awake for twenty-four hours straight. Someone who sleeps four hours a night for three days straight performs like they’ve got a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent.
Below are additional examples of the kind of sleep most Americans are getting and what it’s doing to their bodies.
Sleep five hours a night for five days straight
Feels like three shots of whiskey
Sleep two hours one night and twelve hours the next
Feels like you fell out of a burrito
Sleep seven hours every two nights for fifty nights
Feels like all your skin is yogurt
Sleep ten hours every night for one nights
Feels like you’ve been rolled up in a blanket like a baby and thrown off a boat
Sleep four hours every three days and six hours every two days
Feels like you’re the hot little clay mound in Ghost getting fucked on
Sleep three hours, then get up for two hours, then sleep for three more hours, for forty days
Feels like you’re the deputy sheriff in a fictional town called Brinckles and the chief’s lost his mind ever since his son was eaten by a hungry horse, so you’ve been left in charge and Feets Pallow, the meanest gangster in all of Brinckles, has made his way right into the heart of downtown Brinckles.
Sleep six hours a night, for six days a week, for four out of six weeks
You’re in a post-apocalyptic, burnt-out husk of the Earth and you’re riding a shark like a Razor scooter. The shark’s fin is like the handlebars on the scooter, and then his tail fins are where you would put your feet. He’s your only mode of transportation in this slimy water world, and his name is Sissy. Sissy’ll keep moving as long as you keep feedin’ him Bingo pods. What’re Bingo pods? Ha – yeah right, pal. If only we could go back to a time when that was a realistic question, before Bingo pods were everything, everywhere. Before the Chowder Boys required everyone to yank our small intestines out of our butts so we could melt them down and use them for fuel, so the only thing any of us could digest were Bingo pods. Woah – Sissy’s slowin’ down. Better stop at a human tar-hole to pick up a fresh bushel of Bingo pods.
Sleep eight hours for five nights in a row
Very good sleep!
Sleep one hour every other night
THE NORTH POLE. DAY. OR MAYBE IT’S NIGHT. IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL THE TWO APART. DAVID’S MUTILATED BODY LIES SLACK LIKE A PILE OF WET GARDEN HOSES ON THE ICE SHEET THAT’S FORMED IN THE OBSERVATION TENT. HIS FACE LOOKS LIKE AN OLD MAN’S – HEAVY, RUDDY, STUPID. THE RUSTY DOCK PIPE IN YOUR HAND IS COVERED IN BLOOD AND YOU TRY TO CATCH YOUR BREATH BUT THE AIR IS FREEZING AND THIN. YOU TRY TO CATCH YOUR BREATH BUT DAVID’S EYES ARE OPEN AND STARING RIGHT THROUGH YOU. YOU TRY TO CATCH YOUR BREATH BUT HIS BOOT IS KNOCKING AGAINST YOURS IN THE WIND AND YOU THINK ABOUT THAT TIME YOU BOTH REALIZED YOU HAD THE SAME BOOT SIZE AND YOU LAUGHED FOR AN HOUR, AND YOU LAUGH NOW, EXCEPT IT’S JUST YOU LAUGHING, BECAUSE DAVID CAN’T LAUGH ANYMORE. YOU KEEP LAUGHING UNTIL YOU THROW UP, AND THEN YOU GET ON YOUR KNEES AND LICK UP YOUR OWN SICK. THAT’S WHAT DAVID WOULD WANT YOU TO DO, AND HE’S WATCHING. LOOK AT HIM. GOOD, DAVID SAYS. GOOD LICKING. KEEP LICKING THAT SICK UP. THEN GO TO THE SUPPLY CLOSET AND BUNDLE TOGETHER A BUNCH OF PVC PIPE, PUT THE GUN POWDER FROM THE FLARE GUN IN THERE, MAKE A FUSE OUT OF PAPER FROM THE JOHN, DIP IT IN PAINT THINNER AND BLOW UP ALL THESE COMPUTERS. THAT’S WHAT DAVID’S SAYING. YOU NOD AND KEEP LICKING.
Sleep ten hours of turbo-charged REM sleep for thirty days
Feels like you’re the President of cocaine
Sleep for ten minutes every night and hyperventilate for the other seven hours and fifty minutes
Feels like you’re a Woody Allen