Confession: I suffer from EHM.
Hello, Internet, it’s Monday, December 13th, and I am sleepy.
I am, in fact, so sleepy that I have been wanting to be in bed since 7:30pm. It is now 9pm, I am in bed (just not lying down or in my pajamas), and I am only just starting to write this blog post because I am too sleepy to think of anything to tell you.
I gym’d this morning, yet I am sleepy. I have had some tea in the past 3 hours, yet I am sleepy. I spent the day doing things I enjoy doing, like theatre work and playing the guitar and seeing my friends, yet I am sleepy.
It must be wintertime.
There is something very strange but undeniable that happens to me when the days get shorter. I go into Emergency Hibernation Mode. It makes me suspect that while most human beings are descendants of the ape family, I am, in fact, a descendant of the bear family. This may also explain why, as a baby, I stood up, took my first step, and then decided it was not for me and crawled on all fours until it became social unacceptable to continue. Also, I love berries. Like, a lot. And honey.
Ok, so, all bear-like qualities aside, the onset of EHM looks something like this:
1) I eat a lot. My appetite pretty much doubles, as though the cold air is a hint that I should be storing food away in my hips and thighs. In case of emergencies.
2) I start to nap. Even when I get more than enough sleep at night, I find myself drooping around 1 or 2, just after lunch, and the urge to nap becomes increasingly irresistible. If this urge is denied (because I have to do something human and not bearish, like work) my body makes up for the lack of sleep by issuing a searing, pounding headache that make me moody and whiny and lasts until supper. Because napping and suffering through a headache have the same effect on my well-being, apparently.
3) I lose the ability to do chores. Sometimes I mistake this for a prioritization issue, telling myself “I will do my laundry when I am less busy” or “those dishes will get done when I’ve finished this application” or “I will buy groceries the next time I am passing the store”, but I am wrong about that. What is actually happening is that the part of my brain normally concerned that the house is dirty or that I don’t have any vegetables to eat or am totally out of clean underwear is completely consumed with concern that I am not napping enough.
4) I get sleepy when the sun goes down. As normal as this seems at face value, let us consider for a moment that I am often not sleepy in the least when the sun goes down at 9:30pm in June. But 3:45pm rolls around in December, and I am ready for cinnamon toast (the ultimate bedtime snack) and a pillow.
5) I won’t get out of bed at reasonable-o’clock. At the zenith of this phenomenon, waking up at a reasonable time often involves being up before the sun (for example, today’s sunrise was at 7:40am). Getting up before the sun is my body’s absolute least favourite thing to do, and when I force it to do that thing, it likes to punish me until I let it sleep some more. Top punishments include runny noses, dry scratchy throats, bloodshot eyes, mild nagging headaches and unbearable stupidity. Really, I am unbearably stupid on days when I get up before the sun. I imagine this is frustrating to the people who have to deal with me on those days, but I contend that none of them are more frustrated than I.
The good news is that EHM only gets worse until the winter solstice (8 days from now), at which point it gets gradually better until spring.
Now, if someone would just do my laundry for the next 8 days…