Our theme for the month of June is “Top Ten.”
It’s a well-known, frequently observed phenomenon that Taylor sleeps more than I do, usually by at least an hour on both the falling-asleep side and the waking-up side. This raises two main questions: how to also get to sleep, and what to do while waiting for her to wake up. Below, I’ve outlined (in no particular order) ten thoroughly tested methodologies to address these questions. Note that I have not personally tested all of these methods; some have been crowdsourced through observation of other subjects.
Read a Book
This is the most obvious solution, and one that many would come up with on their own. Reading has well-documented benefits to the subject’s stress level and ability to sleep, not to mention its potential for education and edification of the subject as well. Two limitations of this method are a) the fact that reading can occasionally overstimulate the subject, in some cases almost entirely preventing sleep, and b) subjects may need to wake up to turn the light off at 12:38.
Scroll through Twitter
This is the most frequently employed strategy, but with obvious limitations. Because of the light emitted by the screen, this method is better suited for passing time in the morning than for trying to fall asleep at night. However, because of Twitter’s nature as a “hellscape,” it’s generally inadvisable as a way to start the day.
This is another obvious solution, though trials have proven it to be unreliable. In about half of cases, the method encourages—rather than limits—brain activity, which has occasionally been shown to keep subjects awake the entire night. Subjects have also reported this method as being a “boring” way of passing time in the mornings.
Watch Dark Souls Streams on YouTube
Perhaps unexpectedly, this method has seen a great deal of success in the past, owing mostly to the fact that Dark Souls, being relatively unfun to play, is also mostly unfun to watch. Contrary to what nerds have reported, the game provides more or less the same experience every time it is played. However, the library of recorded streams includes a variety of mods and challenge runs, which occasionally prove enjoyable and allow the subject to tailor their experience to the desired level of stimulation. The main disadvantage to this method is the audio: Either a) the subject must wake up to remove the wireless earbud(s) purchased primarily for this purpose, or b) the subject can view the stream without headphones, which, though Taylor promises it does not bother her, even on the lowest possible volume setting will cause other subjects to growl.
Read Wikipedia Articles
This strategy combines elements from a few others in an attempt to optimize both sleepability and enjoyment while trying to sleep. Though it does, in some cases, quell brain activity by presenting answers to questions that subjects might otherwise lose sleep over, this method also carries a risk of overstimulation, as well as the small but potentially catastrophic risk presented by the Random Article feature, which could introduce spiders or other disgusting and/or horrible things into the equation.
Step on Taylor and Sit on her Head
This method takes an unusual approach compared to others, in that, rather than attempting to acclimate to sleeping conditions, it attempts to conquer the problem of sleeplessness by asserting that bedtime is over and that it’s time to go for a walk.
Practice a Language
This method seems at first like a promising optimization of available time while Taylor is sleeping, given two generally accepted psychological truths: a) study of material right before sleep is an effective way of memorizing the material as the brain will automatically categorize and archive the information, and b) regular repetition of short study sessions (an hour or less) is an important part of acquiring a target language. However, this method’s optimization is its downfall, as it prioritizes productivity over sleep. Furthermore, both before and after sleeping, subjects frequently report being “too tired. I’ll do it later.”
Listen to Music
This is another common and frequently employed strategy, as it helps regulate brain activity without overstimulating the subject. However, in addition to the earbud-removal limitation shared by the Dark Souls method, this method presents the danger of the subject listening to music they are too familiar with and thus being hyper-aware of not only how much time is passing but also of their insignificance in the universe, when almost exactly an hour of The Age of Adz has already elapsed and “Impossible Soul” is just beginning, for instance.
Lick Your Own Penis
I cannot personally attest to the effectiveness of this method, either in inducing sleep or in passing time in the early morning, but this method is worth noting if only due to its popularity among some subjects.
Write a tpc Piece
This final method has proven both unpopular, likely due to the fact that is often forgotten or neglected as an option until it becomes a necessity, and ineffective at inducing sleep as it exposes subjects to both artificial light and stress, not to mention the brain activity that it requires. One area in which this method succeeds, however, is in passing subjects’ early-morning time extremely quickly.
Jeffrey (‘17) ultimately settled on studying film and media studies and French, though food is his greatest passion. He lives in Grand Rapids and is trying to teach himself computer science so he can, among other things, cyberbully Elon Musk.