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Good in Bed

Studies show that the average American gets about seven hours of sleep a night. The author would prefer, oh, 12 to 15 (though she’d settle for 10). How a sleep lover learned to cope in this “rise and shine” world.

By Julie Rottenberg
0304bed-flowersMikkel VangRealSimple.com
I have a problem. No, scratch that. It’s not a problem. I do not have a problem. I'm fine. It’s more of a passion, an obsession; some might even argue it’s a talent. For sleeping. Late. And I mean really, really, really late.
 
If left to my own devices―with all the phone ringers turned off, the doors and windows shut, and the doorbell intercom turned down―I can sleep until one, two, or three in the afternoon and often for stretches of 12 to 15 hours. I will do basically anything to be able to sleep late: lie, cheat, manipulate social plans and travel itineraries. I go through life the way I imagine a smoker in a nonsmoking world does: I’m constantly thinking about the next time I will be able to get my fix.
 
I am a superhuman sleeper.
 
As a child, I slept so late that when I went to slumber parties, all the other kids had already left by the time I woke up. I once slept so late at a sleepover party that when I awoke, not only had all the other kids been picked up by their parents but the guest of honor herself had gone roller-skating.
 
Even at my own sleepover parties, I woke up so much later than everyone else that my family was forced to pick up the slack. On one occasion, my older sister assembled my guests in her room and taught them geometry. At another party, my father kept the troops occupied by playing the banjo and singing folk tunes while I slept soundly in the other room. I remember my mother eventually coming in and saying, “Jul. People want to leave. I think you should get up.” 
 
As time went on, I started to wonder if I would ever find a friend who shared my insatiable need for sleep. Then, when I was nine, I met Elisa Zuritsky. We seemed to have everything in common, and on our first sleepover I discovered that she, too, loved staying up obscenely late and putting on talk shows and midnight musicals as much as I did. Still, I expected our newfound friendship to come crashing down the next morning, at which point my sleeping “problem” would surely be revealed.
 
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