Andy Rooney: Sleeping In America

Are We Literally Sleeping Our Lives Away? Andy Rooney Seems To Think So

This commentary was first published on Oct. 11, 2009.

I keep reading about the problems people have falling asleep and staying asleep nights. An organization called the National Sleep Foundation did a study and it says the economy is making people sleepless. Wouldn't they just.

I feel for all those people who aren't sleeping, but not sleeping is not my problem. I can sleep night or day, sitting, standing or lying down. I often fall asleep right here at this desk. Last week I took a bus cross-town in New York City and went six blocks past my stop because I fell asleep.

Someone took a poll several years ago that reported on what time Americans go to bed every night and how many hours sleep they get. The poll showed that we sleep eight hours a night, which was no surprise to me. But, I think I can get along on seven hours though. I can take eight but anyone who gets nine hours sleep is sleeping his life away.

If you figure out how much sleep you're going to get overall in your life, it's really depressing. We all sleep away about a third of all the hours we have to live. Now, how in the world did we let that happen?

I suspect we all get more sleep than we need. What we need is some kind of gauge like a thermometer that would tell us when we need more sleep and when we've had enough. Never mind the alarm clocks.

When the battery on some gadgets needs charging, a red light comes on or a bell rings. We should all have something like it that would let us know when we've had enough sleep.

I'm lucky because I'm a very quick sleeper and I can sleep anywhere. Some of the best sleep I've ever had has been in movie theaters during bad shows or in front of the television set.

I try to go to bed early Saturday night so I don't fall asleep during the football game Sunday or while I'm on 60 Minutes. I hate when that happens.
Written by Andy Rooney