Here at Princeton, we all love to play something I call the Sleep Deprivation Game. You know what I’m talking about. The one where you nonchalantly throw statistics about just how tired you are and just how little you slept last night into conversation. The one where you one-up your friends by saying that you pulled more all-nighters than them last week. The one that leads to exchanges like:
A: Hey what’s up?
B: I’m so tired dude. I slept 3.5 hours last night.
A: Ohhh my God that’s crazy … I totally know how it feels though because I’ve gone like three days on 2 hours of sleep each.
B: Oh yeah that’s intense. But last week I pulled two all-nighters in a row, AND I had 9 a.m. lab the next morning.
A: Aw I’m so sorry, but you know during discussions I just didn’t sleep at all, for like four days straight!
(At this point, B stops talking. A is gloating and thinking, “YES I WIN I’m so exhausted and hardcore haaaa.”)
It is twisted and masochistic. But you know you play this game all the time. With that in mind, consider this statement:
“So I get up at 3 a.m. to work. Usually I keep going until around 7 in the morning … then I take a quick nap and get back to business at 9. As for sleep, I get a few hours here and there. It’s enough to keep me going.”
Sound familiar? Surprisingly, this quote doesn’t come from a Dean’s Date victim. It comes from a little-noticed minority group, whose constituents are even more sleep-deprived than you: the local public works crews.