Morning TV in Chattanooga & Sleep


I just finished morning TV in Chattanooga. My alarm went off at 4:40, and arrival time was 5:10. I’m not sure why I agreed to it. It’s painful to wake up that early, let alone be funny. It’s also hard to go back to sleep after, so now I’ll probably end up taking one of those black-out exhaustion naps right before dinner time, and then feel groggy for the show. Meanwhile, I can’t imagine the 5:30 am morning TV audience is going to still be awake at 9 pm, when our show starts, so it’s kind of like promoting to the exact wrong crowd. That being said, there were 4 more pre-sales afterward… I hope those four people take a nap at some point.

There is something interesting about peaking behind the curtain of morning TV. I’ve done it several times now, and it’s shockingly unglamorous. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a rockstar image of morning TV anchors with groupies and drug problems, but I did imagine a certain hustle and bustle of camera crews, and personal assistants. Not the case. There are the two TV hosts, and then one camera guy. It’s extremely quiet, and still, and the rest of the building is empty. You walk up to the door and ring a buzzer, and someone unlocks the door, greets you with a grunt, and motions toward a sad pot of coffee – the cheapest coffee possible (Shouldn’t they at least be drinking decent coffee?!) . There’s no waiting room. You sit down on a folding chair, in the actual room where the show is happening, and watch them do news and weather.

Today’s morning show was Brian and Rachel. Brian does the weather, waving his hand at a blank wall, and after an elaborate weather break-down, Rachel goes to the break, “the news next.” She then looks over at us (myself and TJ), and strikes up a friendly banter. After a few minutes of this, and with no indication that the conversation was over, she gets very serious, “We’re back with some sad news. A police officer was shot last night… ”

Wow! That’s a transition. Right out of chit-chat, into a long murder segment. It seemed like they have no attachment to what they’re saying. They’re focused on hitting the lines, and times, and being on point with the graphics. Rachel said her day starts at midnight. That sounds terrible. I don’t care how much I wanted to do morning TV, if you told me I’d have to wake up every day at midnight, I’d find something else.

As much as I’m not a morning person, I do enjoy being up before the sun. There’s something energizing about having a head start on the day. I fear I’ve turned into one of those annoying sleep people – the ones who whine if they don’t get eight hours of rest. I’m jealous of the folks who go, “Yeah, if I get five I’m good to go.”

Really, just five hours? That means, I have three fewer hours per day, 21 hours a week, 1100 hours a year, to LIVE! How can I keep up with the world, when I have to sleep eight hours a night!?? That’s it! That’s what’s held me back all this time, too much quality sleep.

In college I did a paper on sleep in Psychology 101. Of all animals, Giraffe’s need the least sleep, just FYI. I also learned, that a more restful way to sleep at night, is to wake up throughout, in a cycle of naps. I experimented with that for a few nights, waking up at the three-hour sleep cycles, but it didn’t stick. It wasn’t that bad rest-wise, but I never really knew what to do when I was awake in the middle of the night. You just stare at the wall, and wonder how soon you should go back to sleep, for the nap theory to work. Also, alarms and 3 AM don’t mix.

The real problem is all the sleep propaganda, that wants to take my money:
“ARE YOU TIRED WHEN YOU WAKE UP?”
“Yes!”
“Then you might have a SLEEPING DISORDER!”
“Oh no!”
“Come on down to Bill’s Sleep Lab, where we’ll hook wires to your brain, and see what the problem is!”
“Okay, is it expensive?”
“Excessively so! But think about the COST of years with a sleeping disorder, THAT’S RUINING YOUR LIFE!!!”

It’s hard to ignore these ads. I have no idea what I’m doing when I sleep. For all I know I’m grinding my teeth and holding my breath – just fainting every 60 seconds, in and out of consciousness. But I don’t want to drink the Koolaid and go to some sleep lab, just so they can tell me I should take Melotonin or Tryptophan before bed. So I haven’t gone, but I’ve compromised by taking Tryptophan on my own accord. Seems to be working.

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3 Responses to “Morning TV in Chattanooga & Sleep”

  1. “peaking” behind the curtain? shouldn’t mr. national spelling champ of the world be “peeking” behind the curtain instead? :)

  2. I hope you didn’t peak so early in the morning since you had to perform later that night!

  3. Haha. I peaked early on spelling.

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