Monday, July 13, 2015

Do You Sleep With Your Wristwatch?

I took an informal survey on the popular watch forum WatchUSeek to confirm my belief that most people are like me when it comes to sleeping with their wristwatches on: No way would I sleep with a watch on. Even a quiet, tickless watch.

Seagull and Kinmo.jpg
A cat enjoys a blissful sleep because it can’t read a watch. 
I once went to one of those all-inclusive resorts where they put a plastic wristband on you so you can eat and drink more than you want without having to take out your wallet. Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep even with this light, plastic band. I cut it off every night and had to wait in line to get a new one in the morning, along with all the other rebel band-cutters. I couldn’t sleep with a featherweight plastic band around my wrist; being anchored to a hefty Omega wasn’t going to work at all.

I was pretty sure everyone in the world felt the same way I did when it came to watches in bed. Instead, I was surprised by the responses on WatchUSeek: A lot of watch-lovers sleep with their watches on. People posted comments like this:

I wonder how it feels to sleep without a watch.

I once didn't wear a watch to bed. Chills, shakes, horrible and ghastly images flitting across my tight-closed eyes! Four minutes later I got up and put a watch on.

I've always slept with my watches on. The only issue is when I wear my nearly 300 g. OSD + Super Engineer Bracelet and let my arm hang over the side of the bed... my elbow feels a bit hyperextended in the morning. 

Maybe they are right, I thought. Maybe I could sleep with a watch. After all, I like watches! I almost always have a watch on. So I performed an experiment one night and tried to sleep while wearing a watch, something I hadn’t done since I received my first watch when I was about nine years old.

Five and a half hours after I went to bed, I woke up. My watch was still on my wrist. I looked at it, checked the time, and instantly realized that I don't want to know what time it is when I wake up in the middle of the night. I'd rather remain in the dark, so to speak, about how many hours of sleep I have left. The knowledge that I only had 45 minutes left in bed upset me, and, of course, left me unable to continue my dreamy journey.

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Sometimes we don’t want a timepiece that
actually tells us the real time. 
I think I could have gotten used to the sensation of something wrapped around my wrist (and probably would have had that scary snake nightmare only once), but being able to instantly and with certainty know the time whenever my eyes pop open in the middle of the night is, for me, a bad idea. Sleep is a cocoon formed by mixing one part darkness, one part quiet, and one part hoping that the world stays dark and quiet. Disturbing that fantasy, even for a moment, breaks sleep into a million pieces, like a shattered mirror dropping onto the floor.

When we know the time, we lose that sensation of timelessness. Sometimes, like when we sleep, it’s better not to know the time. It’s better not to wear a watch.

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