Niagara Gazette

April 7, 2013

VINCENT DAVIS: Things more important than sleep

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A majority of famous television doctors as well as the National Sleep Foundation recommend that the average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep helps your brain and body operate at peak efficiency, it’s good for your skin and contributes to a longer and generally less cranky life.

When is the last time you slept nine continuous hours? Can you remember a time, outside of summer break before sophomore year of high school, where you went to sleep at midnight and woke up refreshed at nine o’clock? Do you hate yourself or have an unspoken death wish to commit suicide slowly over more than 50 years via sleep deprivation? Then why aren’t most Americans getting adequate sleep?

I would venture the reason is, “because there was so much else to do.”

This past Monday was Dyngus Day, a holiday that seems to be exclusively celebrated in Buffalo and parts of Cleveland (congrats on your third consecutive Dyngus Day parade, Cleveland!). Those of you in the know are aware of what a wonderful day it is. It has everything: Polish people, pussy willows, grandmothers making soup and donuts all day – everything.

On Monday I found myself coming home late from a long day at the office ready to relax and settle in for a few episodes of “Saved by the Bell” on Netflix. I had barely finished singing the final lines to the iconic theme song when my cellular phone rang. It was a text from my brother that contained just four words: “Dyngus Day, come out!”

Keeping in mind that it was a Monday and I hadn’t gotten a great night’s sleep the night before — and I was looking down the barrel of a week full of meetings and conference calls. I made a decision … to totally go meet my brother for a Dyngus Day party!

Was I tired the next morning? Yes. Did it take a lot of self-convincing to wake up even earlier to leave time to take a much needed shower before work? Yes. Would I have traded a Monday night full of people in all red outfits pretending to know the lyrics to awesome polka songs played by a band with a collective age over 250 years for a mellow and relaxed Tuesday morning? No way.

Every day people consciously make poor decisions; picking up fast food at a drive-thru when they should really be eating a protein bar and a salad, watching post-Charlie Sheen episodes of “Two and a half Men,” the list goes on. As humans we do our best to be happy and productive people, but we often get in our own way.

Some of you have, due to extenuating circumstances (kids, jobs, a stable of TV shows you just can’t miss) been ‘making the smart choice’ for a number of years. So long that adapting to a more devil-may-care lifestyle seems impossible, but I have some guiding advice for you. The fun of making a “poor decision” is found in making sure the payoff is worth the hardship.

For example: Mathew McConaughey was in the movie “The Wedding Planner”, which has a 3.9 out of 10 rating on metacritic and has been called “the poor man’s ‘The Wedding Planner,’ “ but his visibility in that early Jennifer Lopez vehicle led to him playing Denton Van Zan in the movie “Reign of Fire” where in one scene he jumps out of a plane to attack a dragon with a fire axe — which is one of the greatest scenes in cinema history. All of a sudden being in a J. Lo movie doesn’t seem all that bad.

Vincent Davis II is a Cornell graduate, DJ, and market development specialist in the IT industry. He can be contacted at

Vincent Davis II is a Cornell graduate, DJ, and market development specialist in the IT industry. He can be contacted at