Help me help you
EC: Yes, You Can (and Should) Put Hot Sauce in Your Orange Juice
Credit: Illustration by Lauren Kolm, OJ photo by Lumina Images via Getty Images

You should probably be putting hot sauce in your orange juice. Not just so I don't feel like a lonesome freak when I do it (though that would be nice from time to time). It's a delightful combination of flavors that you have likely been deprived of all this time, and I feel I should have done better by you. That stops now. Put some hot sauce in your orange juice. Do it now. I'll do it with you. It doesn't matter which hot sauce or what format of orange juice—I'm going with Tabasco and a random OJ bottle from the bodega, but you do you. I trust that you know how to make yourself happy.

Happy is elusive in the morning when you sleep as little as I do. I used to sort of humblebrag about the paltry rest I got, like it was some sort of circadian feat of endurance that I'd been training for since birth, but now it just sucks. I try to practice all the "sleep hygiene" I see touted in articles topped with stock photos of blissful brunette women in white tank tops, stretching smugly as they awake refreshed, nestled in clean, rumpled duvets in sun-dappled, exposed-brick lofts. I have none of these things, save for personal rumpledness, and yet I yearn for them. For that life.

Wanna know how much sleep I get in a night? I can pull out the receipts right now. Per a study of over 10 million Fitbit users conducted by the company's scientists in 2015, people of my particular generation—that'd be X—get 7 hours and 10 minutes of sleep a night. Those relatively snoozier Millennials score 7 hours and 17 minutes and Boomers nab 7 hours and 15 minutes. My Fitbit tells me that over the course of the last year, my average nightly sleep duration was 5 hours and 20 minutes, and that's counting the marathon-ish six-plus-hour snoozes I get on weekends.

But since none of you have been merciful enough to sneak up and shoot a tranquilizer dart into my neck, I have hot sauce and orange juice. I go to sleep thinking of it sometimes. Lord knows I couldn't actually chug that before bedding down tonight because oy, the reflux, but in the morning it's a benevolent shock to my palate and psyche, and I'm so sorry I haven't mentioned this to you before. It's like a sangrita—that brilliant, Jalisco-born blend of OJ, lime juice, pomegranate juice or grenadine, and hot sauce or chile powder—but it's so much simpler than that due to the whole zombified morning thing. Seriously: Just put hot sauce in your orange juice, maybe stir, and drink it. It tastes like standing in the sun somewhere perfect and warm.

On mornings when I'm feeling a little extra delicate, I'll fill a glass with ice, pour in seltzer about three quarters of the way, then top it with some OJ and a few dashes of hot sauce. God, I feel alive. The bubbles blast the zest and heat up into my sinus cavity and I forget for just a minute that I am constructed of insomniac garbage cells that will sputter and fade throughout the day. Maybe if you don't feel like that on the regular, drinking orange juice and hot sauce may give you the ability to fly or see through time.

Tell me what it's like to be you. Share with me your secrets of sleep and wellness. I'll fix you hot-sauce-spiked OJs until you beg me to stop or you fall asleep like a freaking sleep champion or something. It won't be creepy, I promise. And I'll have a nice orange juice and hot sauce ready for you when you wake up.