Sleep-Deprivation

05 – 19 -2020

This week I learned the importance of sleep. So, my boyfriend has to switch to an overnight schedule for the next three weeks, which means sleeping during the day and going into work from 10 pm – 6 am. It is what it is so there’s really no complaining, but one has to recognize the difficulty that comes with reversing your sleep schedule.

The night before his first overnight shift we both stayed up all night, like 24 hours no sleep. It reminded me of a time back during middle school and high school when my friends and I would stay up all not just because we were kids with energy. I’ve always been an early bird even in my adolescence, I am the first one to fall asleep at the sleepover and definitely the first one up the next day. Plus, I am such a creature of habit that when my regular schedule is disrupted but that doesn’t mean my biological sleep clock changes. Is anyone else a crazy early bird like me?

I don’t know what it is but when the sun is up, I am just up with it. This usually helps me; I get things done in the morning and I have never been the person to sleep in until the afternoon (unless I am sick or sleep-deprived). When the sun sets though, it is a totally different thing. It’s almost as if the setting sun activates the hormones inside me that cause me to get lazy and pass out the second, I lay my head down. So even if I am in a room full of people having fun, when I am sleepy, I am going to sleep or at least lay there with my eyes closed because I have no more energy. Some of that may have to do with me being an introvert so social interaction becomes exhausting.

But today I want to talk about sleep and sleep deprivation because in staying up 24 hours then napping for 3 hours before continuing my day as normal definitely affected my abilities. I’ve noticed that if I can get myself to stay up past about 11 or 12, staying up past that is pretty easy and even fun if you make it so.

No Sleep = No Logic

After being up about 20ish hours I started to really notice how easily the lack of sleep can affect simple mental processing. I began to get frustrated and confused at basically why I was even up but it’s not like I was tired or wanted to go to sleep. My brain was awake and thinking, just not thinking very fast, so I lashed out at my boyfriend in a stupid fit over something I can’t even remember. We quickly apologized and made up, but it truly showed me one element of what sleep deprivation can do to my mood or emotions as well as my thought process.

Neglecting Responsibilities

Another side effect of going without sleep for what felt like an extremely long time is you don’t really have the energy to do normal daily stuff like chores or even eating some real food. When sleep deprivation hits the idea of cooking something to sustain at least one need of your body’s needs seems impossible. It’s a good thing we have fast-food and delivery am I right? Not only that though, with all your energy exhausted daily tasks go unkept, and for little cleaning chores this doesn’t matter more than sleep, but I have a garden now and I almost let them dehydrate and die. I saw the whole day that my plants needed watering, but it wasn’t until late in the evening after I had hibernated on the couch for the entire afternoon that I felt I could actually exert the effort necessary to care for my plants. They looked rough and thirsty by then but the morning after I think they will survive the trauma of my neglect.

Passion Overrides Sleep

Even though I knew full well that I was sleep-deprived and should probably just lay down with my boyfriend and sleep soundly, I couldn’t help but think about this. I couldn’t stop myself from turning on my computer and getting totally immersed in website design and features. As my boyfriend slept preparing for a long shift that night, I worked on my own thing so that when I was alone in the house I could actually sleep. I think most people would have fallen face-first into their pillow without a second thought, hell I would have before I started trying to make something of myself online, but yesterday it wasn’t like that.

The passion burning inside me fueled my body alongside those three hours of sleep I got, to continue doing what I love: learning. Learning about how to make myself better, my platform better, my content better. Even sleep-deprived and possibly delirious I was sitting on my couch enthralled in my work, that has to mean something right? Even at 11 pm long after my boyfriend has left to work and without sleep since 9 am, I was thinking about what I would do today. I was thinking about how I am going to edit my video or those pictures I took. At this point, I don’t know if I am passionate or obsessed but I couldn’t care less because I finally care about something I am doing.

So as much as this experience of sleep deprivation has taught me about why I like sleeping early and having a consistent sleep schedule, it has taught me more about work than anything. I have shown to myself how much I care about this idea I have, and that makes me even more excited to share it with everyone else. I feel so powerful and resilient knowing that I disrupted my schedule but rode the wave instead of fighting it and I got good results. If you look at my website it is updated (again) and I’m happier with it now than ever before. Things are slowly coming together and even if I don’t get the amount of sleep, I wish for I know I am capable of withstanding that struggle.

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