I love sleep. I freaking love it. The problem is I am not very good at it.
My inability to sleep is not helped by the fact that I do shift work. Now, I love my job, but the hours suck. Sometimes I start at 4 o’clock in the morning, sometimes I do overnight shifts, and the evening shift finishes after midnight. On top of that, I occasionally like to do things outside of work. Fun things. Like, I don’t know, go out for dinner. It’s wild, I know. And it doesn’t help the whole sleep situation.
So, it is fair to say that my “natural sleeping pattern” is pretty much shot to hell. Once in a blue moon, I do sleep well. But anything more than two to four hours of good sleep if cause for celebration.
After a particularly bad night, I either go one of two ways. I either turn into a sleep-deprived zombie monster, or I go a little bit loopy as though I am ever so slightly inebriated. The minute I get home, I don my frilly eye cover and dive into my bed. I awake one or two hours later feeling a little bit floppy, but on the whole, I am back to my old self.
Here are some of the signs I need a nap….
1. I throw away my cash.
After a stint of night shifts I force myself to stay awake the whole day and shock my system back into a normal sleep cycle. It always sounds like a good plan, but it probably isn’t. I am jet lagged and useless the entire day. On one such occasion, my lovely boyfriend and I went to get some Thai for dinner. I went to the ATM to get some money and I returned with a receipt. Only a receipt. I left $40 in the freaking machine! How the heck did I do that? My mistake was particularly upsetting due to my weakened, vulnerable state and to this day, I still hope the recipient of my cash put every last cent to good use.
In my sleep-deprived state I have also been known to dawdle aimlessly through the shopping centre buying things I don’t need or even like. Once I bought two copies of “The Catcher in the Rye” and I don’t even know why.
2. I cry. A lot.
When I am tired I feel overwhelmed and distressed, and I cry. I cry over everything and I cry over nothing. I’m not talking about a couple of sweet, dainty, trickling tears. I mean a full on messy cry, including big heaves and uncontrollable sobs. Once I cried because I spilt milk. Not even kidding. I literally cried over spilt milk. Then I cried over how pathetic it was to cry over spilt milk. At times like this, it is best just to leave me alone.
3. I can’t finish sentences.
My brain starts to short circuit and I can’t keep up with conversations. I forget the topic. Sometimes I forget what the hell it is I am trying to say mid-sentence. When this happens, I just start mumbling and let my sentence trail off, hoping that someone else will step in. It must be incredibly frustrating for others.
I also can’t read. It is basically the same problem as above, but in reverse. I forget the first half of the sentence by the time I reach the second half. So I reread the sentence. Then I forget the context of the book. Which is incredibly frustrating and I end up I tears.
Anyway. How great would it be to have an ON/OFF button, so we could avoid ever getting to that state? Or a sleep bank, to store extra hours rest. Unfortunately we don’t, but here are some other things that might help us…. http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2012/06/28/3534846.htm#.UXB587XX9ec
[Featured pic courtesty of: http://jennysand-thepoeticheartofaviking.blogspot.com.au]