I Miss My Pillow
I read a short article in the New York Times today about sleep deprivation. Nothing new, just depressing. Here's a quote:
In a study at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 2003...scientists examined the cognitive effects of a week of poor sleep, followed by three days of sleeping at least eight hours a night. The scientists found that the "recovery" sleep did not fully reverse declines in performance on a test of reaction times and other psychomotor tasks, especially for subjects who had been forced to sleep only three or five hours a night.
Read the article here.
This is bad news for someone who routinely gets about 5 hours of sleep at night, often less, sometimes a little more. Rarely do I ever get more than 7 hours of sleep. Rarely do I sleep without interruption. My kids do not keep my up for long periods of time at night anymore, but they do wake me up to crawl into bed beside me. Or someone is coughing. Or someone wants a drink of water. Or someone is snoring like a crazed warthog. Or life has my brain cartwheeling and somersaulting and hoola-hooping.
Sleep has been elusive for such a long time that I have utterly forgotten what it feels like to be well-rested. My baseline is sleep-deprivation. I don't remember not feeling groggy. This is just not good.
I wonder just how many nights in a row of enough sleep (at least 8 hours) it will take for me to catch up, for "the cognitive and physiological consequences of poor sleep to wear off." However many it might take, those nights are not in my immediate future.
I watched my three-year old asleep in her car seat today. She was yelling her head off at an intersection near our school, and by the time we got to the school, she was OUT. I was dripping green with envy. I wanted to be her. She stayed asleep for two hours, four older siblings climbing over her repeatedly, driving to and fro with mom on several errands, with the very essence of peace lying across her face like a baby blanket. Sleep, like youth, is wasted on the young.
How much sleep are you getting these days?
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