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?

* * *


Teacher Mommy said…
The nights of eight or more hours of sleep have been rare ever since I started teaching, much less once I had children. I've pretty much been constantly sleep-deprived for almost ten years now.

So how much do you think that has shortened my life?

You're right.

That is depressing.
nicole said…
probably a bit more sleep than you but my pets often wake me in the middle of the night...i would love to get 8 hours a night because i think i am a better person if i do but alas motherhood gets in my way.
Viv said…
Monica, I am pretty sure that the consequences of sleep deprivation for us will begin dissipating about the time that we need to worry about the onset of dementia...just a guess.

The article does not shock me. I know that I feel just as tired, just as fuzzy, just as grumpy, after a night or two of good sleep, as I do after a few eons of scant rest. I do find it more depressing in print, as opposed to merely lurking in the back of my sleep deprived mind though.

Popular posts from this blog

We Left Resentment At the Lake

Sign of the Times

Maybe Messy is What I Need Right Now