Monday, May 11, 2009

Sleeping your life away

So sorry I've abandoned you my friends! Last week was hectic - to put it diplomatically. Work consumed an inordinate amount of my time and then Bennett's birthday party plans sucked up whatever droplets were left behind. He had a WONDERFUL first birthday party on Saturday, and then we enjoyed a more relaxed and quiet family day on Sunday for Mother's Day. I will try not to take such a long hiatus from my mental spewing in the future.

Today's topic? Sleep.

Yeah, yeah, we know we're supposed to clock 8 hours of sleep a night. A whopping 1/3 of our lives spent in sweet slumber. But who really does??? I love sleep, but I have a real hard time giving up 33.333333% of my day in a totally unproductive state.

Today, MSN posted an article giving away a free guilt trip to all who skimp on the shut eye - 5 Sleep Myths Busted. I've heard it all before, but the following passage was rather compelling:

True, Napoleon slept four to five hours a night, and Thomas Edison got by on four. But world domination and the lightbulb might have been mere warm-ups had these guys slept more. Sleep scientists estimate that only 10 percent of adults are hardwired to need appreciably less (or more) sleep than the recommended seven to eight hours. And by cheating on sleep, you're limping through life with the cranial equivalent of a torn calf muscle. Scarier still, people who are sleep-deprived often don't even know they've turned into zombies. After dividing 48 volunteers into four sleep regimens—eight, six, four and zero hours a night (a.k.a. torture)—University of Pennsylvania researchers found that the six-hours-a-night group fared as poorly on measures of alertness and memory after two weeks as the no-sleep crew did after 24 hours. But participants in the six-hour group didn't feel very sleepy even when they were performing at their worst. Accumulating a sleep deficit also leads to "microsleeps" while you're awake. "Your brain becomes unstable and will go 'off-line' for half a second," Dinges says. The more sleep-deprived you are, the more frequent and longer the lapses.
Well, that explains a LOT! I'm brain dead because I don't sleep enough!

This article was more focused on middle-aged men skimping on sleep to get ahead in their careers, but I think that this is an important topic for moms to think about too. I think its particularly easy for moms to sacrifice time in the sack. Nighttime is probably the only quiet time we get all day; the only time we can actually use the restroom with the door closed and without someone clawing at the door whining mommy, mommy, mommmmyyyy!!!! I don't know about you, but I often don't really get started on my work until 9:30 or later. Once I get on a roll, its easy to keep going. Plus, moms kind of get used to not sleeping. After months of sleep deprivation, 5-6 hours of sleep seems like a luxury!

Short of saying "screw it" to mounds of work every night, 7 hours of sleep is simply not feasible for me. On a good night, I can eek out 6 hours of sleep a night, and that seems good to me! But then again, maybe if I got more sleep, my brain would function better, I'd be more efficient, and that would free up the extra time for me to sleep! Ok, I'll try it. Off to bed - goodnight!!!

1 comment:

  1. Well I suppose I should kiss my brain functionality goodbye, because to get 8 straight hours of sleep I would have to neglect my child- something I am unwilling to do! And this is WITHOUT working- once I return to work I will inevitably earn less sleep a night. Ah well. Too tired to stress about it. ;)