I had to include this photo of my grandson because it is my favourite photo of him, of all time. It is also quite appropriate because his level of exhaustion on our crisp afternoon walk this week, represents exactly how I am feeling at the moment.
Once again, life managed to fill every last minute of my week with a round trip visit to Timmins, staying with an eight month old who is teething and going through a growth spurt, events, work and helping my daughter pack her whole house for a move. Each and every one of us is completely out of steam.
It is remarkable just how frustrated, grumpy, dramatic and angry people can get when they are overtired. Lack of sleep can mimic intoxication and depression, all rolled into one and is an awful feeling to deal with.
My general rule is to aim for a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night. Considering I said general and aim in the same sentence, it is guaranteed that this will not always take place. Right now, I am running a deficit on sleep this week and I have the mood to match.
I can also assure you that you will likely find language or grammatical errors, once again, in this article, as it seems that no matter how much I try to proofread my words, I always seem to miss something.
Instead of beating myself up over it, I have accepted that I make mistakes and will likely make a ton more in my lifetime. So be it. It is what it is.
So, back to the topic of sleep, or lack thereof, I can tell you from personal experience of working shiftwork, for almost a decade, how a disruption or irregularity in sleep can be so detrimental.
I recall one particular night at the office. I didn’t get to nap before my 6pm twelve-hour shift, because company stopped by to visit unexpectedly that afternoon.
After some calls, I retreated to the office to do some paperwork. I started to feel dizzy and lightheaded and made my way to the washroom to splash some water on my face. The next thing I remember, I was in the ambulance.
I had apparently fainted and cracked my head on the bathroom sink, on my way to the floor, half way between the bathroom and the hallway. The jail guard on duty, was the only other person in the building, other than a prisoner, when he came rushing to my side.
He explained that he heard my not-so-tiny frame crash to the ground, still wearing my full gun belt, tools and bullet proof vest. I was so embarrassed. Turns out, it was just from being overtired. Lucky I didn’t shoot myself, or someone else!
It actually wasn’t until I stopped working nightshifts that I realized that hangover feeling was gone. I now feel the exhaustion hangover when I pull a late nighter and almost always end up with a cold, shortly thereafter.
We get clumsy, distracted, overly emotional, careless and unfocused when we are tired. No wonder late night cram sessions rarely produced effective results in university…
When we are tired, we go off on tangents and have difficulty staying on track. That, in addition to sleep being related to obesity and heart problems, we are sure to get ourselves in a pickle if we are constantly sleep deprived.
So, the bottom line is that if you are overtired, like I am feeling right now, I hope that you exercise extreme self care. I hope that you declutter your schedule and take some time to rest.
As soon as I can clear some of the priorities out of my day tomorrow, I promise you that I will be taking a nap. Then, I will also make a point of getting to bed early.
If you are dealing with a baby or a young child, a snoring partner, a neighbour’s barking dog, shiftwork, a noisy street or a giant fish tank that sounds like a hose is running into your living room, I hope that you research some solutions for getting some better slumber.
We just can’t function like this, for any length of time. Let’s make today a catch up day. Do what you must accomplish and then crawl into your cozy bed and catch some extra winks. It will be good for all of us…
‘No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.’ ~ Carrie Snow