There is one thing my partner Barbara and I have in common and that is LACK OF SLEEP. For one reason or another it seems that we both burn the candle too late and for too long. I have not slept since the year before I got married. So from that statement I believe I am an expert in this field as I have been dealing with it for 13 years.There is a difference between the "NO SLEEP" you get when you are in your late teens and early twenties than the lack of it when you are older.
I used to be able to go out 5 nights a week til the wee hours of the morning, power nap til 8:00am and be in work by 9:00am. Get home by 5:45, power nap again til 8:30, jump in the shower and be out by 9:30. Repeating that over and over. I never gained a pound. I never felt a hangover and I didn't have wrinkles.
The next phase of "NO SLEEP" was when my then boy-friend and I purchased our first house. We renovated it top to bottom. We worked at it day in and day out. We would bang in about 4 hours of sleep a night and once again never missed a beat. I am pretty sure it was because we were so "in love" with each other and excited to start playing house that got us through that time of deprivation.
The I am getting married "NO SLEEP" is the beginning of the end as far as I am concerned. The stress, endless fighting with everyone and necessity for perfection does start wear on you. I got engaged June 16, 1999 and married July 3, 2000. During that short time I aged A LOT!
We then enter the current phase I am in - I have kids, there are too many people in my bed, I am the only one who hears the dog bark at 2:00am and apparently still a waitress when someone needs a drink in the middle of the night. I have been told that the only other time that is worse is when your children start driving. I have a few years to go...so I plan on loading up on the Tylenol PM and banking hours now. I have already started research on which plastic surgeon will fix my crows feet and will consider installing LO JACK on the cars once the phase is approaching.
Til then...I am not being a bitch, I am just exhausted! I haven't slept in 13 years and there doesn't look like there will be a pillow in my future anytime soon! If you are like me (and Barbara) there are some interesting facts below for you to check out!
Myths and Facts about SleepMyth 1: Getting just 1 hour less sleep per night won’t affect your daytime functioning. You may not be noticeably sleepy during the day. But even slightly less sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly, and compromise your cardiovascular health, energy balance, and ability to fight infections.
Myth 2: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules. Most people can reset their biological clock, but only by appropriately timed cues—and even then, by 1–2 hours per day at best. Consequently, it can take more than a week to adjust after traveling across several time zones or switching to the night shift.
Myth 3: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue. Not only is the quantity of sleep important but also the quality of sleep. Some people sleep 8 or 9 hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor.
Myth 4: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. Although this sleeping pattern will help relieve part of a sleep debt, it will not completely make up for the lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your sleep-wake cycle so that it is much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday nights and get up early on Monday mornings.
Adapted from Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (PDF) - The National Institutes of Health