tabular_rasa: (Into the Dark)
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My level of functioning goes down under 7 hours of sleep. I can still "function" between 6-7 hours of sleep, but I'm kind zombie-ish, extra prone to zoning out, and need to have extra doses of caffeine during the day (rather than just my single cup of tea in the morning), which is a pain since it makes me pee even more than I already do, but I can still do what I need to do. But if I get less than 6 hours, I'm pretty miserable. I don't trust myself to drive or do anything that involves concentration and accuracy, and until I can nap I just feel like crap. Lack of sleep always makes me feel weirdly dirty and sick, sometimes outright nauseous.

7-8 hours is my sweet spot and that's what I usually get-- though sometimes I take 9 or 10 on weekends when I have the opportunity to indulge. (Especially if I'm "making up" for less sleep-rich nights during the week, or I went to bed later and it seems to take longer for the sleep to make me feel refreshed). To me, sleep is a necessity, the same as eating. It is a non-negotiable in my daily schedule and I've voluntarily gone without it only a handful of times.

I do get less sleep than I'd like on nights when I just can't fall asleep for whatever reason (thankfully I don't struggle too much with insomnia, but every once and a while there's just some random restless night), or when I have bitchtastic neighbors who don't realize the world doesn't revolve around them and their whims about using their stereo system against our bedroom wall at 2:45 am. I also get barely any sleep if I have to be on a plane overnight. But I generally avoid putting myself in the position of having to lose sleep, like leaving studying or a paper until the night before it's due so I have to cut into my sleep hours, or scheduling something that could run late if I have to be somewhere early the next day.

And I will get kind of bitchy insisting upon my right to sleep, too; if I can see there is going to be a problem with my sleep schedule (has happened when my entire schedule was subject to employer), I will address it to request something be changed (change times, get permission to leave early/arrive late, etc) and I will fight for it. Don't try to tell me I don't need it or that I should go without it just because you do; that's your choice, not mine, and our bodies do not work the same. And I simply do not buy into the unhealthy idea that subsisting on less sleep makes you "strong" or a superior person in some way.

. . . It's going to be interesting when I have kids, lol. I have many reasons I'd like to stay home with my kids when they're young, if I can, but this is one of the big ones when it comes to infants. I simply can't imagine trying to function at work the day after a baby has kept me up all night, when I don't have the chance to catch a nap when the baby is sleeping during the day. Hell, it's not even so much work that would be the problem-- it's crashing my car and killing somebody and/or myself on the commute!

January 2015

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