Monday, September 26, 2016

Sleep Is A Wonderful Thing

I'm still groggy, about 30 minutes after I actually got out of bed. But I am rested, after a good night's sleep/crashing. I honestly do not know how healthy my sleep patterns are, but I do know I've adjusted to a routine that allows me to live some semblance of a normal life. It makes Sunday the pivot day, one where I am running on fumes for most of the actual day, and one where once I lay down on Sunday night, it's over until the morning.
I set my alarm for 6 AM on the days off I have, but I don't always get up. Today was one of those days; I was no more capable of getting up at 6 AM than I would have been of running a marathon at 10 PM last night. I dragged myself up at 7:50 because I had to call the state health insurance exchange today, and if you don't do that right at 8 AM, you will spend a good portion of your day on hold. But that task is now and done over with, and I am going to make do with the nearly nine hours of crash time I had last night.
The main thing that worries me about what has become normal practice is that the world could come to an end after midnight, and I would absolutely not be aware of it. I am out between 10 or 10:30 PM and 6 AM every Sunday/Monday. This is not unusual for a teenager, but for someone in his fifties, it is; older people tend to sleep lightly, and to need less sleep than younger people. And I've never been one that needed a lot of sleep anyway; the only times I have ever slept deeply for more than a few hours in my past where when I drank heavily or had been up a run for several days beforehand. So this is something new for me.
I've always been blessed with an ability to sleep. The only issue I've ever had was that I am caffeine sensitive; I try not to drink caffeinated drinks after 6 PM if I intend on sleeping before 2 AM, which means if you see me with a coffee at an evening meeting, I am working that night. But even in times of intense stress and worry, I do not have issues falling asleep. The manifestation of the stress I am feeling comes when I wake up after two or three hours and can't get back to sleep. It's actually turned out to be a benefit; working nights, I can function half the week after sleeping for two to three hours after getting home from work. I couldn't do it for seven days, but I can do it for three.
And my older-than-I-want-to-be self does not handle long periods of sleep well, paradoxically. I feel very stiff and sore this morning. It's getting better the longer I am up, and one good thing about being somewhat physically active the past few months has been that my body doesn't get wiped out  by something as mundane as playing softball for an hour like it did in early August. But my body is never going to be in the shape it was thirty years ago again, and my back gets stiff and my right side gets sore from laying on it for hours and my neck doesn't like it when my head is angled in a certain position on the pillows. As problems go, they are small, but they are also real.
But the good thing is that I can function as a normal human being for the next three days, going to sleep at night and being active all day. I suppose it is worth the cryogenic freeze of being dead to the world one night a week. And hopefully it will change soon; I finally interviewed for the position in the other program I applied for weeks ago last week. I've learned that one can never tell, but the general vibe and impression I got from the interview was pretty good. We will see what happens.

No comments: