Sleep

Is there any way to make yourself feel less tired without having to take time out to sleep? It wastes so much time… I wouldn’t say it’s the bane of my life – more like a persistent thorn in the side, but every night it reaches bedtime too quickly and every morning I’m rudely awoken by my damned alarm.

Last week the batteries ran out in my clock and I slept through ’til 9.30 (supposed to be at work at 9). My reasoning/excuse was that I must have needed it if I was capable of doing that, because usually I wake up anyway.

It seems like it takes me a ridiculously long time to recover sleep lost, especially on the weekend. I think recently it’s been a case of chipping away at the reserves rather than pulling an all-nighter though. So why doesn’t it work in reverse? My one theory is that alcoholism reduces the efficiency of sleep by around 50%, meaning that you have to sleep twice as long to recover as much as you would normally. Perhaps this week the problem has arisen from the guys trying to poison me with a nasty assortment of shorts (one after the other) on the weekend, meaning it’s taking longer than usual for my body to clear out the toxins, so I have fewer…spare cycles? to recharge the batteries.

The other is that I’m trying to fight off a cold, hence similar reasoning to the above as to why I’m still feeling exhausted. I’m aware that I’ve only been ill once in the past 6 months (I think), and it would be the law of the sod that I come down with something now just before going away boarding again :s gah.

Perhaps a shakeup of the routine would work. Or perhaps I just need to go to bed earlier :) Certainly doesn’t help that on Saturdays I wake up after 7 hours whereas in the week I’m certain I could sleep for 10 every night. Now that’s just damn irritating. Surely though, that must relate to psychology…

4 thoughts on “Sleep

  1. Omar

    Hmmmm, it’s an interesting point. It must be psychological, i find it so much easier to get up at the weekend. I’ve never given my sleep pattern much thought, though i can’t lie in really, if i’ve got work at 2pm i still get up at relatively early, even if i was in bed at 2, even if i could sleep some more. I’m rambling, i think it’s about getting some sort of regularity maybe??

    Loads of sleep questions here that will have awesome amounts of info.

  2. jon Post author

    I think a fundamental problem is that my natural sleep cycle is from ~2.30am to ~10am!

    It also seems that the later I go to bed, the less sleep I need before waking up refreshed. When I was at university I used to have no trouble going to bed at 3am-6am every day, still waking up when I needed to.

    An additional factor I think is how awake you need to feel in order to undertake certain activities – for example it requires no real mental effort to slouch around on the weekend, or even go play sports, whereas at work I have to concentrate pretty much solidly on what I’m doing, so I notice when I’m feeling tired a lot more. So call that perceived awakeness required. If you know you’re going to have to be awake to do something, perhaps this adds stress/anxiety and hence you wake up prematurely/take a long time to drift off.

    Funnily enough though, I never seemed to have a problem waking up in Canada, and don’t remember ever feeling particularly tired (unless I’d had 2 hours sleep and was hungover), even though to live there I had to shift my body clock back by 8 hours.

    Must be that either I’m destined to live on a different continent, or the fact that the weather is so damn depressing in England that it makes everyone more tired/miserable (i.e. effects characterised by Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD), so that they can only live normally in the summer months. Don’t you find that you’re always more tired in winter, when the daylight hours are reduced?

  3. tiff

    May I offer my heartfelt agreement. Sleep sucks, and I don’t understand people who like their sleep. Some people lose half their lives to sleep!

    I remember reading somewhere that they invited a drug of some sort that would allow people to sleep less, for military use or something… sounds like a bad idea though. The truth is that you can’t get away from it. So why not learn to love it? (Good luck with that.)

  4. Elvo

    ~2.30am to ~10am ==> Coincidentally also my natural sleep cycle!

    Few facts:

    * Actually, the most natural thing to do is to stretch the days. Put any group of people in a cave for 14 days and they’ll have slept only 10 or 11 times.

    * The more crap you take in (alcohol, Australian beer, drugs,…), the more sleep you’ll need. The more stuff you do(work out, party, run around,…), the more sleep you need. Basically: the more fun you have, the more sleep you need.

    * Digital pictures can be compressed ;-)

    * I was only _pretending_ to be picking my nose :-)

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