It's 3:28am. I have been awake for 36 minutes. I went to bed at 12:02am. I have to be awake and getting ready to take the kids to school and head on to work at 6am. If you do the math, you'll see that there is no way I will be getting enough sleep tonight.
If you would look over my sleep patterns for the past week, you will find that I am averaging about 4.6 hours of sleep each night. And if you did a historical retrospective study (is that redundant? I don't know, I'm too tired to decide) on my life as a sleeping -- or non-sleeping, as the case may be -- person, you would find that the last time I got consistently good sleep was probably January 1999.
Some of this not enough sleep business is my own fault. I go to bed too late. I know that, but the clock seems to march double-time after the kids are in bed and the next thing I know it's knocking on midnight.
Often, I'm double-crossed by my own body. I'm awakened by heartburn; by my own internal clock nudging me out of slumber saying, "Wake up. You've gotten 3 full hours of sleep;" or, like tonight, a postnasal drip tickle in my throat that keeps forcing a cough that hurts my throat and keeps me awake.
Other times my sleep deprivation is brought on my someone else: Mike's freight train-like snore. Robbie climbing into our bed and sleeping with his feet up in my rib cage, making me feel like I'm 68-1/2 months pregnant.
I don't hop out of bed immediately when I wake up. I lay there for 20 or 30 minutes hoping for the good fortune to get back to my dreams of being on the Biggest Loser and winning a lifetime supply of Diet Coke. But more often than not, I end up here, checking e-mails and surfing the web.
And what I find taunts the sleepless me. Tonight, I opened my e-mail to find a newsletter called Risks of Insomnia, Part 1 of 8. It is happy to inform me that:
Research shows that a perpetual lack of sleep can:
- Undermine the body's ability to fight off disease
- Reduce the quality and quantity of your work
- Mimic the symptoms of impaired glucose tolerance, which can lead to diabetes and hypertension
- Hinder weight loss and/or cause weight gain
- Impair concentration
- Cause disorientation
- Slow down the body's reaction time
- Increase moodiness and irritation
- Lead to depression
Closing the e-mail and moving on to do a little surfing, I am searching for a letter I'd written to Santa that appeared in a local magazine, when my search turns up this: The Importance of ZZZZZs for Parents. Now how did that turn up in my search results? Am I going to be on Santa's naughty list of lack of quality sleep?
So now it's 3:58am and I've at least turned my sleeplessness into blog productivity. I've spent a half an hour sucking on ice to numb the tickle in my throat and I find myself closing my eyes with my fingers still on the keyboard. If I hurry, I can log another two hours before I have to get up, wake the kids for school and hear them tell me, "Mommy, I can't go to school. I'm too tired."
Tell me about it, kid.