Sunday, April 22, 2018

musings on sleep (04-22-2018 update)

In the final stretch of my coding course and I'm tired, perhaps it is all the late night coding and energy drink consumption that has been going on over here in casa d' Andrea?

How much sleep does one gal need to function in this world?

Well last week told me, at least 11 hours for a couple of nights...perhaps my attempt at "catching up" on my sleep, which apparently is not a thing but that fact doesn't seem to stop me from trying!

I'm glad the end is in sight for this course. And not that I didn't enjoy it, the problem was I enjoyed it a little too much and naturally wanted to keep doing everything else I was doing prior to the course, which naturally leads to sleep depravation.

Did you know that sleep depravation can be an effective tool in treating depression? Not really sleep depravation, like in the army where they are trying to break you down and mould you into a mean, lean, fighting machine. No, I mean like a less extreme form of sleep depravation than that. Like one night of no sleep versus a full 3 months of army basic training type sleep depravation.

It's true, apparently if you are sleeping tonnes (a symptom of depression) you should try forcing yourself to get minimal sleep for one night and apparently that will kick start your body into not feeling depressed. Disclaimer, I'm not a doctor and am no way qualified to be prescribing any cures for depression over here. However, I can tell you, in my experience (so not statistically significant I know!!) that I have deprived myself of sleep after going on a weeklong bender of over-sleeping due to depression and it works. For that day where I am sleep deprived I am generally in good spirits. Now if I go another night without sleep, the mood tends to take a turn for the unpleasant. So my advice (not really advice) is try to get back into a normal sleeping pattern after you kickstart yourself back into happy mode. Sometimes the happiness makes you think you can really have normal sleep again.

Which brings me to what is normal sleep anyways? I've always seemed to gravitate towards late night productivity sessions vs. rising early brilliant and busy tailed with a spring in my step. Although on occasion the latter has happened, typically after a period of time where I have been locked in my cave recharging my introvert batteries. That's why they refer to me as a "social introvert". My actual point here, as it has likely been lost in all these words I keep spewing out, is that I'm a night person, so that anytime I get a day off from my regular 9-5 work my "internal clock" immediately reverts back to its preferred position, which is stay up late and sleep in. It is literally like a switch, no matter how hard i try to be that morning person consistently (even on days off from work) my body says it is a no-go.  The trend is especially present when I'm taking a course. Which is actually like always. So not really a trend just how I am.

This leads me to believe that I'm simply not meant to be living in this time zone. Clearly I was meant to be living in the Middle East and working a 9-5 job there because that is what my body is telling me by refusing to adapt to these North American time zones I insist on living in.  That seems a much more logical explanation than my sleeping patterns being influenced by my incessant need to keep learning new stuff and/or drinking energy drinks in the evening.

Or we will just have to accept my sleeping patterns as one of life's many mysteries.

Looking out towards Damascus (April 2018)

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