My Sleep Deprivation Experiment

Importance of Being Sleepy - pt2

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The Sleep Deprivation Experiment Pt 2

Continuing this series of blogs exploring sleep and stress, I have re-visited my 2011 sleep deprivation experiment.  Read on to see how I get on.

The Experiment Commences

I commenced my sleep deprivation experiment, much as I would any ‘normal day.’  That is, woke up, did some exercise – 15 mins yoga and press ups and stuff and 30 min cycle.  Ok so far.  I have to say though that I was feeling a bit anxious even at this early stage.

Was I going to burn myself out before I had even begun?  Well, the exercise woke me up as it always does and I felt invigorated for the day ahead.

I sat down and wrote for an hour (working on my book – its the only way I can ensure I get something done – do an hour a day before any other work), and then moved onto some general admin, workshop planning and so on.

Lunch – so far so good.  Had some chilli for lunch (healthy version left over from last night) – yum yum.  Plenty of energy from that.  Back to work – some meetings and business development.  You might be thinking that this is mundane stuff?  Come on!  I’m not going to plan such an experiment when I have a real work to do – what if I made a mistake and knacked (technical term) up the delivery of a workshop or (heaven forbid), crashed my car.

There is some interesting research into sleep deprivation and a lot of it seems to conclude that whilst sleep is not a critical factor in rejuvination of the body and organs (other than the brain), it does appear critical to the rest and regeneration of the brain and in particular the prefrontal cortex which is constantly on the go and responsible in large part for verbal fluency and non-verbal planning.  So let’s see how they get on in particular over the coming hours.

Bed-time – or what would have been bedtime any other day.  I was ready for it too.  My body had already kicked into habitual yawn mode and I really had to occupy myself to stay awake. I watched some tv – Michael McIntyre’s Live at the Apollo – again!  Moved onto some more ‘business admin.’

Tomorrow, I journal the overnight hours and find some interesting results, both positive and negative.

Keep an eye out for the next blog.

Dave Algeo

Motivational Speaker on resilience and men's mental health.
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