Lessons learned from sleep deprivation
Importance of being sleepy - pt5
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The end of Sleep Deprivation - Hooray!
Well, at last it is over. It was grueling 40 or so hours and boy did I need my sleep. When it finally came, I slept like a log (read my previous sleep deprivation blogs).
That was several weeks ago and, to be honest, I think I have suffered from the effects of that one period of lack of sleep since then.
I know from my research that clocking up sleep hours is a bit like balancing a bank account. If you overdraw (i.e. go with less sleep than you need), you do need to pay it back at some stage, otherwise you will suffer.
I did, therefore, attempt over the following days and the weekend in particular, try to clock up the sleep I had lost. But come on, let’s get real here, 40 hours? That was going to take some time to repay it.
As it happened, I had planned my little experiment before a week away on a remote island in North-West Scotland – The Isle of Gigha (lovely – I do recommend you visit it for 'propa chill oot time n that'). So I wrongly thought I would have ample time to make up my sleep hours.
The trouble was, given that I was going there with a group of friends, there was little in the way of sleep, lots in the way of laughs and lager! In short – I continued to maintain a negative balance on my sleep account.
I survived the week, having thoroughly enjoyed it and returned with a vengeance in the flawed belief that the holiday had rejuvinated me – it had not.
One of the first things I did upon my return was to visit Sunderland Aquatic Centre to swim a mile as training for my charity swim, which incidentally I completed on Sun 19th Jun.
That seemed to be the final straw. I got out of the pool and already started feeling ropey. The next day saw the start of four days sickness and diar (well you get the idea).
I was out of action for four days, (not daring to move too far from the toilet. That was followed by a further week and a half of feeling utterly washed out.
Did I catch up on my sleep? Oh yes. I had no choice – it was like my body had made me do it.
Well despite being a stress expert, I have learned a painful lesson. I need to respect the my physical health – by all means exert and challenge it, but, make sure I rest and sleep enough to compensate for that.
I am not getting any younger and whilst I am probably fitter than I was in my 20′s, I do put myself through some real stressors what with a mad mix of personal and professional pressures.
So – more rest and relaxation and sleep for me!
My next blog will include tips on tackling sleep problems and how to improve sleep quality and quantity.
In the meantime, I feel a nap coming on.
Keep an eye out for the next blog.
Motivational Speaker on resilience and men's mental health.
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