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.

Lesson learned?

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.

SG out zzzz

Finding it hard to de-stress, take time-out or switch off?  Check out my free 6-step e-book - 'Emergency Stress CPR'

Dave Algeo, Stressed Guru is a speaker and writer committed to spreading the message - well-being and success need each other.  Get in touch to find out how he can help your organisation develop greater success with wellbeing, or learn more about his speaking and workshops.