Friday, April 5, 2013

Hey. Hey? Are you awake?

"The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to." 
                                                                                                -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Self portrait 4-5-13
I don't sleep well.
I don't sleep enough.
In fact, all too often I don't sleep at all. 
This is not by choice.
I get super annoyed by the "you need more sleep" advice that says people need to stop skimping on sleep, stop being so busy and dedicate more time to shut-eye. As if sleeping or not sleeping is merely a simple choice.
Like blue socks or black socks?
Tuna or salmon?
Paper or plastic?
Trust me, if sleep was merely a simple choice, I'd be choosing it.
But you can't always get what you want.
And sometimes, you can't even get what you need.
Because the cruel hand of whatever evil tyrant rules the night keeps rocking the cradle, jarring you awake as soon as you begin to drift.

"Hey. Hey! Are you awake?"

I understand now why they use sleep deprivation as a means of torture.

Insomnia is a cruel, cold-hearted bitch.

I read a lot about not sleeping when I'm not sleeping. It doesn't help. It's kind of like smelling something delicious, like fresh bread baking, without getting to eat any of it. It just leaves you feeling left out and hungry. Also, it's not all that sleep-inducing or comforting, at 3 a.m., to find out that chronic sleep deprivation can increase your risk of heart disease. And type 2 diabetes. As well as cause:
  • irritability
  • cognitive impairement
  • memory lapse/loss
  • impaired moral judgment
  • symptoms of ADHD
  • impaired immune system
  • decreased reaction time/accuracy
  • aches
  • tremors
  • hallucinations
  • psychosis
The jury is still out on whether sleep deprivation can kill humans. But it has killed animals in sleep deprivation research studies. Rats. Dogs. Puppies.

That's right. Puppies. Dead puppies.

Sweet dreams.