Wednesday, March 09, 2005

To sleep, perchance to sleep some more.

So, if you've been reading for some time, you might have picked up on the fact that my sleep habits are pretty fucked. I mean, Google even picked up on it back when these pages had ads. Every other ad had to do with chronic fatigue syndrome, sleeping pills, pillows, mattresses, etc. (Then again, the other ads included topics like drug rehab and thong bikinis. I really don't know why. I kind of took it personally, actually.)

Some of the recent stuff has been due to the ridiculous problems my apartment is experiencing with its heaters. One evening it sounded like someone was hammering trash cans one foot away from my head. I'm used to steam heat, growing up in an old house and all, but this was positively ridiculous. I almost picked up my phone to audioblog it just for the record, in case I went insane or died of sleep dep. the next day, but lucky for you, I grabbed my digital/mp3 recorder off the nightstand first.

But even before that I've been long having problems feeling like crap in the mornings, passing out for frighteningly long amounts of time, etc.

And you think all this would make me question my sleep schedule.

Well, no.

But last week, my roommate, in an awesome display of openness, good-roomieness and friendship, sat me down for a heart-to-heart about sleeping.

"Nicole," she said, "Let's talk about why you feel like shit every single day."

She pointed out that I go to bed later than her, and wake up earlier than her. Said the Becks, "You might think you sleep a lot because you crash out from time to time, but honestly, you never sleep. .... When I moved in with you, I thought to myself, if I kept her schedule, I would die."

The conversation continued, discussing the finer points of the causes of irregular sleeping behavior. While I'm by no means cured of weird sleep patterns, and yes, I still look and feel like crap most days, it served as a good wake-up call (pun so not intended) about addressing this issue.

We concluded that I should begin by keeping a log of how much I sleep. And whaddyaknow, at the neuroscience fair I volunteered at this past Saturday, the sleep disorders clinic at Vandy showed up with cool EEG equipment, and better yet, sleep logs! It's rather cute -- you fill in all these boxes for the hours of the day you sleep/feel drowsy, and have spots to check off and record bad sleep-interfering behaviors (all of which I do/did.)

The biggest change I've made consumption-wise is the new "no caffiene after noon" rule. The skinny decaf cafe au laits are fooling me pretty well, in place of the traditional skinny latte (or the occassional Hammerhead, which is a shot of espresso in a cup of coffee. Called a "red-eye" at starbucks, I think. Yes, I drink that. It's yummy!)

So, we'll see how it goes. I've considered sticking said sleep log online, but man, it was hard enough getting this jalopy up n' runnin'... er, not now.

On that note, I am going to bed now.


Blogger heidi said...

i wish to attest that that damn heater in your apartment is wacko! upon my last visit i relied on it to keep me from sleeping beyond my 3 hour minimum before racing back to atlanta for work during a "snow storm?"... like banging on trashcans, indeed!

Saturday, March 12, 2005 8:29:00 PM  

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