Sleep deprivation contributes to stress

I saw a snippet of a current affair show pointing to how a lack of sleep (say less than the recommended 8 hrs) contributes to high modern stress levels. The same night I got wink eye at 2:30am and woke at 6:30am.

So with my 4 hours of sleep (more likely 3 hrs of real sleep), how did I fair? Well not too bad. I did the “I’ve got everything under control” routine OK, not a great feat considering I’ve had 32 years to practice honing the skill and had gained better results under far worse conditions. I guess I spoke coherently, gauged from not getting too many blank stares and made a little bit of progress on a few work things. So overall, I got through the day without any real hitches.

Although the tell tale sign might have been seeing me staring at the shining lights of a computer screen long enough to merit a badge from NASA (space man). My concentration levels where not really riding the crest, I felt more scattered than usual and more snappy. I guess I really could have done with a Halo Massage (hint).

But it’s no great revelation that a lack of sleep is going to have adverse effects. The trick is how to fit everything in one day without chipping away too much from the recommended 8 hrs. I’ve took it upon myself to follow up (a least bit by bit) all the little “if only I had more time I’d do this and that”, but the result is sometimes a lot less slept.

I’d love to have everything scheduled where I’d have time to do the stuff that inspires me, the stuff I have to do and the sleep I need to recuperate. At the same time I’d like to be able to follow a hunch and sacrifice a few hours sleep to do it. I think it’s a matter of trusting your own instincts. It’s unproductive for instance to be the “thou shalt” guy who locks himself to 8 hours sleep every night, after 8 hours work etc etc – there’s no possibility to go on a whim (an essential part of feeling a sense of freedom I believe). You’d also be ignoring your instincts when you’re continually sleep deprived – it’s a basic human necessity just like relieving your bowels (neither healthy to ignore that necessity for too long… the fixation Freud calls “anal”).

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