The Young & The Sleepless

The Young & The Sleepless; The Older and the Sleep Deprived!

Do you recall or still watch the TV show, The Young & The Restless, this episode is not about the show, that has been going on since 1973… Not at all. In this episode, I am going to talk about sleep and why you and I need it.

I recall the Fairy Tale called Sleeping Beauty. There are many versions but the one we all know is the one she is cursed by an evil/angry fairy to die but one good fairy instead blesses her with a hundred year old sleep- or nap as I will call it for she will be awakened at the end of that 100 years with the kiss from a prince.

My dears, can you imagine being asleep for hundred years! I digress…

Do you recall when you were in college or in your teens and you would stay up to watch a movie, study for a test all night and then take a shower, eat (or not) have coffee and go to class or your test the next couple of hours? Can you do that now? How much sleep do you need and how do you know the number you chose is what you need?

I recall staying up when I was in college and had to study for my physics test. I stayed late in the Morris Library, and then came back to study in my room. I might have slept for 2 hours and then went to take the test. I aced the test but I was tired for the remainder of the week. I did not drink coffee then as I do now :)

What have you heard about sleep?

I have heard things like

- “Sleep is overrated”

-”You can sleep when you die”

-”You can catch up on sleep” (which is not true)

-”You need 8 hours of sleep”

And more.

When I had my baby; mommy-mode kicked in and for the first couple of weeks, I learnt that my body could function on little bursts of sleep like 3 hours. I also learnt my hubby needed more sleep than I did. (Did that happen to you too?) I did try to sleep when my baby slept but when my husband went back to work, I decided to do things around the house and the things I did not finish he helped when he came back.

When I went back to work after maternity leave, I knew that I needed to amplify my sleep quantity and quality. I watched how much coffee I drank because I was nursing and I did not want my baby to be awake due to caffeine. I would drink it early in the day when he was at daycare and not drink coffee past noon.

I switched jobs and started working the night shift so I could spend more time with my family and I would say this was not a good decision for me. By this time, the baby was weaned off and I was not nursing any more. I relied heavily on coffee and it did not help that Starbucks was on the first floor while I worked on the second floor. My commute to work was 45 minutes to work on a good day and coming back during rush hour could be an hour and half at best to 3 hours before I got home.

Coffee did not help guys. My body was TIRED!

I recall one time that I fell asleep driving home on the wheel at a red light. I woke up and the red light just turned green, that was when I decided to do something about this sleep deprivation situation.

Yes, it is touted that we need 8 hours of sleep but if I sleep more, I feel miserable. I wake up without the alarm (like my grandma lol) and that for me tells me I had got the amount of sleep that I need. You need to find the right amount for yourself by talking to your healthcare provider. You might need to do a sleep study if you are tired all the time and might need to get a BiPaP.

Why do we need more sleep?

Here is a video on YouTube about why you need it and there are more videos to check out there too. The video is from a professor of Neuroscience, Matthew Walker.

I will share some of my reasons to sleep more in the hopes that it helps you.

  1. You need sleep for your health! I have gained more weight and have been unable to keep it off because of my poor eating choices and my heavy reliance on sugary goods to stay awake. Sleeping more lately, has helped my cravings for sweets

  2. Sleeping more is for my safety and that of others. I work as a Histotechnician and we cut tissue, stain slides and do a lot other things (ask me if you need to know). If I am sleep deprived, the chances of cutting my finger on the microtome, spilling chemicals and or making errors increases. I put myself, my colleagues, patients in danger

  3. I spend more money. Yes! I buy more snacks (empty calories), buy books on Google and join memberships for discounts (hello Audible!) and spend my money at Starbucks. I do love to read so my books from Google and Audible are re-accessible so I can go back to them.

So, can you sleep more?

Yes, you can because I have begun to. I did change my work schedule and I do not work nights anymore. For an article with tips to help you sleep better, check this out

-Exercise has helped and I noticed that the days I workout or walk for a few minutes, my sleep is good.

-Turn off your phones and TV too :)

-And I also ask God for help. In Psalm 127:2 it says “It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep. And when I ask God, He has come through for me.

What is your story about sleep? Do share.

See you at the next episode.

Have a great week!


Other listening links