Aug. 18th, 2006

oneirophrenia: (Mad Scientist 1)
That's literally what I was yesterday. Sleep-deprivation + me = a very, very bad thing.

I know I've posted before about how much I sleep, and that seriously lack of sleep does bad things to me. But it's been a while since anything like that happened, and I'd actually forgotten how awful it can get. Until yesterday. Check it out:

I think in the last three days I'd had maybe four hours of sleep, total. Tuesday night I was up 'til 5am doing computer stuff (i.e., trying to figure out why some stuff wasn't working when it was just fine the day before), and then Wednesday night I didn't get to sleep a wink because of a rare visit from Mr. Unstoppable Acid Reflux. Nothing like waking up every time you doze off because you're suddenly strangling on stomach acid. If I'd had five fucking minutes to just lie down and take a half-hour nap or something like that in those two days, I would've been more-or-less fine (a little sluggish, but coherent)...but I was busy at Waynesburg all day Tuesday, at the doctor's office all day yesterday, and at work at the newspaper the rest of the time.

Looking back at yesterday's LJ posts, it's pretty clear that the lack of sleep had already begun to do nasty things to my cognitive abilities despite the fact that I was full of caffeine (No-Doz washed down with energy drinks). If my brain does not get the chance to shut down for a reasonable amount of time every so many hours, neurological deficits start showing up within a day and a half, and they just get worse. And worse. And worse. I honestly thought I'd be able to make it through work fine yesterday: I thought the caffeine would keep me going reasonably well until 11pm, when I could come home and officially crash. The last things I truly remember from yesterday at work was blanking out for five-to-ten minutes at a time (apparently my brain was taking what [ profile] tlttlotd calls "micronaps" trying to keep the damage from getting worse), feeling like my hands and feet were swollen and wrapped in lead weights, and getting a fever. All the symptoms of what I've come to call "sleep sickness" over the years. Apparently, I was trying to text message [ profile] aidinslevel through my phone and was completely incoherent. My buddy Dave at worked emailed me today to ask how I was feeling and mentioned that before I left last night (around 8:30pm), I was slurring words, and barely able to stand up. Dear god...somehow I managed to drive home. That's the last thing I clearly, definitively remember.

I apparently fell asleep about 9:30 last night. And didn't even twitch until noon. I didn't dream. I didn't move. I was basically dead.

I feel more-or-less fine today: sleep-dep sickness only needs sleep to fix, but...I am always alarmed--sometimes positively scared--by what I say or do during these moments, but luckily it doesn't happen much. Just remember, folks: when my brain starts to shut down, I can say and do some really weird shit. Just think of me as being so incredibly drunk I barely know who I am.

Luckily, this doesn't happen very often. And it's very easy to avoid. When the semester starts, I'm going to be working my ass off on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays...but I have Tuesdays and Thursdays off at the University, which means I can just rest up properly on those days. Plus, if I get at least six hours of sleep total per night, I'm fine: it's when I hit the four-hours-of-sleep-in-three-days poin that I go psychotic. Just ask my mother how I was when I had the chicken pox in 2002 and didn't sleep at all for three days. She had to pry an X-acto knife out of my hands before I started slicing off my scalp. No lie. It was like something from Hellraiser.



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