May 9, 2013

The Sandman's Revenge: Why Sleep Is So Important

What Mandy Thinks: "Words of Advice" post
(I may be writing this at 6am after an all-nighter, so bare with me through the ramblings.)

College was the not-so-blissful time of no sleep.  Classes, jobs, internships, club meetings, and the occasional sanity readjustment of social activities took up about 20 hours of my average day.  At one point I was stumbling through a three month period of five classes, two jobs, two internships, and two school clubs; all of this meant 4 hours was just enough for me to "function" without passing out.  Mornings were battles.  My energy level on a scale of 1 to 10 was a polite 3.  The bags under my eyes had bags.  Junk food was an escape and false boost with all that sugar and toxicity I let my body crave on an hourly basis.

What Mandy Thinks: Image of Jimmy the Cat sleeping
But just because I was awake doesn't mean I was at my best.

Since college, an epiphany struck: I had been the Sandman's bitch for years.  

I know what you're thinking: the Sandman is a humble guy sprinkling sleepy dust over us when we need some shut-eye, right?  WRONG.  The Sandman in my eyes was a ghoulish being or Anti-Sandman who stole sand FROM ME when I was supposed to be sleeping.  My sand was energy carved out from my core.  This Sandman would chisel it out painfully slowly whenever he wanted some energy for himself until feeling almost empty was some kind of normal.  He'd follow me throughout the day whispering in my ear "Hey... you're gonna wanna take a nap right now arn'tcha?  GIMME!" and I would just pretend he wasn't there.  He must have been in cahoots with my teachers who would assign a massive paper JUST as the rest of my classes had a slight homework break, so a good night's sleep would not be possible until a quarterly break between classes.  Even THEN he would manipulate me into thinking this "break" was actually the perfect time to do things I've put off, so the extra sleep was a distraction technique hiding anxiety from the halt my hyper-productive self.

Fast-forward two years after graduation: I am getting a lot of sleep.  Twice as much to be exact.  With a flexible work schedule letting me sleep in til 10am most days, my usual bedtime is still the same 1-2am but OH SO MUCH TIME there is for sleep!  Sure my lifestyle has completely changed: one full-time job, no studying needed because no school, free time up the WAZOO to do whatever the heck I wanted, and a weekly social night being all I need has been fabulous to say the least.  My warped definition of "functioning" has also changed from "I need to be awake so what my body feels is irrelevant" to "I need to be awake so am I prepared enough for it?"

Now Mr. Sandman is the humble man he's supposed to be.  I agreed to get more sleep and he agreed to only make my daytime life a living hell by sicking his evil side on me whenever I voluntarily broke this rule.  Here's why getting sleep is SO important:

1. Your brain needs it.

2. Your body needs it.

3. Your energy is fueled by it.

4. Your diet alters it.

4. Your sanity depends on it!

5. Your productivity is helped by it.

6. It clears the way towards other healthy things.

Next time you feel the Anti-Sandman sucking your soul out of you, think about how much sleep you're getting and how much better you'll feel when he's off your back.

No comments:

Post a Comment

follow mandy