Sleep Deprivation: The silent killer

OK, well I may have gathered that you don’t actually die from lack of sleep – or I would have been 6 foot under a few months ago – but boy does it mess with your system. One of the many words of wisdom I received when Lenny came on the scene included ‘Just remember, no one has ever died from a lack of sleep’ And that may be technically true, but I have often wondered if sleep deprivation has been responsible for people going close to dying  – or being responsible for someone else’s death at the very least.

I’m not sure what you call the phase that we are currently going through (I have an appointment with the community nurse later this month, so I’m hoping to get a formal diagnosis from her) but call it teething, call it a growth spurt, call it whatever the heck you like, but when sleep is hard to come by then everything else is hard. Real hard.

I don’t need to count up the hours of missed sleep on my fingers, I know I am sleep deprived when:

  • My creativity is sapped…and I feel like I’ll never have a bright idea again. The thought of sitting down to write a blog post makes me feel squeamish, along with the thought that I might never have a funny/ useful/ interesting/ productive thing to say to anyone again. Ever.
  • Relationships become strained…mainly with those that live under the same roof as me (I seem to be able to ‘bung it on’ if I have a visitor.) Mind you, my conversation skills are limited and I tend to speak in one or two word sentences. I prefer to be the answerer rather than the questioner when I am tired, and it’s amazing how long you can keep a conversation rolling with ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers.
  • The comparison trap is wide open…yep, and I start to slide in. Without decent sleep I start to doubt myself and invariably imagine other more capable ladies killing it. It’s not healthy and I have developed some skills to snap back out of it, but often if I am feeling a bit tender then I start to worry what other people might think. Which is not helpful at all.
  • Come night time, the TV is turned on…and I watch it recklessly, flicking from the new SBS food channel (I think Curtis Stone might have shares in that channel – he is on every 2nd show) to the cricket slash tennis or heaven forbid repeats of Grand Designs from 2010. Turn it off.
  • I overthink every single decision…actually I can’t actually make a decision to save myself. Should I put the pram into the car first? Will I turn the car on to cool down? Should I pop Lenny in first? Will I put my shoes on before I put him in? ARRGGH Who cares? Just get in the bloody car. Go barefoot, no one gives a toss.
  • We’re in a food funk…I know everyone is capable of falling into a slump when it comes to meal planning and cooking but I have gone through long stints of meat and 3 veg – ok make it 2, including potato – for days at a time. And not a skerrick of gravy or sauce to be seen. I’m telling you when I haven’t had sleep, things are B.L.A.N.D.

I’d like to say that it’s the complete reversal of these tendencies when I am loaded up on sleep. Not quite, but everything is brighter, there’s no doubt about it. And I can see past my own eyelashes…and even be helpful to others.

So it’s off to bed for me.







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