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Sleep(less) cycles

Topics/tags: Autobiographical, short, wellness

It should not surprise anyone who knows me that I don’t always get enough sleep. There are, of course, multiple problems with not getting enough sleep. For example, it clearly affects my health, the quality of my work, and my thought processes.

There are two particularly significant impacts.

First, when I’m tired, I tend to make less good decisions. For example, I might say to myself It’s a bit early to go to bed. I’ll just do something quick instead. But I don’t judge quick well. I might spend two hours playing with encapsulated Postscript for the new logo [1]. I might spend two or three hours looking at preregistration numbers or re-checking to make sure that all my advisees are registered [2]. I might discover an online book sale and try to figure out which of my wish list books are on sale [3]. I might realize that the owner of Not Lame records decided to give his better customers temporary download rights to the back catalog and downloading lots of Power Pop [4]. I might spend time reading through dozens of recipes on a friend’s Facebook post. I might just wander down one of the too many rabbit-holes on the InterWeb. Suddenly [5], rather than going to bed early, I’m going to bed late, which just exacerbates the problem [6]. That is, I get more behind on sleep, I make more bad decisions in the evening, and so on and so forth.

Second, when I’m tired, I tend to work less efficiently. That means that everything takes longer. That puts me further behind. So I feel an inclination to stay up late to work on it. But at some point, I realize that I’m too tired to work sensibly. So I make another bad decision as to what to do [7]. But my subconscious knows that I haven’t done necessary work. So I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about things I haven’t done. Guess what? Waking up in the middle of the night also makes me sleep less.

Aren’t those wonderful cycles? Less sleep leads to bad decisions and less work which leads to less sleep. Recursion in action, I think.

Tonight I’m going to fight back a bit. I’ve kept this musing short. I think it’s still comprehensible enough. I’m going to bed.

[1] Yes, I really did that.

[2] Yes, I’ve done that, too.

[3] Sorry Michelle.

[4] Now I don’t have to rip my Jellyfish and Posies box sets! Plus I have ten years of International Pop Overthrow compilations.

[5] Okay, it’s not that sudden. But it feels that way.

[6] I generally don’t have an option as to when I wake up. I need to be on campus early enough to prepare class and, in many cases, do a few other things, too.

[7] See previous paragraph for sample bad decisions.

Version 1.0 of 2018-04-28.