#70: Get Some Rest
Two nights ago, I had a bought of insomnia so bad that I didn't get to sleep until 4:30 in the morning. Considering the fact that I get up at 5:30, this was a problem. I spent the entire night, laying awake, staring at the ceiling or the backs of my eyelids, wondering why my body wouldn't let me sleep. At 1:30, I finally got up, washed my hair, got dressed, and went down to my home office to work for a couple of hours, figuring if I was going to be awake, I might as well be productive. I finally got sleepy at four and went back up to bed.
I adjusted my alarm, slept two and a half hours and woke up at 7 a.m. to get ready for my morning meetings. (It was a Monday, so I had a whole bunch of them, backtobacktoback.) Gritty-eyed and hollow-feeling, I stumbled through combing my hair and drinking some coffee. It was going to be a tough day.
And it was. I drifted around, not really able to concentrate on what I was doing, not making a ton of sense in my meetings (luckily, they were all internal and my folks give me grace for moments like this), and basically, feeling wrung out and drained. It sucked. I was pretty worthless, and I knew it.
But what it DID do was remind me how important it is to get good rest in order to be effective. I sometimes get into a superhero complex where I bemoan my need for a solid seven hours of sleep a night. (Okay, most nights I get like six and a half.) "Martha Stewart only needs four hours of sleep a night, what's wrong with me?" I'll ask myself, full of loathing for my humanity. It seems we Americans, so good at turning everything into a zero-sum game, have even made sleep deprivation a competition. (That link even comes from an article that says you're a wuss if you sleep eight hours a night. Thanks for making my point, Inc. Magazine.)
However, if you read further down in that article, you will see a rather off-hand reference to the fact that Nikola Tesla, one of the successful people they are lauding for not needing sleep HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN IN HIS 20'S BECAUSE HE DIDN'T SLEEP. Kind of a mixed message, there, folks. I remember when I had Catherine and I was working full-time and doing night feedings in the weeks after I came home from the hospital and I got so tired at one point that I was hallucinating. I never want to get back to that point, so last night, after my work day was done and I'd eaten a good dinner, I took a dose of Unisom and literally got in bed at 8:15. I slept the whole night and today, I almost feel human. Almost. One more night of good sleep and I'll get there, I'm sure.