Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

samedi 1 avril 2006

Somnorexia... it's a bitch.

Picture this. Anytown, USA, 2006. There is a dimly-lit, smoke-filled basement populated with yawning people occupying folding chairs, all facing the front of the room. Sounds of people popping No-Doz fill the air. A podium is in front and a harried middle-aged woman raps the podium, calling for attention. The weekly meeting has begun. A woman walks to the front of the room.
“My name is Sandy Shore. I am a somnorexic.”
The meeting proceeds much like a 12-step meeting. The purpose of this meeting is for those who are somnorexic; that is, people who accumulate a sleep deficit during the week and overcompensate on the weekends.

When given the opportunity to reflect on what I wanted to change about my behavior, the first thing that came to mind was sleep. This has been a source of much frustration for me for several years now, but much more so now that I’m taking 3 graduate-level classes in addition to my usual full plate, which includes: a highly demanding teaching job, extra responsibilities at my job due to my leadership positions, along with being very active in my community in various ways. I had already weeded out what I did not believe to be important and have been continuing to decline opportunities, but it’s still a lot to handle. As a result of all this, I had gotten into the habit of sleeping 4 to 5 hours per night during the week and sleeping 12 hours on the weekend. This had left me groggy, listless, and having more and more trouble functioning as the week progressed. Easy choice for this project!

The above paragraphs are the introduction for a self-monitoring project I wrote for a class this past week. Suffice it to say that my sleeping patterns did not improve much during the month I was gathering data on this behavior change project. For example, last night I went to bed at 9 pm and didn't wake up until 12:30 today.

It's quite frustrating, actually. I sleep between 4 to 6 hours a weeknight, then sleep over 12 hours on weekend nights. It feels quite unproductive and I'm always tired. Last month was really hard because I had 2 papers due a week and there were some big deadlines at work. It was awful. But this month should be much easier, because I have 2 spring breaks and they don't overlap. That'll give me some down time and there are few really major deadlines. I have time to get things done ahead of time. Hopefully I won't be so severely somnorexic much longer.

I concluded the paper with: This was a very interesting experience. I found that I have made a conscious effort to sleep more during this particularly stressful month than I would probably have done otherwise. While I have not yet met the goal, I have made progress. As I end this, I note that it is 10:11 pm on Tuesday, March 28th. While I will not meet the 8 hours’ goal, I may just yet sleep more than seven hours, as long as I end this, put my PowerBook down, put it to sleep, and walk to bed right now. Wish me luck in April!