I woke up this morning after an uninterrupted eight-hours sleep.
That may not impress anyone, but I am grateful. This doesn’t happen very often.
The somnologists, (these are doctors who specialize in sleep disorders and study optimal sleep) tell us we need eight hours and, contrary to common belief, this need does not decrease with age. What does decrease with age, or life stressors, is the actual number of hours real people get to rebuild their bodies and ready their minds for the next day.
Most nights, I manage about six and a half hours. This has become my new normal, and it never feels quite all right. On bad nights, it’s much less.
I function on four hours’ sleep. But at what cost?
When looking over first drafts, I can see where my sleep was markedly decreased. Chapters that contain many more typos or clunky articulation almost always correspond to days that followed poor sleep. Even my once-over read after that day’s work didn’t catch these sagging patches. After all, I did these reads on the same rickety days.
Too little sleep, or fitful sleep, also corresponds to burning myself over the stove and not finding my keys. Honestly, when I reflect on my chronic sleep deprivation in the months of my kids' infanthood, I wonder how I managed to keep them alive.
So, for today, I’m grateful. Wishing y’all a good night’s sleep.