When I was stuck working the night shift I was consumed with thoughts of sleep all the time. When I was at work and my patients were sleeping I'd be so envious. My body would go into a freeze state at about 2300 hrs each night, just about the time it would be going to into deep slumber at home. When I was on my days off I would force myself out of bed by noon, after a measly 3 hours in bed so that I had some chance of sleeping during the night. Sometimes it worked, other times I was wide awake at 0300 hrs baking cookies (there isn't much to do in the middle of the night and we didn't have internet or TV on demand back in the stone ages). Why on the nights that I had the chance to sleep would my body revolt, payback for overcaffeinating it and seeking out adrenalin rushes to keep alert on work nights? I look back at those two years and see them through a fog. Ever felt hungover, me neither, but I imagine that is what it feels like;) I would repeatedly tell Me Hearty that I was being deprived of one full night of sleep a week. That's 8 hours every week, 32 hours a month, and that's not counting the nights I lay awake unable to sleep, that's just the switching back and forth between being a night person and being a day person. Me Hearty argues to this day that I slept more than usual because I would fall asleep every time we would be in a car.
So by now my readers are probably wondering what the point of all this sleep talk is? (that is the readers who have actually made it this far) Well now that I am officially training for an Ironman, sleep is once again something I think of. This past weekend was my first 'real' IM training weekend and Saturday night on our way to a friends wedding celebration, I fell asleep in the car. Yesterday we were out for a drive and once again, I fell asleep, luckily I was not driving. I know that it is normal for people who are fatiguing themselves in training to need more sleep, but my baseline is 8 hours a night. Add a couple of hours to that here and there and it gets crazy. I hear of all these triathletes who do 4:45 am runs followed by 6 am masters swims and wonder how they do it. If I were to call them at say 6pm, would I find them about to go to bed? I often envy that they can go, go, go and wish I could do that. Reality is, I can not. One of the things I have been trying to do a better job of is listening to my body, and it says slumber is necessary. Give it a good nights rest and I can back up several solid days. So in answering the Barenaked Ladies question ' who needs sleep' , I do, and I better get some:)