Sleep and I have not always been the best of friends. It’s no secret that I snore loudly… and also happen to stop breathing around 77 times a minute as discovered by that darned sleep study, but that’s not the issue here. Lately I am more deprived of it than usual.
Being sleep deprived isn’t really something new when you work in EMS. Often times 12-hour shifts became 16-hour or even 18-hour shifts. Working overnights provided it’s own set of physiological effects when you work the exact opposite hours of all those around you, except of course for your partner.
I had become accustomed to this lifestyle over the years. Being able to function after only 2 hours of rest, having the uncanny ability to fall asleep virtually anywhere during downtime, and being able to maintain a high level of functionality under those conditions for a duration were all things I could pride myself on.
Which is why I’m sitting here now at 3 something in the morning trying to bring myself back down from a state in which of I were a speaker I’d be wired for sound. What’s so different about this is that I can’t pinpoint the cause.
Normally I would easily be able to identify the additional stressor, life change, dietary change, or other factor that would be causing this. This time there is no glaring variable or ambient factors flooding into my life that I can shift the blame to easily. That to me is the more worrisome part… because if it isn’t something new, then it must be something old. Something already conquered, vanquished, and erased that is coming back.
Truth is I don’t know if I want to actually know.
I just want to be able to have a few hours of sleep so I can avoid all those side effects. So I can have energy to get things done. So I can make the right decisions at the right times. So I can just be me.
And all that cal my little droogies… all that cal….