Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Humor of Sleep Deprivation

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Oops! Is that my face in the keyboard? Being chronically sleep deprived is no laughing matter, and hence Cindi Leive from Glamor, and Arianna Huffington have partnered in a quest to "throw the covers" off of an issue that has been "swept under the rug" for far too long.

Both admitted to 'falling off the wagon' in the first ten days of a month long sleep challenge. Cindi captured a funny rundown of her mental ramble at 3 a.m., followed by locking herself out of the house after a morning run.

When we are sleep deprived, everything is amplified and dulled at the same time. Sounds are louder, emotions are hotter, tears are right under the surface; and yet our reflexes and recall skills are much slower- ever noticed that? When I am exhausted, I can't remember where I parked my car after a five minute run into the store, but the second my husband looks at me cross-eyed, I am a ball of fury and sobs.

I admit I have done some really stupid things while being sleep deprived. I have burned many a tea pot, forgotten the names of people I have known for years in the middle of a conversation, showed up for a meeting at the wrong place and the wrong time, and once even left behind one of my kids at the bottom of a ski slope, to go inside for lunch.

Most recently, after a night of four interruptions from everything from pre-teen nightmares to pee pee sheets, I went to the gym to try and wake up. I climbed onto the elliptical machine, plugged into CNN and started groovin' along. After about 15 minutes, I wondered why I was sweating like a pig. I looked down, and realized I had walked out the door, and was now working out, with my shearing slipper boots still on.

What are some of the absolute DUMBEST things you have done while being sleep deprived? Let's lighten up this subject and share some of our biggest giggles and yawns!

Maria Miranda, Facebook expert, and founder of Miranda Creative shared a few juicy examples of a savvy business owner on too little sleep. While she admits to locking herself out of her house, like Cindi, as well as leaving the keys in the car door - I loved her story of leaving the keys in the fridge while grabbing a drink, and having no idea where to find them.

"I was just joking about this subject, so it is on the top of my mind," said Miranda. "Twice I have done a 'Google' search on my Blackberry, and then held the phone to my 'ear' as if I would 'hear' the results!"


Another classic story came from a wiped out woman at work who was on the phone with a client, and automatically said, "I love you" at the end of a business call. A single mom in Florida admitted to pouring coffee into her daughter's sippy cup for preschool; and then drove off, gulping nasty apple juice from her 'to-go' mug.

Mika Brezinski, anchor of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" is a busy TV celebrity, mother of two, and is no stranger to functioning with little sleep. In her recent book, All Things At Once, she opens up about her very human life, and the balancing act of motherhood and career - including falling down the stairs with her newborn from sheer exhaustion. She confessed on Barnes & Noble Tagged, that the shirt she is wearing on the cover of the book, was the shirt she showed up in for the photo shoot- after falling asleep with her clothes on the night before.

One of my favorite sleep deprived stories describes a woman in her late 40's who had a surprise new baby and was back in the newborn haze. She was running through Old Navy for a few baby items, and got stuck in an endless line that would never move. As she stood there getting more and more infuriated, she finally woke up to realize she has been standing for twenty minutes -behind an Old Navy mannequin.

No wonder there is a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts on every street corner these days. Finding the humor in our mutual calamity may make it easier to shut the world down whenever a moment allows- in the parking lot during lunch break, on the couch with the kids, or before Jay Leno finishes the "early-late" show. After all, wearing your pj's to work is only funny once.

1 comment:

  1. One morning I couldn't find my car keys. Anywhere. As my husband assembled lunches he reached into the box of crackers and, lo and behold, car keys. It seems I had put them in there the night before in some kind of fatique ridden haze.

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