An Epiphany

Epiphany - The sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something. It is a term is used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify that the claimant (or "I" in this case) has found the last "piece of the puzzle" and now can see the whole picture."

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I am tired...

I am tired almost all the time... no... Strike that. I AM tired ALL the time.

I start my day feeling unrefreshed. Many nights, I go to bed much later than I should, and get SIGNIFICANTLY less sleep that what I am told is "healthy". Even on the nights I do make it to bed on time, I still feel as if I am starting my day off behind on sleep.

I live life behind a veil of fatigue.

I sit down at the end of the day with the Mother of Five to discuss whatever needs to be discussed, and before long, my eyes start rolling back, and my head starts a-bobbin'.

I am unable to just sit, relax and listen to some Old Time Radio, or the previous day's episode of the Ron & Fez Show without falling asleep within the first few minutes.

I can no longer just sit and enjoy music without falling asleep. Oh, and the genre of music... It does not matter. I will fall asleep listening to Death Metal as quickly as I would to New Age relaxation music.
Don't even bother asking me about how long I am awake when I lay down to sleep and put in some music to fall asleep to (intentionally)... I can not remember the last time I remember the second song on the album.
I nod off reading stories to the girls at night, that's a nap waiting to happen FOR SURE. I "rest my eyes" while surfing Facebook, or sitting here writing this post. I have counted (no less than) three instances where my head started bobbing.

Needless to say - this year while enjoying the peace, quiet, and solitude of the duck and deer blinds, I slept.

It was while I was sitting in the duck blind this year that I REALLY STARTED THINKING about my sleep, my lack of sleep, and my ability to fall asleep pretty much anywhere and anytime I let myself...
That was the key!!
Anytime I let myself... Only it was not quite the key either, after all - I did not "let myself" fall asleep while reading, or talking to the Mother of Five... (That always resulted in some "damage control" later on too!)

My epiphany occurred when I realized that I am at a point now that unless I am in a state of actively reminding myself to stay awake, I will start to fall asleep.

I know, I know... This can not be healthy physically, mentally, or emotionally, but a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do to get by. I'll just have to pay for it later on down the road (only it will be with interest).

Like the overused cliche goes... "I'll sleep when I'm dead".

4 comments:

  1. Oh, I empathize with you, FOF. It isn't good what you're going through, and I hope that your situation changes so you can get enough sleep. You get some really bizarre thought processes with that level of sleep deprivation, usually leading to some bad decision making on certain levels (I'm thinking of your reflexes, for one thing). I feel your pain and wish you the best. You could always label the different labels of sleep deprivation you experience. I've done that, and it allows me to measure just how out of it I am. It's fun and scary.

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  2. Yeah, but what good are you to anyone when you're chronically tired? So, I know you work a lot, but is that it? Or is that you don't force yourself to get off the computer at night and go to bed? Combo of the above?
    Dude, you haveta take care of yourself, because Obama's Health Plan ain't gonna do it for you!
    HA HA HA! (I couldn't resist).

    Seriously man, strike a deal with the devil, or with your wife, or with whomever you need to these next few days and take some "me" time to recharge.

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  3. I know how you feel! Things are SLIGHTLY better for me lately, but I have fallen asleep reading out loud to my children, sometimes continuing to "read" with some fairly bazaar results. I all too often fall asleep when I think I am actively listening to a speaker (in church for instance), and being the responsible adult driver with a son on a learner permit is HARD - he has to keep waking me up.

    wishing you a little well earned rest so that you can be and feel your best

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  4. Ahhhh David. Sorry to have not kept up on your blog lately...I must have been sleeping (umm..I mean really busy like you...sorry). Well as luck would have it my membership to the Metro CISM Team has benefits - including a visit to our last Team Meeting by a doctor with Hennepin County Medical Center's Sleep Disorder Unit. I shall share my newfound wealth of knowledge on sleep and/or the lack thereof now for you. All of us are born with a pre-determined need for a specific range of sleeping hours per day. It can be as little as 4 or as much as 12-13...but most experts agree you should be getting about 8-9 hours of sleep per day to funcional optimally. If you need an alarm clock to wake up you are sleep deprived - those that have gotten enough sleep will be wakened naturally by their brains basically saying (I'm good - to hell with this bed). Most of us wake up approximately 20 times per sleeping session - you will likely have little or no recollection of these instances unless something leads you be awake more than just momentarily - like your spouse stole the covers and hid them in Denmark and now you need to get out of bed to steal them from another member of your family - or your 25 pound cat has been sleeping on your leg for the last 4 hours causing it to have "fallen asleep" giving you that ever so pleasant needles feeling and increasing your innate risk for deep vein thrombosis through almost complete lack of veinous flow - or Centerpoint violated the cold weather rule and shut off your gas causing your house to grow frightfully cold over the last 6 hours and no amount of blankets can stop your violent shivering which is now similar to a grand mal seizure. If any of these have happened to you you'll probably remember this wakeful moment. No type of food helps induce sleep - NONE - and alcohol is a beverage so nice try. Speaking of alcohol yes it can help to make you sleepy - but if you're going to drink enough to induce sleep (AKA pass out) you: A)just might have a drinking problem and B) you just might also compromise your body's autonomic nervous system functioning enough to cause it to forget to make you breath in your sleep = dirt nap and C) maybe you can join the list of celebrities who have had the pleasure of drowning/choking to death on their own vomit. Over the counter items such as Benedryl..Advil PM...Tylenol PM don't really help you sleep - they will however succeed in making you tired/groggy/fuzzy even after you sleep as you are trying to get on with your life and/or work. The number of people under age 25 who die from falling asleep while driving is equal to the number of those 25 and under who die from drunk driving accidents. Those who work night shifts are at a higher risk for having sleep disorders due to staying awake while their body would naturally prefer to be sleeping - they have a higher risk of worker comp claims/injuries/errors and are at risk for falling asleep while driving even in broad daylight following a prolonged period of wakefullness overnight. I'm sure you remember how I myself fell asleep while driving (thankfully stopped at a red light all 3 times) coming home from working Dogwatch with you - each time also thankfully awakened by some of Minneapolis Finest rather than Jimmy the Meth Addict throwing me out of my own car. My father was not so lucky - he fell asleep one night on a country road which came to a "T" and hit a ditch going full speed - severing his ear - splitting his nose in half among other injuries but amazingly survived. You cannot "bank" or "pay forward" sleep. It doesn't matter if you sleep 14 hours one day - you still will need your normal amount the next. Of course as with your bank account you can go negative in sleep however and yes your body does notice. Thankfully you can recover if you get 1/3 as much sleep as you've been deprived of on a following day. If you can't sleep you should not lay in bed longer than 15 minutes - you should leave the bedroom entirely and read/watch tv/do a hobby - until you feel tired and then try sleeping in bed again. If you stay in bed not sleeping you will find yourself getting agitated and thinking obsessively about going to sleep which of course will ultimately assist in keeping you awake. Some people with extreme insomnia have come to associate their own beds with not sleeping - yet can stay at a hotel and sleep beautifully in even the most uncomfortable bed.
    I'd say more but I need to get some sleep myself...or is this really part of a bad dream? The Rogue Dispatcher

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