When my oldest was born, she awoke every 20 minutes during the night for a feeding. I calculated the amount of sleep I was getting and it totaled two hours a night! This was a bit challenging as I was working full-time (with my daughter in tow) at a highly demanding job with a heavy caseload.
No wonder when I look back at photographs from those days my eyes are always closed – I was desperately attempting to squeeze in a nap whenever I could!
Fast forward many years later and there are still clues that I am sleep deprived.
So, how can you tell that sleep deprivation has made its entrance into your life? Here are 8 ways:
1. You make your husband’s sandwiches for the next day’s lunch as you always do. However, when your husband arrives home from work the following day, he breaks the bad news to you – could you please remember to put the ham and cheese on the sandwiches? After all, a mayonnaise sandwich is hardly tasty, let alone healthy!
2. After you drop the kids off at soccer practice, you realize a startling fact – the sliding rear door of your minivan is left open and you’ve been driving it that way for the past 3 miles! (This happened to a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous).
3. You begin unloading the dishes on a particularly tiring day. What you don’t realize until minutes later is that you have been unloading the dishwasher of dirty dishes and putting them in your cupboards. Two words for this: EWWWW! and GROSS!
4. Speaking of house cleaning duties, you hear a clunk-clunk as you are vacuuming and discover to your horror that you didn’t realize in your sleep-deprived-state that there was Polly Pocket clothing and accessories on the floor of the playroom. Alas, those same articles of clothing and accessories have now fallen victim to a Hoover upright vacuum – known as “Big Mr. Blue.”
5. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation messes with the memory. Case in point: You get your children’s names mixed up, or call them the names of the characters in your books. Or worse yet, you accidentally mix up the names of your children with the name of the family pet!
6. You drive home after grocery shopping and drive right past the turnoff to your house, but don’t realize it until you’re in the next town. This might have happened to someone who is writing this blog post who might have been sleep deprived. But we won’t mention names. 🙂
7. We’ve all been in those grocery stores where they ask for your telephone number at the checkout. You’re so tired that you stutter about, not remembering that you had a telephone, let alone a telephone number.
8. Speaking of telephones and telephone numbers, here is one of the best measures of how to know you are just wiped out from lack of sleep: have you ever been having a challenging day and needed to call a friend for encouragement and prayer support? My friend called me one day in tears. “I really needed to talk to you, but when I called, your phone was continually busy.”
I was perplexed. After all, my landline phone can never be busy since I have call forwarding. If I’m on another line, it will automatically ring to my cell phone. “Really?” I asked.
“Well, at least that’s what I thought,” began my friend, “Until I realized that I had called my own phone number and that’s why I was getting the busy signal!”
What humorous side effects have you experienced from sleep deprivation?