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The Scary Realities of Sleep Deprivation

thStudies came out almost four years ago about the effect of Sleep deprivation on performance: it was similar to being drunk. Some said, even more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

That’s heady stuff. That’s scary stuff.

I’ve been trying to get more sleep than I used to and doing a good job of it. However, last night, my oldest was traveling. I woke up in another city to ensure that he and his father in our other city were getting up by 1:30 a.m. and leaving the house by 2:15 a.m. Benedetto drove him to the train station, then returned home to wake the other kids by 3:30 a.m., so that they could travel together in my direction. Then son #1 starts texting me from the train between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., when I finally said, “You know what? I think I’m going back to bed now….”

Various appointments and deadlines loomed throughout the day. But I wasn’t feeling my best. The family arrived midday and that was a chiahighlight, so I wasn’t that sleepy until nighttime. But still. I made a couple of morning mistakes before they arrived.

First, with my yogurt in the early a.m., I was going to throw in some chia seeds. I grabbed a package similar to the seeds. Just in the knick of time, I saw: epsom salts. Not chia.

About an hour later, I saw several patches on a painted wood floor that needed touchups. Really, just some color rubbed over it. I remembered placing the small can of Paint and brush in a utility room. It would take a bit of work to pop the top of the can. I shook the paint, pried around the raised edge and went to get the brush.

A phone call came in, one thing led to another, I returned to the paint some five minutes later. The top had sealed again, yet I distinctly recalled having popped it open. I took out a spoon handle and worked around the lip of the can. Lifting the sleeplid, I saw black paint instead of white.

Before it was too late, I spied the original can of paint a couple of feet away on the counter. Top already popped. Two cans, two different yet similar brushes. I put away the black and went back to the white.

I came to a valuable conclusion: by foregoing sleep and accomplishing more, we actually waste time and do less than if we had simply gotten a good night’s sleep and continued our tasks the next morning.


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The Scary Realities of Sleep Deprivation


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