Sunday, July 23, 2017

Random Question: Sleep

Every so often I get lucky and manage to have something resembling a sleep pattern going on. During that time I even usually sleep well. Then, all of a sudden, I find myself unable to sleep, the pattern disappears, and my hours become random. Sometimes this just means a shift in sleep times, other times this actually means me getting little to no sleep. It's kind of a little annoying. OK, it's very annoying. But I'm not surprised when it happens any more, because it's just how things are to me these days (and nights).

My reason for mentioning it today is that I was recently - during one of those nights when I couldn't sleep, despite having been up all day, and despite being tired so wanting to very badly - thinking about the longest I've gone without sleep. I know there have been a few times I've gone 72 hours without any sleep, but I'm pretty sure there haven't been any times longer than that - thankfully. Yeah... I probably don't need to tell you that I'm glad that one doesn't happen too often. Actually, it's been a few years since I've gone that long without sleep. But, let me tell you, when it does happen it's no fun, and not very good for my brain, which needs me to sleep sometimes so it can do the thing brains do with chemicals to keep them functioning. I can't remember the details of the thing brains do with chemicals - and don't feel like looking it up - but it's something to do with sleep being needed because a certain chemical is released during sleep that cleans up the mess of the brain from all the hard thinking it's had to do during waking hours, and how this process keeps the brain functioning.

I was going to add the word "normally" there, but several people insist that word doesn't apply to me in any shape or form, especially when it comes to the function of my brain. They might be right.


After spending some time considering how long I'd gone without sleep, I started to wonder about other people. As you do. Well, I do, because I'm nosy like that. So...

What's the longest you've ever been without sleep? Was it intentional?


Rita said...

I've gone without sleep for 2-3 days straight many times. I went up to a week with maybe an hour to hour and a half a day several times. It was on purpose. When Dagan was sick I was his only caregiver and for 12 years whenever he ran a fever of over 100-101 he went into arrhythmias and I had to put him in the bathtub in tepid water if sponging him down didn't work.

I worked and lived for two years in a senior building--days in the office and nights were on call for emergencies. So there were several times I was dealing with a stroke or heart attack and ambulances half the night and then could not sleep and had to be in the office at 8am.

Besides the have to be up stuff--I was always a night owl since I was a kid. Often was so engrossed writing or crafting till I heard birds and realized dawn was coming. So I also have had to get by an very little sleep to make it to work--when it was my own fault. When I was working on papers for college when I was an older student--same thing.

Menopause also causes insomnia in my family--and that caused me sometimes three days without being able to sleep--awwkkk! Could just cry was so tired!

So I understand. I'm glad I don't have those totally sleepless nights too often anymore. Melatonin has helped me a lot. Don't take it like a normal person, though--LOL! Takes 6-7 hours for it to work on me and I take a 10mg amount. But if I don't take it I am back to greeting the dawn. I know because I've tried not taking it. Some of us just don't have the same relationship with sleep as most people. ;)

Jeanie said...

Good question. My longest, probably an all-nighter in college, though I may not have made it that far! I have plenty of sleepless nights (or seemingly so) where I don't get very much because of my breathing but usually manage to get some in there, so not an all-in-one sleepless night. Very interesting.

But I get what you are saying exactly because of the lung stuff and when I'm up at night for hours or just get to sleep and wake myself up, the next day I feel like dog meat. That happened after Friday night and I needed a nap!

Victoria Zigler said...

Yeah, I knew you suffered with sleep issues. I totally get that thing where you could just cry you were so tired sometimes. It's bad enough when you have reasons to be awake - like caring for people - but worse during those times when there's no valid reason for it. I think so, anyway.

That sucks! Glad you get a little sleep every night though, even if it's not always much.

Danielle L Zecher said...

Probably not more than about 36 hours (maybe closer to 48 hours in my younger years) and that's usually when something is very wrong.

I hope you're able to get some sleep soon. I know it's a miserable feeling to be so sleep deprived.

Victoria Zigler said...

Glad you don't end up with more time than that without sleep. Hope the 36 hour thing doesn't happen often.