Wow! I never knew just how important sleep was to my body. Yes I have always known that my body needs sleep, I need that time to decompress, process, regenerate, rejuvenate, refresh. And I am a person who relies on my body cues for sleep, sleep when tired wake up when I want. No alarms for me. Even when I worked full time outside the home, before children, I knew that I was not a morning person and therefore worked evening and night shifts.
But I have been really busy lately working on volunteer things. Things that I feel are really important and so am willing to put in the hours, usually just a few hours a week. This past week has been different, meeting a deadline, trying my best to accommodate other people so that in the end we are all happy. I have been going to bed later than usual, thinking about what I need to accomplish the next day, waking up really early still thinking about those things I need to get done. It makes for a restless, short sleep, that is not refreshing at all. And for a few days there I felt like I was in this mental fog, like there was a thin curtain over my brain. I have never felt this way before, it was strange and scary. I know it was my body telling me that I need to rest, needed to shut down, and warning me that if I didn't shut down soon it would do so without my conscious agreement.
I walked around in that state of mind for three days. Then the work was done and I could get the much needed rest. I am not sure how other people deal with this or even know what I am talking about. My husband sleeps maybe 5 hours a night on average. Does he just not need sleep like I do? Does the body adapt to less sleep if it goes on for a length of time? Would my body adapt if I had continued to keep that schedule. I will admit one thing, I did feel like I was "making the most of my day" meaning I was up a long time, was I productive....maybe not. Well I will never know if my body would have adapted. I am back to my "normal" schedule, stay up late, get up late. And I think I am starting to recover. I am feeling a bit more rested. I did learn that it takes twice as long to feel rested again after you have functioned on less sleep for a couple of days, I think I am still recovering now. I have a new found sympathy for those with sleep disorders. It must be one of the most debilitating disorders.