Thursday, September 4, 2014

Brain Fog

The problem with super early classes is that going to bed early doesn't necessarily help me get enough sleep --- I can just toss and turn until it is closer to a "normal" bedtime --- and then when the alarm goes off I am exhausted and in deep in the middle of my sleep cycle.

Sidebar: I don't know if you have been reading up on all those fit tracker things and how monitoring and recording your own sleep cycles is now A Thing, because it is better to wake up at one of the points where you are already very close to being awake rather than in deep sleep, but I can't ever hear about one's sleep cycle without visualizing it as the equivalent of the spin cycle on a washing machine. Does your brain whirr softly in circles until you lift the lid? Is there a little green light somewhere that lights when you move from the spin cycle to second rinse? Do I feel foggy because I wake up with my brain still covered in suds? Maybe it's best I don't know.

Anyway, right now I am in a state where I get home and need to immediately eat my body weight in snack-dinner (also known as sninner) even though it is only about 3 pm, and then collapse on the couch in a weird, ugly fog-state where I am too tired to keep my eyes open but not tired enough to fall into a nap. And of course, grading homework sucks at the best of times, so there is no way I want to do that while feeling yucky and mostly asleep. This is all exacerbated by the fact that late evening is always a pretty alert point in my circadian rhythm (no clue where that is on the sleep/wash cycle) and if I go back to grade or prepare or, god forbid, check my email at this point, I will be roused into a state it is almost impossible to wind down from in time to go to bed ... and if I have managed to sleep at 3, I'm not tired enough to go to bed and sleep anyway.

And ironically, this makes me hate weekends and holidays, like the one we just had, because sheer exhaustion can eventually re-set me to the new schedule by the end of the week, but then it all pops back again --- sproing! --- if I don't have some absolutely imperative reason for getting out of bed over the weekend. And we're talking 5:30 or 6 here, so there is pretty much no imperative reason on the weekend short of an alien attack.

We're also actually doing all our department and division meetings this year (previous chair stepped down suddenly because of illness so last year was an oddly-meeting-free year) and I get to do committee work and other project type things this year while pretending I know what I'm doing, which entails late-afternoon meetings. Everyone has been very good about keeping things to a fairly decent length and getting us out at 5 (despite all sorts of crazy budget crap we need to deal with and other crises), which is great for everyone who needs to get home and feed kids, but I am suffering, teaching all early morning classes and then slogging about trying to stay conscious for a 3:30 or 4 pm meeting! And last year our last big combined meeting was around Halloween and they gave us candy. I think we need candy at every meeting, stapled to the agendas they hand out. And a coffee bar. That reminds me: one of my projects is to get a taco truck on campus near our building.

You think I'm kidding.

1 comment:

Andrea Milne said...

No. Joke.

I can totally empathize. I've been fighting a nasty bout of insomnia recently, so most days I'm only getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep (I really need 8 to function... plus an afternoon nap).

Then days like today happen, and sheer exhaustion leads to a two hour nap I'd not planned on taking. I'm normally in bed by 11, but it's 9 here now, and I feel like I'm just starting to wake up.

And thus the cycle begins again. BLARGH.

United in semi-consciousness,