Note To Self

The Power Of Sleep And A Bad Simile

In her latest Note To Self, FW editor Emily Brooks ruminates on the science of sleep.

By Emily Brooks

Note To Self

In her latest Note To Self, FW editor Emily Brooks ruminates on the science of sleep.

By Emily Brooks

I am here to talk about sleep this week. It’s Sleep Awareness Week so I figure it’s as fitting time as any. But I am not here to pretend I come from a place holier-than-thou. I had 3.7 margarita’s last night and a broken sleep which doesn’t usually happen on a School Night but this week it did. There was a good reason for it so I blame The Good Reason and the salt, but they don’t care. I do. As I did not have my mandatory seven hours which never makes for a good day or good copy.

I like to think of sleep deprivation like Low Power Mode. You turn it on in order to Get! Through! The! Day! Without! Stopping! and spend the next 48 hours operating in grey mode, giving your phone a bit of charge here and there but it never quite reaches that golden 80 percent required for the features to function properly. Until you arrive at a quiet moment, where you can plug it in for the time it deserves and come out the other side holding that vibrant screen you didn’t know you were missing. Sleep, or lack of, operates in a similar way. You miss out on some quality hours and operate your days in grey, never completely topping up until maybe the weekend when you rest properly and everything is vibrant/good again. And there is, of course, a scientific term for this: Sleep Debt. Just like your phone requires charging to 80 percent, you require approximately eight hours of sleep a night (although people’s genetics vary) and when you don’t, you accrue Sleep Debt. And you operate in grey (or as we shall call it, Low Sleep Mode) until you’ve paid it back. Let me paint this grey picture for you.

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