I know, because I'm sleep-deprived. Between work demands and a child throwing up (one of the joyful benefits of parenthood) and my need to catch up on my favorite show, House, MD, I've been subsisting on six hours a night for the last three nights. Bad idea.
According to this CBS Early Show report, new research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that lack of sleep adversely affects our health, suppresing our all-important immune system. It also causes high blood pressure and anxiety and inhibits blood sugar control.
We're supposed to get at least seven hours a night, and sadly, I'm not getting that these days. I'm partly to blame: With so much to juggle, I've taken to working late into the night so I can think in relative peace. (Kids underfoot don't help with the concentration.) But it's not just that; I worry so much about falling behind I use the late evenings to get ahead. Only, how much am I getting ahead if lack of sleep is leaving me behind, health-wise?
So what to do with the likes of me? Acupuncture and relaxation techniques may help, but honestly, I think I just have to—and if you've ever read this blog before, you know it's something I've struggled with—triage my life and set priorities. I'm sure I have to simplify my existence somehow—organizing my home, which I did this Sunday, does some of the trick (but more about that later)—and put sleep first.
As I write this, it reads 11:18 pm on the cable box clock. Oh, the irony. So I'm packing it in for the night. I am woman, hear me snore.