Tag Archives: Life Priorities

Only Child Looks at Sleep Deprivation and Daytime Overload

Teddy on clock 2I need more sleep. Six hours or less a night is just not enough. I am not alone in this nightmare turned daymare. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared not getting sufficient sleep an epidemic. The results, it says, include depression, skin aging, weight gain. And 61 per cent of people crave sleep more than they do sex. Although sex (or lack of it) factors into the CDC information on it. See http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/the-science-of-sleep/sleep-statistics-research/infographic-lack-of-sleep-a-public-health-epidemic/

What is interesting about this posting is what isn’t there. True, it is geared more towards individuals in a relationship. But relationship or not, people seem to have a common denominator about lack of sleep.

We are just too damn busy to get enough sleep. Sleep is way down on the priority list even if we say we must get more sleep. And the results are more than the CDC says. Sleep deprivation makes me stupid and slow on the uptake, not to mention getting around in the morning. I may then last okay until late afternoon, then I just don’t get it in a lot of areas. Areas I am normally sharp in. Not dementia…yet.

Take it from me, a sleep-deprived senior. I just have too much to do each day, much of it late-at- night stuff. Most is routine but often a few one-time extras. The past week I had stabs at trying to finish up all this routine nightly housework shit earlier. But it doesn’t always work. Often I’m out at a meeting or doing grocery shopping. For the latter, because of some store closing times, I go out directly from work and eat supper on my return. Even if I do eat before I go out, I’m still left with dishes, coffee pot preparation for the next morning, refilling the humidifiers, etc. etc. when I get home. It drags on.

True, when home I watch TV but there is before TV and during commercials to do all this stuff. My goal is to stop watching TV after part of the 11 p.m. news – right after the full weather report. Trouble is I often nod off during that time and miss the weather report, then I have to get it elsewhere.

And therein lies the problem – too much to do and when to do it.

I’ve been keeping track (mentally, no time to write it down) what exactly is consuming my time. Besides the late night chore shift, two other things stand out – too much email and too much time spent on it – and this is just the business email. And too much client work all at once– although some of that is suffering because of the email situation, and some of that email is from clients – some necessary of course.

So, starting Dec. 15, I am taking three weeks off for the holiday season. During that time I will do no client work. I bcc emailed all current and recent clients about this decision and basically said (but diplomatically) to leave me alone during that time. If they need to email me, including sending me work, please do it this week or wait until January 5, 2015 week.

I intend to spend more time with family and friends (including emailing them), working on the next novel in my Beyond mystery series and of course keeping up with social media (that is suffering too with this time thing) and any Beyond Blood book promo  to set up for 2015 that comes up. And figuring what in my life I can streamline more and even eliminate. I have already figured out what I want to do in my writing, editing and writing instructing business – and some things have been discontinued. Now, I have to spread out what’s left.

It’s the meetings, organizations I belong to (and what I do there), plus some personal stuff that needs a pruner, maybe even a shovel.

And more sleep. If I don’t get my required 7 1/2 hours sleep each night next year, the culprits will be sorry.

I am serious. My health and sanity depend on it.

 

Cheers.

Only Child Writes

Sharon A. Crawford

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Filed under Life Balance, Life demands, Sleep and Health, Sleep and Seniors, Sleep deprivation

Only Child says delete

 

Only Child  contemplates deleting extra chores

Only Child contemplates deleting extra chores

Hitting the delete button is common with computers. We also need a “delete” button for all the flotsam and jetsam in our lives – something I’ve decided to apply.

Life is not as simple as when I was growing up – although back then I did not think life was simple. But I suppose with my Dad dying of cancer, being bullied, and turning into Worry Wart #2 (my late Mom gets the prize for Top Worry War), that is understandable.

When I start misplacing items – or in some cases items go missing and turn up in strange places (more on this in a future post), I get angrier than usual at so-called “little things,” I am not getting enough sleep so I can’t think and function normally, bingo – I’m in overwhelm. It’s time.

Time to take a look at what exactly is happening in my life and hitting the “delete” button for some things.

Off the top of my head, I know I have to make the word “no” into a very big word. I need to stop helping every Tom, Ken and Susan who wants my help. A lot of it happens in the writing department and I’m not referring to paying clients. I have reached the point where I use the “delay” tactic but I think I will have to say “no” upfront. It is good as an experienced writer/writing teacher/ and editor to help more newbie writers – but somewhere in there you have to draw the line at how many and for what.

Then there is this business of suddenly finding housework (some of it daily routine) to do after the 11 p.m. news. Or as one of my writing colleagues put it “no more dusting late at night.” I don’t dust late at night and my house is lucky if I dust it once a month. Yes, I have my priorities right there.

No, what I do late at night is empty the dehumidifier, shut the basement windows (those two in summer), fill the coffeepot ready to turn on in the morning, and sometimes finish washing the dishes, dump the recycling newspapers, etc. in the big bin I keep just outside the side door, and lock that door and the front door. And I haven’t even started on the personal get-ready-for-bed rituals.

Why can’t I do all this stuff earlier in the evening? If I’m watching TV, except for a couple of channels I watch, there are commercials. I used to laugh at my friend Diana who would rush into the kitchen during the commercials to do dishes, etc. Well, it’s a good idea and I do it for washing the dishes and most of the time they at least get done. So why not for other daily evening chores?

Other things in my life can fall under the delete button. I use a Plan A, B, C and D for what is important. The A box is “Have to Do; want to do;” B box is “Have to do; don’t want to do” (dusting goes under thus one); C box is Don’t have to do; want to do” and D box is “Don’t have to do; don’t want to do.”

Guess which one is the easiest to list.

How do you deal with too much to do? Do you have a plan? Or do you not have too much to do in your life?

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Anxiety, Balance, Burnout, Mom and Dad, Only child, Overwhelm, Sharon A. Crawford, Worrying