Sunday, August 16, 2009

Somehow my sleep cycle has gotten totally out of whack, to the point that I am currently awake, and that for a while now I've been falling asleep around dawn, then waking up (at last) around 2:00 pm. Obviously, with the coming of school and 9 am lectures, that's going to have to stop. Insomnia has been my bete noir since childhood; my pineal gland and suprachiasmatic nucleus seem to think it's funny to set themselves to Tokyo time despite my physical presence in the Midwestern United States. I hate it when I feel like my organs are putting one over on me.

In my experience, it is possible to 'reset' the circadian rhythm in one of two ways: either by sleeping your way through (last fall I really did have a weekend when, except for a few bathroom and food breaks, I slept 24 hours consecutively...and more than 36 hours total, when it was all tallied up...God knows why; maybe I was fighting off an infection or something), or by staying up a full 24 to 36 hours. Considering that I'm awake now--despite having taken Ambien at midnight-- and I have things I need to accomplish tomorrow, I think I'm going to end up taking the second option. Bonus: I'm quitting smoking (for real this time, really and truly, honest, I swear) and when you stay up for extended periods of time sometimes something clicks in your brain and it's possible to rewire the ol' neural circuits. For example, the first time I ever did the up-all-night thing, for the next six months or so I couldn't handle caffeine very well. I would have a soda with lunch and feel positively wired (keep in mind that prior to this I was drinking about 2 liters of soda a day and barely felt any effects). It's weird--sleep deprivation leaves you in this very 'limbo' place where it seems like lots of things--quitting smoking, or falling asleep standing up--are not only possible, but likely. Doable. Let's hope this turns out to be the case. And if I look like an extra from Night of the Living Dead tomorrow...well, at least you'll know why.

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