The Sleep-Deprived Writer
“There is no hope for a civilization which starts each day to the sound of an alarm clock.”
I’m a little late posting this blog today because I fell asleep.
(Just kidding---I couldn’t resist!) :)
This past week, my son raved about a movie he recently watched entitled “Insomnia”. This movie was made in 2003. The lead actor is the brilliant Al Pacino, and the movie is directed by the just as brilliant Chris Nolan. The setting is Alaska, and Al Pacino is a cop who cannot sleep.
I won’t tell you what happens, as I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it.
And although sleep deprivation is not insomnia, it is a very serious condition which can and does upset many people’s lives.
Sleep deprivation is defined as “the condition of being robbed of sleep”. Not getting enough sleep can lead to loss of energy, blurred vision, nausea and confusion. It is a risk factor for several serious illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
In once recent article, “Sleep deprivation has become one of the most pervasive health problems facing the United States. It is estimated that people on average now sleep one and a half hours less than people did a century ago. Some experts are even beginning to wonder if widespread sleep deprivation is having an effect on America’s brainpower and creativity. They are advocating that sleep deprivation be recognized with the same seriousness that is associated with the impact of alcohol on society.”
Further on in the same article:
“A person who loses one night’s sleep will generally be irritable and clumsy during the next day and will either become tired easily or speed up because of adrenalin. After missing two night’s sleep, a person will have problems concentrating and will begin to make mistakes on normal tasks. Three missed nights and a person will start to hallucinate and lose grasp of reality. Someone who gets just a few hours of sleep each night occurs a large “sleep debt” and can begin to experience many of the same problems over time. A 1997 study found that people whose sleep was restricted to four to five hours per night for one week needed two full nights of sleep to recover performance, alertness, and normal mood.”
Our modern society promotes sleep deprivation, whether it be staying up too late to surf the internet or watch a favorite TV show, or getting up early to begin the endless tasks of our busy lives.
How does an author incorporate writing into an already packed schedule and still get enough sleep? Do we use a stopwatch while we surf, hire a maid, or enlist the help of our family and friends to carve out some much needed rest?
Please share your ideas. I do all of the above, except for the idea I like best--hiring a maid!