Hey yall! I hope your weekend was great, and you are winding down for the start of another work week tomorrow. So, I was off this weekend, and had a blast! What did I do? SLEEP! Yes, I said SLEEP! I did go to the movies on Saturday (“Birth of a Nation” was a great film, by the way). I also went to church this morning, but other than that I chilled at home all weekend. It was much needed. Twelve hour shifts for 12 days straight on inpatient medicine had been taking a heavy toll on me. I absolutely LOVE going to work every day, but I had been burning the midnight oil. I would get home and read/study until midnight or sometimes later, then wake up at 5:00am to get ready for the day. After a while, I ended up drinking more and more caffeine to function. Yes, I knew better, and I felt guilty. When I was awake I felt like I should be getting some rest, and when I contemplated going to bed early, I couldn’t help but think about all the things I needed to do.
While driving home from work on Wednesday night, it really hit me. I felt like I was in a daze. I wasn’t sleepy, due to a huge amount of caffeine consumption, but mentally I was foggy. This was a dangerous cycle! I realized that I could not be my best self, for me or my patients, without getting enough sleep. Not to mention, the weather started to cool down here in Georgia, and I felt myself getting sick. The post-nasal drip crept up on me without warning. As a doctor, I know the adverse effects of sleep deprivation, but was too stubborn to adhere to my own medical advice. Insufficient sleep can lead to cognitive impairment, poor mood, and depressed breathing responses. These may result in reduced performance, increased risk for accidents and death, and overall have detrimental psychological and physical effects.
When I arrived home on Wednesday, I vowed that I would go to bed at a reasonable hour. So what, I didn’t read that article or review those questions…I needed to sleep, so I did. When I woke up Thursday, my body was thankful. The mental fog had lifted, and I felt refreshed. I felt like a new person, all because of appropriate sleep.
My point is, take care of yourself the best you can. Go to bed; get some sleep! You don’t have to get everything checked off your to-do-list in one day. It will be there tomorrow.
Have a good night, everyone! Sleep tight. I’m going to bed!
Cirelli, C. Insufficient sleep. In: UpToDate, Post, TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2016