Making a big decision whilst sleep deprived is a lot like operating heavy machinery whilst under the influence of powerful medicine that contains codeine; it feels like a really good idea until you realise you’ve just been sat on your bed pretending you’re a bus driver, and you don’t even own a car. This metaphor has (like most of my metaphors) become extremely confused and nonsensical. And this is a perfect example of the effects of sleep deprivation.
Yesterday I wanted to make all kinds of decisions, but I couldn’t even staple two related pieces of paper together without wondering what time it was and what the weather was like and forgetting that I had already checked it. Needless to say (as it’s probably glaringly obvious by now), I have not been getting a lot of sleep recently. Yet somehow, that didn’t stop me from wanting to make life changing decisions and suddenly decide that yesterday was the day I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. It’s almost as if I believed that I couldn’t do that on the days when I’ve had lots of rest. Ridiculous.
Still, being sleep deprived does have its perks. Your mind takes you on some gloriously fantastic adventures for one thing. For instance, one minute you could be sitting in a meeting at work, completely engaged in the conversation that you’re having with someone quite important. And the next thing you know you’re seeing rainbow colours in the corner of your vision and having an elaborate daydream about circus clowns. I mean, circus clowns?! I am not a fan of clowns, so that’s even more worrying. I fear this is not merely just a result of one night of lost sleep, but rather the outcome of an accumulation of little sleep over many days. I was extremely impressed that after five hours of sleep I was still able to get up, go to work, have lucid conversations and make smart(ish) decisions. But I knew that eventually my body’s inability to function on such a long period of no sleep would come back to bite me in the arse; or skip me in the face with a dog’s tail as was the image conjured up by my confused brain just now.
And that kind of image is not that uncommon in the grand scheme of my dreaming life, when I do actually get some sleep. Plus I often have lucid dreams, which can get really worrying when you’re almost certain that you’re awake but you’re also pretty sure that you just saw Jafar from Aladdin walk into Superdrug and ask the security guard where the eyeliner is. I’m like 95% sure that that wasn’t real but I mean, what is real anyway? I once had a whole dream about having to use a public toilet in a McDonalds and it was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever experienced. So perhaps it’s not the sleep deprivation that’s doing these things to my head; perhaps it’s me?
Nah, let’s blame the lack of sleep.
I think this is probably what it’s like to trip on acid. Having never dropped the acid bomb (neither in war or my own body), I can only rely on my imagination, which as we’ve established, is not exactly stable. But yes, let’s say that this is what it’s like to trip on acid whilst also trying to act like you’re normal. This is not an example of anything, it’s just popped into my head; but yesterday morning I was at the airport and I saw a man on a scooter-suitcase, in the arrivals lounge just gliding along those newly polished floors. I mean, his suitcase was attached to a scooter and he was basically a ten year old with a shopping trolley whilst his mum was off somewhere buying a butternut squash (why a butternut squash you ask? I don’t know, is why. I don’t know).
I told about three different people about this scooter-suitcase afterwards, but now I’m looking back on my day and wondering if I was seeing things. I mean, did I just conjure up that image because I left the house at 4.30am yesterday morning? Well, there was no one else there that I knew who can corroborate my story, so it could have been my imagination in overdrive. On the bright side, at least I didn’t witness any crimes today because I would be totally unreliable. Luckily, I didn’t witness a crime. I mean, I don’t think I did…
Bloody hell. #LifeHack you guys: GET. SOME. SLEEP.
Image credit: Sheep by parkjisun from the Noun Project