Feeling exhausted? National Sleep Week kicks off the first week of March, and serves as a fantastic reminder that we all need to make an effort to hit the sack a little earlier than we have been. No matter how much sleep you got last night, it probably wasn't enough. We are a workaholic, stressed out, sleep-deprived nation of dreamers who don't spend nearly enough time actually dreaming. Daydreaming? Sure. Blankly staring at a splotch on the wall while wondering if you remembered to unplug the iron? Way too often. But actual restful, REM-heavy dreams? We don't have enough of those.
Sleep deprivation leads to all sorts of problems, including general carelessness and potential health risks. Whatever it is you've been staying up late for, it's not worth sacrificing your health. Because in order to have an abundance of tomorrows, we need to make the right decisions today. And as I'm writing this at 1:30 a.m. with no foreseeable z's in sight, I plan to take my own advice going forward. But how do you know if you need to get more rest? Here are some of the signs that you need to stop what you're doing, and climb into bed immediately.
1. When coffee is no longer providing the right amount of energy
Put down the energy drinks. Coffee should provide more than enough of a jolt to keep those peepers open. If not, time to quit the day and try again tomorrow.
2. You answer any kind of professional bulk email by hitting reply all
Whenever this happens at a company, it's because the person accidentally hitting this dangerous email button is in need of sleep. It's a careless mistake and I suppose it could happen to anyone, but it's also too embarrassing for an alert person to make.
3. When all the daily syndicated episodes of Seinfeld have ended, and all you have is local news
This means it's at least midnight in cable-schedule time, and that means you need to turn off the TV and snooze. Because if you can't fall asleep to the sounds of George Costanza complaining about male baldness, then you're basically screwed.
4. You just put milk in your cereal, except instead of milk, it was non-dairy creamer
It tastes so good in your coffee, so it must taste yummy as the main flavor, right? NOPE. It's disgusting to the point where it will be a wake up call that you need more sleep. Immediately.
5. When you briefly consider ways to transition your oversized high school softball pajama t-shirt into a professional top for work so as not to be bothered with the effort of changing
This level of laziness and delirium can only come from a person who is extremely sleep-deprived. Because t-shirts that are made from the abrasive 100 percent cotton of the '90s are made for sleep and nothing else.
6. You randomly start crying in public
Maybe you just remembered Parks and Rec is over for good, and now the floodgates have opened, and you can't stop the tears. Your sleep deprivation is making you emotional. Go to bed.
7. You emerge from a zombie-like haze and realize you've just ordered unsharpened number two pencils in bulk
Who uses pencils anymore? Also, you don't have a pencil sharpener, so these will be even more useless than you originally thought.
8. When this happens in the presence of others
Yeah, it's time for bed.