Tag Archives: sleep deprivation

Working 12 Hours a Day for a Month Has Turned Me Into a Raging B

16 Nov

Wow, I am in a bad mood today! I feel like the frustration and stress that’s been simmering under my usually cheerful veneer has decided to expose itself today, approximately three hours before I head off on a week of vacation. Just this morning, I rolled my eyes twenty-two times, said “Are you kidding me?!” six times, got up from my desk in a huff twice, and felt the hot sting of boiling anger and tears once. It’s been pretty intense.

Ah, I was so close to getting through this week without combusting! I think it’s the combination of little sleep and a lot of work that is pushing me closer and closer to the edge. For a solid month, work has been back to its frenetic, breakneck pace, which on the one hand, I like! I’m much more productive with a full plate and it’s much more satisfying to slash away at a to-do list that has more important tasks on it than “Call Groupon for a refund on a painting class package I bought on a whim before realizing I am a horrible artist.”

But on the other hand, I’ve had no time outside of work to do anything but stress about what I’ll be doing the next day and how much sleep I can get in between. It’s been wearing a little thin. My apartment is a mess, my desk is a mess, my hair is a mess…thank God the weekend is near! This week has been crazy and never-ending, and I’m so close to heading out of the city–anything that’s getting in my path is going to get slapped!


A Sleepless Night

5 Nov

Well I’ve officially come to the conclusion that my neighbor is a drug addict. For the most part, I try not to make rash generalizations about people, but how else can I explain this guy? About once or twice a month, he will go on an hours-long rant through the night, filled with nonsensical ramblings peppered with obscenities. How a single person has enough anger and stamina built up to literally shout at the top of their lungs for six solid hours is a feat that can only be accomplished with the aid of some illegal substance! Either that or he’s possessed by a devil determined to ruin the Sunday evenings of a respectable apartment building in Upper Manhattan!

Unlike him, I have to get up in the morning, so pretty much the minute he started, I started banging on the wall that connects our apartments. If this had been the first time this had happened, maybe I would have exercised a little more haste, but I’ve been living here for a year and have been around the block with this whack job! Regardless, not my best plan. This only sent him further into rage, which started snowballing into slamming doors, him banging on the wall, and me leaping out of bed to dead-bolt my door. Crawling back under the covers, I popped in my headphones to drown out the noise, but four hours later, he was still in full psychopath mode, and I had gone through my entire “Please God, Let Me Sleep” playlist three times over!

Let me just explain how much I did not feel like dealing with this last night. I’ve been working like crazy the last few weeks and am tired enough as it is. Then yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon volunteering, using my minimal arm strength to heave branches and bags of leaves into the back of a truck. So what I was really looking forward to was a night of lethargy, not lunacy! And my night extended into the rest of my morning–after storming out of my apartment on my way to work, I yanked the front door open and the knob came off in my hand! Happy one year anniversary!


18 Sep

Ugh, I have had the worst time falling asleep lately! It’s getting to the point where I’m starting to dread bedtime, knowing that instead of sweet dreams, I’ll be spending hours staring at the ceiling before my lids decide to cooperate! I thought I had solved this problem during my vacation, where I effectively wiped my brain clean from any and all over-thinking, and even the first week or so after I got back was filled with delightful REM slumber. However, my overactive brain has revved itself back into nocturnal brain-dump mode, and I haven’t been able to fall asleep until 3 am in a week!

The most annoying thing about it is that I spend the entire day dragging and feeling groggy. Then I go home and sit around some more because I’m too tired to do anything! You’d think this compounded exhaustion would send me to bed at 9pm, but once I brush my teeth and hit the sack, that’s when my mind decides to explode. “What could you possibly be thinking about for four hours before you fall asleep?” you may ask. Well, wouldn’t you like to know! Basically, in the dark of night, my mind flits from one thing to the next, a paper-thin connection the only segue. Observe, an excerpt from my mind, at 1 am:

“This was a busy day–of course I could’ve been more productive, so I should really start formulating my to-do list right now, and then repeat it ten times over so I don’t forget it in the morning. Specifically, don’t forget that you have to send those emails! Also don’t forget it’s your grandpa’s birthday and you should call him. Speaking of…your phone. It sucks. Why don’t you get an iPhone? I guess it’s kind of expensive and I should be saving money. Which reminds me, I need to pay my electric bill. That was kind of a lot this month, thank goodness I don’t have to use my fan anymore now that it’s cooler! Fall! I love fall so much! What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? What am I going to wear? I should break out that blue blazer…o wait, it has red on it, I should really get just a plain blue blazer. I should run to the Gap during lunch! Good point…I should try to get up earlier and make my lunch tomorrow. I think it would be cool if I was a chef. Maybe I’ll go to culinary school someday! Oh my God, remember that time in college when I made huevos rancheros and put an entire can of jalapenos in it? I really like Mexican food. Maybe I’ll take my next vacation to Mexico! How cool would that be? Travelling is so much fun, I loved living abroad. Studying abroad was really great, I should just rehash every trip I went on during those four months right at this very moment, because what else is there to do, you know?”

Uh, maybe I should add “Get a prescription for Ambien” to my list of nightly musings….

Night Music

21 May

Last night was the perfect sleeping weather–cool, with the pleasant pattering of rain. After a busy weekend enjoying the outdoors and perfect weather, I was exhausted and went to bed early, excited to get some solid zzzs in before the work week.  But instead of being lulled to sleep by the elements and the pleasant chirping of crickets, I was rudely awakened by the constant noise of my neighborhood.

When I first moved into my place, perhaps because it was winter and people were in hibernation mode, I was surprised at how quiet it was! My apartment is in the back of the building and faces a courtyard, so the only sounds I heard for those first few months were the rustling of leaves coming off the trees! It was like living in the country! I thought I’d be battling honking horns and plugging my ears closed, but it was surprisingly docile. However, for the past few weeks, the sounds of the neighborhood have progressed from birds chirping to the constant barking of a dog the owners refuse to bring inside, a newborn baby who cries all night, and the bi-weekly psychopathic rants of both my next-door and downstairs neighbors! No longer the quiet oasis I moved into, my apartment has turned into a thoroughfare of noise pollution!

So despite my best intentions for a restful night’s sleep, I was woken up several times by howls, cries, and deranged tirades. Needless to say, I’m a bit groggy today. It’s taken a cold shower and three cups of coffee for my eyes to even open fully! Fortunately, work has been quiet, so I’ve been able to wallow in my exhaustion and hide my eye-bags for most of it. Maybe it’s time to invest in those earplugs after all!

Finish Line

21 Feb

The great poet Ice Cube summed up my week last week pretty nicely: “Life ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon…” And while I didn’t burn as many (if any at all) calories working as I would have if I had run a marathon, it was certainly a bit of a slog! I think I was getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night towards the end of it, I had the same humus wrap for dinner for five nights straight, and my mental playback of Whitney songs made me a human karaoke machine! Give me the first note and I was wailing away, much to the chagrin of the producer I was working with….

But when Friday night rolled around, the euphoria of finishing such a huge show in such a limited amount of time cast a nice wave of relief over everyone. We sat around eating pizza and swapping stories until we were goodnighted, but even then people were hesitant to leave. What were we supposed to do now?! Obviously, I immediately hit the town and partied it up like the hip and crazy night owl I am…..that is a lie. I actually went home and immediately hit my bed and fell asleep. It may or may not have been 9:30 at this point. I have no shame!

Now is the brief but enjoyable time when people are hiding in their cubes, praying for world peace and no more deaths, at least for the next week or so. And since our show did so well, they brought in free breakfast this morning! This is something I could live with: work 60 hours a week for a semi-3-day weekend and a free bagel on Tuesday morning! I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll be ready to jump back into it–give me more than 6 hours of free time and I’m ready to suit up for another crazy run.

The Inferno

19 Dec

Boiling lava. The surface of the sun. The inside of a Hot Pocket.

What do these three things have in common, you may ask. Well, they are exactly the same temperature as my apartment right now. For the past week, I have boiled in the inferno that is my studio, my radiator churning out the heat with the fervor of the burning depths of hell. It is so uncomfortable, I’ve barely slept in three days. I take ice-cold showers before bed, sleep on top of the covers, and last night, started treating my heat stroke with ice packs strategically placed on my pressure points, a technique I learned as a lifeguard at a water park. When I worked there in the SUMMER.

It’s not like I haven’t been trying to cool the place down. Every window in my apartment is wide open, and I’ve called the landlord four times so far to get someone to come and fix it. The first time I called, he asked if I had tried to turn it off by twisting the valve. O, that would be a grand idea, if there was one! The only thing attached to the radiator is a pipe with a metal spigot, which is approximately 500 degrees. I know this because I touched it, and watched my hand immediately burst into flames.

Since last week, I’ve been getting empty promises from my landlord that someone would fix the valve, but each night, I return home to an apartment that is giving me a sunburn. O well, in a few days I’ll be back in New Jersey for the holidays, in the other extreme–my mom keeps the house so cold I can see my breath before I go to bed.  Whatever happened to room temperature?!?!


28 Oct

Today ends the longest swath of time I have worked consecutively….a whopping twelve days in a row! This officially takes my workaholic status to new heights.

It’s been an intense twelve days! Last week was spent in a manic haze making never-ending arrangements for my business trip, the weekend was spent praying to God all those arrangements took flight, and this week has been spent making more arrangements for different projects, while working on two others at the same time. No surprise, I’m tired and am getting a cold. I might even have a fever. Sigh.

Listen, I love my job, but twelve days of it is a little much. Sometimes I find the weekends a little boring, but now every minute of this day is dragging! I can’t wait to get home, put on my pajamas, and not move from the couch. I can’t wait to do my laundry! (And neither can my coworkers….) I can’t wait to eat a meal that’s not microwaved!

The crazy thing about this job is that I will spend the next two weeks running around like a maniac working to get our project to air, and then will promptly spend the following two weeks twiddling my thumbs. I’ll be aching for the frenetic pace of my days now, ready to pounce on any task that’s handed over. But right now, I just want to sleep in past 7 am. Please. That’s all I want. And of course a non-traumatizing Friday-night commute. Now that  may be too impossible a feat.