Sanity possibly returning

The portion of my sanity which is in some way affiliated with having had enough sleep has been granted a temporary reprieve.

  • Thanks to Mom, who came over Friday morning and played with Katherine so that I could sleep AND who brought supper. We ate better and survived.
  • Thanks to Heather, Bob, Jean and Eleanor for entertaining Katherine Saturday afternoon (and for supper) so that John and I could go back to sleep.
  • Thanks to Katherine, who went to bed shortly before we did on Friday evening and let us sleep in until 9:30 on Saturday.
  • Thanks to Gau-Odernheimer for a good bottle of wine on Friday evening.

We’ve also ordered a new mattress, which will get here early next week. I’m not convinced that we’ve solved the sleep issue entirely, but we’ve plugged a hole that will allow us to continue functioning as things get worked out. I was initially astonished at how much nicer the new mattress was than our current one, until we worked out that the current mattress and boxspring is 17 years old, or thereabouts. It’s lumpy, saggy and you can feel springs when you lie on it, but we hadn’t really noticed as it was a gradual progression.

A few more sleep-related things tried since last I wrote on the subject:

  • Gravol – works about the same, if not a little better than Benadryl for sleep induction
  • melatonin – no real noticeable difference with a 20mg dosage taken roughly a half hour to an hour before sleep
  • switching pillows around – seems to help the neck a little, but is not entirely good for marital harmony.
  • use of heating pad on back before bed – he remembered that this always used to put him to sleep when first he had the back injury, and so tried it again last night – success!
  • karate – he’s gone back to karate class, which gives him something in which he’s seriously interested to think about
  • wine – I’m not generally keen on replacing a sleeping problem with a dependency on alcohol, but on a Friday night or at the end of the odd stressful day, it certainly helps one to unwind. My reservations come mainly from the knowledge that a great many lawyers over-use alcohol (and sleeping with their secretaries, but we won’t even go there) as a means of coping with stress and create even more serious problems for themselves. So for occasional use, it works great. (The wine, not the secretaries.)

Interesting sidenote and experiment:

I did an IQ test while completely sleep-deprived at the end of last week. I scored 23 points lower than I did this morning, after a weekend of sleep-catching-up. My test this morning was roughly in sync with other such tests I’ve done in the past, and so was likely fairly accurate. Rather alarming disparity, even if you take into account the inaccuracy of IQ tests. The parts that gave me the most trouble while mind-numbed? Actually focussing on the questions, memory and pattern recognition in numerical sequences.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. sarai. says:

    Interesting observations re: IQ tests. You are brave to have tried them. I would be scared to find out the difference.

    I love heating pads at bedtime. A hot water bottle is even better, when I think of it. It fits the small of the back very nicely, or tucks down in the foot of the bed for cold toes. It’s one of my favourite comforts.

  2. rexton says:

    Regarding the IQ tests, your discussion raised two interesting points.

    1. I read somewhere that the standard deviation for IQ tests is about 10 points. This means that your 23 point change is definitely significant and not a random variation.

    2. Say you had to do one of these tests for employment/scholarship/entry into a program, etc. Also posit that you were out of it due to sleep deprivation, not having eaten properly, or emotional distress. It would be extremely easy to get a biased result. I remember taking an intelligence test when I was in elementary school, and wondering what they were going to do with it. I “lucked out” by being stuck in one of the first French classes offered in our school system (this was well before French Immersion). I think it was a prototype for the French classes that started a couple of years later.

    The main thing that I worry about here is that the tests are usually given once over a long period of time. It would be safer to have a couple of statistically independent tests (so you don’t learn how to improve on the IQ tests given and have a better chance of getting an honest score). The multiple ways they have to evaluate people these days are a definite improvement, and also tend to be less culturally biased.

    But back to the main point. It’s better to get a good night’s sleep than to do an all-nighter to accomplish something. You are more alert and efficient, and usually get more done.

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