Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sleep

27 JUL 06

My mood has improved a little. I haven’t played a single hand of poker since Vegas - not sure how much longer I can hold out. This self imposed exile is starting to get on my nerves. It’s strange going to bed before 11 pm. Maybe that’s why I’ve been stressed lately – I’m getting too much sleep.

I used to be an 8 or 9 hour per night sleeper. I distinctly remember arguing with my dad about how much sleep was appropriate for a teenager. I figured it was at least 9 hours. If I had my way, it would have been “until my body wakes me up,” but dad was having none of that. We settled on 8 hours, and I remained pissed until I left home for college.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to tell my son when we have this same conversation.

Fast forward to medical school and internship. Those stories you hear about doctors getting very little sleep are all true, or at least they used to be. One month, while working in the medical ICU, I averaged 110 hours per week – 36 hours (at least) in the hospital and 8 at home before I started it all again. I got two days off that month. I actually fell asleep in the operating room once – a particularly disgusting story that will have to wait for another time.

The side effect of all this is that I now only need about 5 hours of sleep per night. Any more than that, and I begin to get ornery. Surly, even.

How much sleep do you need? How much sleep are you willing to sacrifice if the poker game is really good?

2 comments:

Drizztdj said...

Need or get?

I've been averaging about 3 hours of sleep during the week lately due to the infant.

Too bad I don't consume caffeine or it might be easier to work.

Maigrey said...

6.5-7 is good, and oh yes, there have been many sacrifices and sneaking-in-of-naps later due to poker :)