Telling time while I'm asleep

Last updated 11:50 31/08/2012

I am going to be very tired today. It hasn't happened yet but I'm going to assume that around 2 or 3pm I will start having "difficulties" .Which doesn't bode well for An Hour with John Boyne, so if you see me yawning in this session, please don't assume it's because I'm finding it boring. It'll just be my brain trying to reboot itself (if I actually nod off and spring back into wakefulness, that's a hard reboot).

The reason that I can anticipate this slowing down of my cognitive faculties is that I had a terrible night's sleep. And this was caused by what I think of as "sleep paranoia".

The Silver Fox is currently in Auckland for work (back later this evening) and he got there by taking a very early flight this morning. As in "getting up at 5am" early. Naturally, we made sure to set a nice loud alarm last night so that he would get up.

Apparently my brain was not satisfied that this alone was enough of a precaution. My brain (oh helpful, brain!) decided that I should wake up every one to one-and-a-half hours during the night just to make sure it wasn't time for the Silver Fox to get up yet.

When you think about it, it is kind of neat that even when we're asleep, somewhere in the back, amongst a bunch of rusty cogs and springs, your brain has its own clock and that clock keeps on ticking away even while you're asleep. It's not like the one on the microwave that gives up the ghost the second there's a power cut and then has to be reset. No. Our brain clocks are far cleverer than that.

Not clever enough to actually wake me up at the right time, admittedly but at least it's trying. Brain-clock only has my (and the Silver Fox's) best interests at heart. "A" for effort, brain-clock. "E" for execution.

And the thing is, all the waking up and falling back asleep during the night actually made it more likely that I'd be deeply asleep when the alarm went off, not less. Oh, dear brain, how you do engage in the most self-defeating of activities. You're like someone who's trying to look cool by wearing a mullet-skirt. Please desist.

As it was the Silver Fox was similarly affected and simply gave up trying to sleep at all, getting up before the alarm even had a chance to go off. The old "if you can't beat the brain clock, join it" philosophy at work.

Does sleep paranoia ever get to you? Either when you have to get up early, or on the flipside, when you really need to get a decent night's sleep? How well-meaning but ultimately annoying is your brain-clock?

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49 comments
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TRACY   #1   11:52 am Aug 31 2012

Yes!!!! I am exactly the same. it drives me nuts.

His Lordship   #2   11:56 am Aug 31 2012

Yes, oh yes. Every dam time.

Emily   #3   11:57 am Aug 31 2012

I hate it when my good old brain clock doesn't realise it's the weekend. It's saturday brain clock!! Why are yous so insistent that I be awake at 6am??!!

DS   #4   12:00 pm Aug 31 2012

I sometimes have the problem where worrying about not getting sufficient sleep to function well the following day keeps me awake.

Charlie   #5   12:02 pm Aug 31 2012

My brain clock has developed this annoying habit of waking me up half and hour to an hour before my alarm is due to go off but only on week days!!! During the weekend I have no such worry.

I sometimes think if it is a particularly early morning start it is almost better not to sleep at all lol stupid sleep paranoia (i love that term)

anna   #6   12:04 pm Aug 31 2012

I have a bad nite sleep every couple of nites, my brain doesn't know it is bed -time. Last nite I got hour's sleep and sure feel it that next day, why is it men never have a problem sleeping...

Karlos   #7   12:05 pm Aug 31 2012

Yes! Damn brain. Mine has a habit of waking me up about an hour before I need to on the days I have get up extra early. Happy Friday!

Lauren   #8   12:05 pm Aug 31 2012

YES. I definitely do this. I booked myself into a 5 star hotel for my last night in Europe after weeks of backpackers and couches, but hardly got to enjoy it because I was so worried about sleeping in and missing my flight home the next day. Damn you brain.

Mike R   #9   12:06 pm Aug 31 2012

Every night before a job interview or first day I get this.

Really annoying.

Mazza   #10   12:07 pm Aug 31 2012

Oh yes Moata, had the same scenario the other night. Had to get to work earlier that normal on Wednesday and so didn't trust the alarm clock (the crowing rooster) or the rest of the family to get me up on time. Every two hours I woke up, checked the clock, sighed and went back to sleep. I certainly wasn't fresh and alert when I did get up ... and yes I arrived early and achieved what I had to. Very frustrating.


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