Feb 18, 2009

On Mental Fogs and Sleep Deprivation

One bleary eye

As I write this post I am borderline exhausted from a poor night's sleep, and I walk around in an almost hallucinatory state trying to stay upright and marginally coherent while I go about my business.

The source of the lack of sleep is multi-pronged. I stupidly drank a cup of coffee around 7:00 pm, which injected unnecessary caffeine into my brain and kept my kidneys busy until 3:00 am, though I managed to get a lot of late night work done. We also have a few new foster dogs, both of whom were quite restless in their new surroundings, and my Puggles were reluctant to concede even one square foot of bed space to the newcomers, adding to the late night sleep disruptions.

Luckily I did not have to lecture today, and had only a test to administer. I shudder to think what rambling and disconnected thoughts I would have uttered in my mental confusion. They probably would have been even more rambling and disconnected than my regular lectures, which occasionally take on a stream of consciousness feel in my extemporaneous efforts to make modern connections and parallels with historical topics.

What I most dislike about sleep deprivation is my tendency to be jumpy, especially by loud noises. A few minutes ago all was peaceful in the house, and then one of my dogs spotted a pedestrian in front of the house. One moment I had on some peaceful piano music (Vladimir Horowitz with Mozart's Sonata No. 11, K. 331: ii. Menuetto), and then the next was a sudden "BARK!BARK!BARK!BARK!" that just about sent me through the plaster above my head.

Surprisingly I found the writing muse this afternoon, at least after my boisterous 18-year-old went to work. I churned out four pages of dissertation text that seems intelligent and focused, but of course I plan to re-read the new material tomorrow when a night of catch-up sleep should put me closer to normal.

For all I know it might be unreadable drivel, even on the highest quality netbooks, which almost write your papers for you.


Anonymous said...

One word: UNIBROW


historymike said...

Sorry, I'm proud of the unibrow and it stays. I like the pseudo-Neanderthalian look it gives me.

Anonymous said...

Sounds a little like the mid-winter dissertation blues...a normal response for which us elders used to find some pharmaceutical remedies. (Not recommended.) As a former dissertator, I would suggest some inexpensive diversions involving dogs, kids, or good Mexican food.

We know you are not producing drivel...get some rest and back to the grindstone.