The Wandering Mind

Microsleep

Last week I mentioned microsleep in my post and I wanted to touch more on it this week. It can be a very scary thing and it’s something that we all need to watch out for. Unfortunately, I have experienced microsleep myself and I’m not proud of it. So here is some information about what it is.

Microsleeps are brief, unintended episodes of loss of attention associated with events such as blank stare, head snapping, and prolonged eye closure which may occur when a person is fatigued but trying to stay awake to perform a monotonous task like driving a car or watching a computer screen. {i}

In my research it appears that the most common times of the day for microsleep to occur is during the pre-dawn and mid afternoon hours when the body is programed to want to sleep. I personally feel like it can happen at any time. When you are not getting enough sleep, part of your brain will just shut down and ‘take a nap’ while other parts of your brain remain awake making it so you don’t really realize that you are sleeping.

There were times when I was driving home from work after a 9-10 hour day and I wouldn’t remember how I got home. It was a mundane task to drive home going the same route every day. I would park my car at home and wonder how the heck I got there. I’ve also done it walking to classes. I even did it recently.

Sweet Pea was having a rough night, more like it had been a rough week, and I had just laid down and woke with a jolt wondering how the heck I got into bed. One minute I was rocking her sleep the next I was in bed.

Sleep is very very important. Taking naps may sound silly, but a nap can help to keep you safe, especially when you have to drive long distances or have a long work day. I used to sleep in the back seat of my car during my lunch break. Even before kids, when I was feeling tired, a nap occurred. And don’t be afraid to go to bed early. No one wants to go to bed before 10 but sometimes it’s a must. I was asleep before 930pm the other night and it was much needed.

Don’t sacrifice your sleep to ‘be cool’ and it’s ok to take a nap. I promise!!!

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