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She Said, Z Said: Sleep Deprivation Need Not Be More Than We Can Bear

By | Published on 04/15/2012

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Space cowboys saddle up at first signs of yawn of the dead-tired

She: Apparently, you need your sleep.

Z: Frbbzzl?

She: You definitely don’t perform at peak levels when you haven’t had a solid eight hours.

Z: Well, that explains the last decade. What about my thirties?

She: Early parenthood sucks up the synapses, so that’s understandable.

Z: And temporary.

She: It’s gotten much better. If I play my cards right, Koss can sometimes get all the way through his first period before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee. But I was especially impressed by your degree of spaciness today at lunch.

Z: Me too. I blame it all on the Dodgers game.

She: All? You didn’t get home that late.

Z: Late enough. And I thought I had set the bubblehead bar impossibly high. I was even more spacey than usual? Call Guinness and Ripley’s.

She: I couldn’t figure out why you kept asking the waiter whether they only had Thai iced tea, or if they also served regular iced tea.

Z: It’s a perfectly normal question. I was pretty sure he didn’t understand my question because of the language barrier, given his accent. A lot of places only have Thai iced tea instead of regular iced tea, and I don’t really like the Thai iced tea. It’s too sweet. It’s a normal question.

She: And a legitimate concern. Except that we were at an Indian restaurant.

Z: Which, once you pointed that out to me, I found hi-larious. Seriously. I started crying I was laughing so hard.

She: Yeah. I was crying, too.

Z: See? Hi-larious.

She: It got even better when you signed the credit-card receipt, and then folded it up and put it in your wallet.

Z: I’m sure that was your fault somehow.

She: At least you didn’t leave your credit card. I’ve seen that trick when you’re tired, too.

Z: It’s your fault. You were probably speaking to me or something. You know how I don’t multitask very well to begin with. Add sleep deprivation, and I’m done.

She: Is that why you got into the shower with your clothes on?

Z: I’ve never done that. But I often feel that way, and will double check halfway through a shower that I’m not still wearing anything.

She: I’ve never been very good without sleep either. Once when Koss was a baby I got all the way to Ventura before I realized I missed my exit at San Ysidro Road in Montecito.

Z: I was never one of those guys in college who could pull all-nighters. Absolute best case for me was waking up early and doing some studying in the morning.

She: I couldn’t even do that. I’m a night owl, always have been. In fact, the way I got to know Carlene — one of my best friends from college — is that I would often be coming home from, um, ahem, studying into the wee hours of the night at about the same time she’d be getting up for crew practice.

Z: Good times.

She: If only I could remember them better.

Z: Our child seems to have inherited our inability to function without sleep. Only he has a history of getting cranky. I mostly get silly when I’m sleep deprived.

She: Until you get sleep depraved and ridiculously cranky.

Z: Shut up.

She: Unlike you, Koss is actually getting better when he’s tired. I’ve noticed that as he’s gotten older, he’s started to get more silly than cranky from lack of sleep. He gets that from me. It’s one of my more redeeming qualities.

Z: Who told you that?

She: You did, and my friend, Carlene. And by the way, here’s another tip: wearing your pajamas to work is only funny the first time. After that it’s probably cause for dismissal.

Z: But I don’t wear pajamas.

She: Exactly.

Z: Yes, dear.

— Does anyone function well without sleep? Share your stories with She and Z by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). And follow them on Twitter: @lesliedinaberg. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns.

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