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Sleeping Beauty and the truth about being productive

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I am no longer technically jetlaged, although if I could use that excuse to continue my afternoon napping, I'd tattoo it on my head (or stitch it on a pillow - likely the one where I'd lay my head for a few hours). What did I expect after three transcontinental work trips in a five week time span. That's 14 flights. Fourteen long flights - as in 8-14 hours long. Essentially, that looks and felt like five weeks of poor sleep, inconsistent sleep, sucky sleep, very little sleep. But I'm ok now. Where's my coffee; and pillow.

This isn't my first time at the no sleep rodeo. My multi-decade daily bee pollen supplementation stemmed from a week-long sleep protest to accommodate the demands of a crazy work schedule. I'm also a Leo (actually, a Leo with Sag rising and Aries moon - code for a ton-o-energy), so I'm naturally inclined to burn the candle at both ends (like the female lions who work their cute little tushes off hunting and gathering and mothering while the male lion sleeps for days, struts for show and then sleeps some more). I used to be like my daughter, convinced something exciting was going to happen after bedtime. While I'm not really a morning person; for certain not a communicative one without having consumed a very strong latte, or two, I am a working single mom so every hour is optimized.

Last autumn, I challenged myself to #21earlydays. This Tedtalk self-help project required getting up at 4:30am for 21 days straight. Even the weekends. The first couple of days were painful, disorienting, and hilarious to some. I consumed even more espresso. I also became a ninja at getting work done. Projects, proposals, workshop prep, client feedback, research, blog posts, emails, all that ticked off before 7:00AM. Plus getting showered, dressed and herding my daughter out of the door for work and school. I was super organized and productive and I loved the feeling of accomplishment. I loved it so much I didn't want to sleep.

After dinner, I'd have a First Sleep with my daughter. This was an accidental passing out at about 7:45PM as I tucked my daughter into bed. She loved it. Somewhere between stories and prayers, mommy fell into sleepy-time. I imagine her kissing my forehead and stroking my hair, much like I do with her as she drifts off. At about 10:30, I'd wake up and stay up til about 12:30AM and then came Second Sleep. You get the picture. This went on for more than 21 days; likely close to 40 days. Slowly my sleep deprivation took its toll. My over-caffeination lost its charm, my hyper-production was becoming sloppy (and less of a rush) and my daughter who still shared her bed for First Sleeps looked at me as if I could use a few yoga sessions. After my ex-fiance explained in graphic science nerd detail how my brain was hoarding a kind of mental garbage as a result of my #nosleepdiet, I allowed myself a few ours extra shut-eye on the weekend. And boy did it feel good. So good that I went back for more the next day. Within a week, my skin, belly,attitude and life improved dramatically. My new project was #eighthoursanight. I didn't accomplish nearly as much, but other things flowed naturally.

That reminds me. It's time for my nap.

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