Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why Sleep Must Be Obeyed

How much sleep does one really need in a day? If you go by expert (read medical) advice it's eight hours, so as to give your body a proper rest.

By the same token, experts also tell you to drink at least a litre of plain water daily. This not only quenches your thirst but also serves to cleanse and detoxify your body.

I'm afraid I have never been able to achieve both i.e. sleep for eight long hours, interrupted or not, and down so much water. Not a worthy customer here, I am.

I have been surviving on four hours of sleep daily since God-knows-when. As a schoolgirl, I would read, in the comfort of my kelambu (mosquito net), into the wee hours until sleep overtook me.

As a journalist, I worked odd hours and the graveyard shift was nothing new, especially as I was attached to an afternoon daily where the paper went to bed as KL folks awakened to greet a new day.

As a writer, the creative juice flows in the stillness of the night when peace and quiet reign. Even today it's a rare occasion indeed for me to turn in before midnight and to wake up with the sun.

With clockwork regularity, I usually hit the pillow 1-1.30 am and rise 5.30 am. It's only in the last few years that I felt the need to catch 40 winks in the afternoon. It must be the ageing process and I am listening.

This was brought home when I crashed the car some years back by falling asleep at the wheels while driving one Ramadan afternoon. I was hungry as well as sleepy, yet hazarded a drive to run an errand, with my youngest child in the car.

Of all the stupid things I had ever done in my life, this was definitely one of them. A lapse of just a few seconds saw the car swerving to the right lane, skidding across a drain, barely missing a big tree by the side of the road, and crashing into the chain-link fence of Sekolah Menengah Subang Jaya.

The twisted fence somehow held the car in a loose grip as it hung precariously over the school field 30 feet below. One wrong move and the car would have toppled over and plummet onto the field, and in all probability flattened like a pancake, with us trapped inside.

With the help of passers-by and people from nearby houses, mother and daughter crawled out, shaken but thankfully only slightly injured. The front portion of the car, however, was badly mangled.

A frightful, sobering lesson that was. I have never been able to live down the fact that Nawwar and I once came so close to losing our lives.

Today I make it a habit to take a noon snooze daily, and not push my luck behind the wheels when the eyes feel heavy. It's just not worth it...

8 comments:

─╣aptop™ said...

That was close.
Otherwise I would not be reading your rants. I enjoy reading all of them :-)
There is no need to be afraid if you do not sleep 8 hours and drink 1 litre a day.
Those doctors themselves pandai bagi nasihat saja.
They smoke, drink, keep pot-bellied and late for clinic :-)

pakmat said...

..lack of sleep will also resulted in you bp rising..contrary to what ppl may say..and that litre is crucial for proper bowel movement..anyway, to each his own..take care on the road, lady..

NanaDJ said...

Puteri,
Scary experience! You should really try to get more sleep if you can. I know some people sleep even less than you. A couple I know (and love) are night people, they will drive around all night long, lepak at mamak joints, watch tv etc and only sleep after subuh prayers. One wonders how they function but they are also hyperactive during the day! .

mamasita said...

Wow..didn't know you had such an experience..mujurlah Allah lindungi both of you anak beranak.

That will alert all of us readers to be always careful..never ever drive kalau dah mengantuk!

Recently, when I drove to KL from Kuantan, sleepiness overcame me so many times..despite many stops I was still sleepy..rasa tobat nak drive long distance tapi sometimes we just can't avoid doing so..

Pi Bani said...

Being a morning person (whether to study or to drive long distance, I prefer to do it early morning), I make it a point to sleep early every night. Selalu by 11 pm dah padam unless memang ada hal I need to stay up. But I am also a light sleeper, anything berbunyi I'd terjaga, and susah nak tidur balik after that...

Zendra said...

Wow kama, that accident was indeed a wake-up call!

I remember when I was a teen i would wonder how anyone could go on less than 10 hrs sleep - cos that was what I thought I needed to feel good.

Now, I wonder how could anyone ever sleep more than 6 hrs.

So OK nightie-night.... must go to bed now...

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Puteri, oh no that’s not very healthy (not to mention unsafe in your case above), for not getting enough sleep. I normally try to get my 8 hours a day whenever I can, if not I’ll make it up by sleeping in during the weekends, up to 12 hours sometimes…hehehe.

Actually those 40 winks during lunch time do wonders too.

I normally find drinking Camomile tea an hour before bed does help too with its sedative effect besides its other health benefits. Hey everyone needs their beauty sleep mah, to stay calm, cool & collected.

Somehow this golden oldie pops up when I wrote this comment; Aaahh brought back some happy memories;

Golden Slumbers

Sweet dreams tonight,

Tommy

Kama said...

lap - i agree. i hv seen doctors taking time off to smoke (furtively, of course).

pakmat - indeed pakmat, funny as it sounds, we should not allow 'traffic' to be clogged up 'down there'.. lol

nanadj - i wish i can sleep longer, nana. i only end up fidgeting in bed..

mamasita - i feel for you sebab you drive kuantan-kl-kuantan often. kalau ngantuk, lena dulu tepi jalan, tau..

pi - me too, a light sleeper. tu yg boring tu, slight sound dah terjaga.. mcm mana ya some ppl tidur mati...

zendra - 10 hrs? woh.. out of my leagu lah.. I can only muster 6 hrs at best, tu pun terkelip2 atas tilam...

tommy - like i said, i dont hv what it takes to sleep long hours. I wish i hv. who wouldnt want to disappear under the duvet for 10 hours?