Sorry for What I Said When I Was Sleepy
Have you ever had a poor night’s sleep and noticed how irritable you were the day after? Almost everyone has experienced firsthand how a sleepless night can cause short tempers and more stress.
Having my pets disturb my sleep can be a vicious cycle
Those close to me know how grumpy I can be if I don’t get enough sleep. I can be a real monster if I’m woken up from a nap before I’m ready to.
My home has 1 dog and 3 cats, all of whom are on a steady routine. Breakfast is at 7 AM and dinner is at 4 PM, but sometimes they act like they haven’t been fed in 3 months and start getting each other hyped up before I’m even out of bed.
I would be lying if I said I hadn’t raised my voice a few times at them when I’m still trying to sleep and they take turns meowing, barking, and jumping on me in hopes of getting some kibble before I’m out of bed.
With the animals irritating me, I then make a fuss and wake up my partner before his alarm goes off to go to work. It can be a vicious cycle, and I’m grateful my partner is so patient with me when I’m tired.
My sleeplessness caught up with me at school
As a music major, we have something called juries. This is when we perform 1 or 2 pieces for our private studio professors and they grade us based on how we perform. Juries are basically the final grade for taking lessons all semester. I normally don’t get stressed about my juries because I love performing for people, and this is just another opportunity for that.
Trying to focus with little sleep
There was one day I was practicing for my juries and I was feeling a little stressed. I hadn’t been sleeping well that week and I could feel myself being more irritable all week. Sometimes people will peek their head in the door and see who is practicing, which honestly grinds my gears, but I never say anything when someone does that to me.
Saying things I quickly regret
That is, until this day that I was practicing, getting mad at myself for messing up in places I normally don’t, trying to be patient with myself, and struggling to focus on the music when all I wanted to do was sleep... and then the door opened.
I practically threw my tuba on the floor and yelled, “WHY does everyone feel the need to burst in here when I’m trying to practice?! It is SO rude and distracting! GET OUT!”
Of course, the person that opened the door is one of the sweetest, calmest guys I know. He slowly shut the door with wide eyes while I had steam coming out of my ears.
Reminding myself to breathe
While I may be grumpy when I’m tired, I’m not a complete monster. The next day when I saw him in class, I profusely apologized. I told him that I had difficulty sleeping all week, and with the usual stress of being in college, him walking in on me was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Take a few deep breaths and apologize
I am grateful that those close to me are so patient with me when I’m grumpy from lack of sleep. My sister also has narcolepsy, and I can see it in her when she hasn’t been sleeping well either.
The most important thing all of us can do (other than giving ourselves the rest we deserve), is to take a few deep breaths and apologize when we are short-tempered.
How often do you experience automatic behavior?