Intentional sleep is a weird term, and I use it to describe sleep that you allowed yourself to have. For me, intentional sleep had become a luxury since my developed loathe for sleep. During the summer vacation, I prevent myself from falling asleep for as long as possible, and most of my sleep is unintentional, and they start with me not being able to hold on to consciousness. Whenever I drift off to sleep and unintentionally slept, I would feel bad as it was replacing my original schedule of finishing a part of a program. To me at the time, sleep was an obstacle and presents itself as a time-wasting activity. Since then, being able to lie in bed and await sleep to overtake consciousness is the most satisfying thing on Earth. Insomnia to others is an annoyance, but to me is a luxury. When I have a hard time going to sleep, I get to stare into my pitch-black room, empty my mind, do nothing, and just enter into "Slowtown".
|A picture for my website that I didn't have time to color in|
Quality sleep is another thing I overlooked. Overwhelmed with my ambitious goals that hinder my ability more than it motivates, during the summer, I so often sleep by the numbers: "I haven't slept a single second last night, so I just need 6 hours today", "It takes 11 days of bad sleep to hallucinate, and I have slept 3 hours avg. for the last 4 days, I can still fight for one more night before having an 8-hour sleep day". It all becomes worse when I account for how most of my sleep is with the lights on as I hadn't intended for it (When I sleep with the lights on, I wake up feeling as tired as I was before). There is such a chaotic cycle that I subscribed to, and honestly, apart from tiredness, I was not suffering any consequences for the first month.
Sleep deprivation had been an old friend of mine since childhood, and I have been accustomed and adapted to it. When I was around 10, the game addict in me drove me to keep myself awake till one o'clock at night to bypass my parent's ban from computers. When I went to Shanghai, my dedication to turn in homework I deemed worthy of submission drove me to work till 2 past midnight regularly. Stretching my limits, it had become a game for me to not mention my 0-sleep night the next day despite my hallucinating inside. And even after consecutive sleepless nights, I functioned normally on the outside and in regards to my outputs. But now, my habit of trying to detach myself from reality broke the bottom line.
Being well accustomed to sleep deprivation, I always understood its most significant effect of decreased efficiency. I am aware of that infamous inability to focus on a task1, but I had always been able to justify it. On any particular day, getting 8 more hours than normal is a 50% increase in time available, and tiredness (inability to focus) only takes away ~10-20%. In past situations, the worst net total is still a 20% increase, and I naturally took the trade. For the past 3 months, what I have not accounted for is the accumulation of being tired. From what I have experienced, it seems to me that tiredness cannot be rid of just because I had taken 3 days to become sleeping beauty. I knew this in the past, but I had only understood that it is not a 1:1 amending process when trying to catch up on sleep. But not only is catching up on sleep not with a direct ratio, it is only a "pain-reliever" in that it only fixes tiredness in the short-term.
Since last summer, I have been spending more time on tasks, but ironically, have been getting less done. I was stretching my limits too much. I was doing less and less while also having less and less sleep. As tasks pile on and their significance increase, my ability to receive them gradually and chaotically decreases. Leveraging sleep throughout my life had been a godsend, and it is integral to my current personality and what I have achieved. The extra time I have gained had helped me combat my late start in academics, expanded my interest2, and made me diverse in my skillset3. But leveraging on it too much4 had proven to be extremely detrimental to my ability, and the math that had always justified sleep deprivation becomes non-applicable in extreme conditions.
While I haven't connected this issue to my past blog posts here, everything I have been experiencing is becoming more and more interconnected. It overwhelms me as the cause and effect of every little detail becomes more and more apparent. Lately, I am strung to lyrics by Tyler Joseph (, relating to them with extremely altered meanings):
I don't know why I just feel I'm better off
Stayin' in the same room I was born in
I look outside and see a whole world better off
Without me in it tryin' to transform it
Oh he is falling
And though he knows it's not
The world looks down and frowns.
Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy
Hey, hey, wouldn't it be great, great,
If we could just lay down and wake up in Slowtown,
I can't take them on my own, my own
Oh, I'm not the one you know, you know
I have killed a man and all I know
Is I am on the run and go
1: When you are sleep deprived, it is super super easy to find yourself on useless things, for me it's youtube. Because of my constant tiredness, youtube and relaxation seeps in during the daytime, and nighttime was able to impose enough tension and limitation for me to do efficient work. And because of this attribute for nighttimes, I fell in love with doing work at night, sometimes even trying to eliminate light during the daytime to get myself to work. Sleep that originally put into midnight is replaced by programming, and I thought my body could handle it, and in fact, it did handle for the duration of the summer vacation.
2: Although I shouldn't be proud of this, I like to always hide at least one side of me or an interest of mine from everyone*. (and that includes my parents... umm..... lol, I should choose my words more wisely in a blog that only my parents read.... ummm..... My blog is a pandora box, it's not the creator's fault that the pandora is opened, it is the people's own choice to do it. I'm not dissing anyone, just that I can type what I want :) , oh no.....)
3: While some might argue that being a specialist is better than being sub-par at a number of things, I would say there are benefits to both.
4: Same thing with deadlines. I really cannot leverage on deadlines that much. [facepalm with depressed face and shaking head] I am not going to write a blog post about it because it is a known fact, and people don't need to know my justification for procrastination, nor do I have the need to ventilate about it.
|I finished the redesign of my website. Now, I cross|
my fingers for the wish of having colleges see it and be impressed by it