Why Crunch Mode Doesn’t Work was written with the games industry in mind, but sounds a lot like how things get at certain times of the academic year, especially around the end of semester. The work-related aspects weren’t the most disturbing part of it for me, though. The scariest part for a parent of pre-schoolers was this:

In both the short- and long-term, reducing sleep hours as little as one hour nightly can result in a severe decrease in cognitive ability, sometimes without workers perceiving the decrease.

I know that to be true, because I know the difference between me on eight-ish hours of sleep a night (pre-kids) and me on six-ish (now). It’s been so long now that the underlying fatigue seems normal, but it really shouldn’t.

We just went away for a few days and were all in a shared family room in a B&B, which meant that for two nights in a row our bedtime was effectively the same as the kids’. After ten hours of slightly interrupted sleep a night, I almost felt human again. But the effect was soon undone by coming home and going back to five or six.

The logical solution would be to go to bed at 9 or 10 p.m. to get in eight-ish hours of sleep, but that’s never gonna happen. I’ll just have to wait until both kids are self-sufficient in the morning. Which could be another five or ten years.

24 July 2012 · Journal