The “Department of Homeland Sanity” has issued a sleep deprivation alert. The quiet terror of sleep deprivation is starting to have irreversible effects in the “mother”land. The Department hopes that by defining deprivation levels and issuing alerts, the nation will be more prepared to handle an unforeseen attack in the near future.
LOW : I am not very sure why this level even exists. Parents, by definition, are always on this level. “LOW” sleep deprivation implies you are having the best time of your life. You cannot do much better than this.
GUARDED : At this level of sleep deprivation, you are mildly troubled. This is when you forget to take your wallet to the store. Or your stylish hobo handbag to work. You may socialize, but do so cautiously.
ELEVATED : Now, you are getting into the danger zone. At this point you are getting rather unfit to socialize. I suggest you keep away from folk unless they are sleep deprived parents themselves …in which case they won’t know any better ;). Normal human beings will repeatedly ask you if you are okay when you are in an “ELEVATED” state. Ignore them since they mean no harm. You have bigger things to worry about from this point on ….
HIGH : Not good. Not good. Try to do everything possible to prevent yourself from getting here. At this point you are not getting more than an hour of sleep in one stretch. You are going on less than 3 hours sleep every night for at least 4 nights in a row. Not at all good. You tend to wonder where your office is. You consistently walk out into the wrong floor at work. If you are anything like me, you will hold your key to your door and hope the door opens (much like holding your work badge to the sensor).
SEVERE : You are delirious. You are almost dangerous. You are unfit to take care of your child. You will probably cry at the drop of a hat. Your marriage could be in trouble. Your spouse does not know you, your dogs don’t recognize you… What the heck! You don’t know yourself anymore. I suggest you take a sick day at work.
What level are you at today? Any fond memories of sleep deprivation?