the sandman in pajamas behind bars while a sheep sleeps next to him in the jail cell

Irritability and Insomnia: Managing Emotions and Getting Things Done

I think I inadvertently put a restraining order on the sandman at some point in my life. Surely that is the case because he refuses to visit me. Sheep no longer show up for counting.

Dreamland has been taken off the map, and its location is unknown. I think it must have been moved to the Bermuda Triangle. Wherever it is, I cannot find it. I am a permanent resident of Insomnia City, and the population is booming. Perhaps I will run for mayor someday.

My humor is often the result of exhaustion. One of the first stages for me is silliness. While my humor is corny enough that people laugh at me as opposed to laughing with me, it is preferable to the alternative. Unfortunately, exhaustion eventually leads to irritability. Irritability causes problems.

Exhaustion is no laughing matter

People do not want to be around someone who is irritable. There are plenty of times when I annoy myself, so I know I am annoying others. No matter how hard I fight it, it becomes impossible to avoid irritability once I reach a certain stage of exhaustion. The only cure for the grumps is sleep. Sleep does not come easy, so it is a big problem that only gets worse.

The only time I consider napping is when I become unable to function well. If I nap to try to get rid of irritability, it only aggravates it. I wake up even more irritable, so it defeats the purpose. I am certainly not a morning person. In fact, anyone who jumps out of bed with a smile on their face annoys me. My husband is one of those people. Waking up from a nap is like having an extra morning during the day. No, thank you. I will pass.

Time management for the irritable and exhausted

Make no mistake. I can still function after I have reached the irritability phase. That is the second stage of my exhaustion – irritability.

My personal stages of exhaustion are silliness, irritability, and inability to concentrate or focus. Once I start getting snippy, I know I will not get anything done if I do not do it right then. The next phase is waiting at the door. Time management becomes extremely important to finish my to-do list.

Tackling the to-do list

Sometimes a lengthy to-do list agitates me and adds to my frustration, and sometimes focusing on what I need to get done keeps me distracted enough to contain my irritability for a while. I never know which one it will be, so I am always as surprised as everyone else.

I try to prioritize and tackle the most important things on my list. However, there are times when some tasks require more concentration than I can muster. Begrudgingly, those tasks are left for another day. The important thing is to realize what you are capable of and the moment and use every available minute to get as much done as possible.

A little humor goes a long way

I have found that one of the most important things is to be able to laugh at yourself. If I did not laugh at myself, I would likely cry. Accepting limitations caused by being a member of Team No Sleep is not easy, but it is necessary. There are times when I have to make light of a situation.

In conclusion, fellow scholars nodding off in the back, humor is the insomniac’s greatest tool for preventing strained relationships. However, if you have a corny and dry sense of humor as I do, you are on your own. Feel free to join me in Insomnia City, although I hope you get enough sleep to avoid it.

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