Too Old for All-Nighters

Sleepy WomanBack in college, I would pull studying all-nighters with some degree of regularity. I’d stock up on caffeine & snacks, turn on good music, open the window for some cool air and work my butt off. Usually, I’d be either prepping for a test, developing code or writing a paper.

Even as a young adult, I would continue the habit with whatever procrastinated chore was required. Company coming? All night cleaning jag. Behind on a work project? All night catch-up session. Need to drive somewhere without losing any time? All night road trip.

I’ve gotten much older, and hopefully somewhat wiser. Unfortunately, my job still occasionally requires the all night approach, and my body doesn’t have the resilience to handle it.

Last night I was up at 1:30 am for a system cutover, and never went back to bed. The night before, I got up at 4am to get to the airport. I am just wiped out today, bone-deep tired. I can’t type accurately, speak clearly or focus at all. I have to be careful because sleep deprivation can trigger a migraine.

To add insult to injury, I have given up caffeine. Mostly. Compensating for lack of sleep with caffeine is an old, bad habit and I don’t want to fall back into it. Occasionally when I’m really tired I’ll have a cup of tea, which has about a third the caffeine of coffee, and this morning I did indulge, but it didn’t make much difference.

After my noon meeting, I can go take a nap. I probably won’t come back into the office afterward, but will just check email after I wake up.

5 Responses to “Too Old for All-Nighters”

  1. Jen / domestika Says:

    No caffeine???? You are my hero, Jeri. I can’t imagine how I could ever give up my “go juice” without going postal … or comatose!

  2. Beast Mom Says:

    I’m with you on the inability to pull all-nighters anymore. I used to do it regularly. No longer…it’s too hard on the mind AND body.
    -bm

  3. Holy Says:

    I can’t even handle nights, such as the last two, where I’ve had sleepus interruptus by my daughter – tummy ache the first night, arachnophobia last night….even an hour’s disruption kills me.

    And to think we were all young and restless at a point in our not too distant past. *sigh*

  4. Jeri Says:

    Jen, it’s painful at times, and like I mentioned, I occasionally succumb to a cup of tea. Somehow a decaf mocha (or cup of coffee) just isn’t as satifying as the real thing.

    BM, Holy, that’s one reason I couldn’t imagine having a baby at 40+, like more and more women do. The sleep deprivation would very literally drive me insane.

  5. Dog Tired Says:

    [...] I feel like this! Too many nights spent working rather than sleeping… and tonight, again, could turn into an all-nighter. [...]