Gut Rumbles
 

December 24, 2007

So... that's what's wrong

Originally published January 16, 2006

I woke up this morning feeling drugged and disoriented. I got out of bed, bounced off my chest-of-drawers once and staggered into the bathroom. I turned on the light while trying to remember why I was in my bathroom.

Oh, yeah... I needed to pee. I pointed Roscoe at the toilet (I sleep nekkid) and managed to hit the target with MOST of my output. I know that SOME went on the floor, because it wet my bare foot, and some splashed off the raised commode lid, because it didn't sound right, until I adjusted my aim. I couldn't see what I was doing because my eyes wouldn't focus.

I finished draining my lizard, reeled toward my kitchen, ricocheted off the wall a couple of times in route and loaded my coffee maker. I pushed the "on" button and nothing happened. I pushed the button several more times and became convinced that my coffee maker was broken--- until I realized that I was pushing the "off" button. Heh. Silly me.

That's typical behavior for me EVERY morning when I wake up. I once blamed my foggy brain on excessive alcohol consumption the night before, but I've been sober for 86 days now and I STILL act drunk in the morning. I require about 30 minutes, at least one cup of coffee and two cigarettes before I begin to function as a sentient being.

Thank Bejus for science, because now I know what is wrong with me, and it's perfectly normal. I suffer from sleep inertia.

For most of us, that bewildered, groggy, what-day-is-it? feeling lasts just a few minutes, but for some it can last as long as two hours. Wright found that the worst period of sleep inertia is the first three minutes after awakening, and it usually diminishes within 10 minutes. Using 16 volunteer test subjects who were asked to add randomly generated, two-digit numbers immediately upon waking after eight hours of sleep, he showed that sleep inertia diminishes short-term memory, counting skills and cognitive abilities.

It'll cause you to piss on your foot, too.

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