I know; I’m an adult. I’m not a kid anymore, and I’m actually carrying a kid right now. All of these things means that I need to go to bed earlier and gets lots of sleep.
It usually doesn’t happen, even despite my best intentions, and I find myself making it through a workday by…. supplementing that sleep in other ways.
Before I cover that, let’s talk about one time to NOT supplement sleep: The Drive to Work.
I am really bad about this, the “Driving while Drowsy.” Like, I’ve gotten to work and have to work to remember the drive, and that is not good. Cohiba and I often carpool, and to fight the drowsiness, I’ll make him talk to me instead of playing on his phone or I’ll turn the music up.
On the other hand, there are other times that are more acceptable:
1. Away from work
I practiced this one today, when I went to municipal court to advocate for a client on the docket. I only had one guy, and, since he didn’t have representation, his case was not called until maybe 40 minutes in all. I usually get drowsy during this time: its a quiet room, I’m sitting alone in a church pew, basically, and maybe playing Solitaire on my iPod. I’m drowsy, but I also know it’s not good to sleep in court. I know because I’ve heard the judge or parole officer yell at people who are sleeping, usually like this:
Therefore, I do not tilt my head forward or backward to the point that my mouth gapes open, (plus, that looks weird) and I make sure to only briefly close my eyes, if at all. I seem to close my nictictating membrane,* that translucent eyelid that some animals have. My eyes look open, and they sort of are, but they’re sort of closed, too. This kind of dozing works on a bus or in a waiting room, too.
2. Napping at work, in the company of others.
In a staff meeting? Perhaps sitting at your desk during a down moment? Engaging my nictitating membrane during topics that do not apply to me or do not require my involvement has proved to be an effective way of dozing though in front of people.
It is starting to happen that, since no one can see my face when I’m sitting at my desk, I”m shutting my eyes with my chin in my hand. I don’t know how I feel about this.
3. Napping at work, alone.
This one I started about halfway into my first trimester when I was so sleepy I didn’t know what to do, and it is, by far, the most preferred option. After ensuring I had a block of free time, I would take my cell phone and set the alarm for about 20 minutes. I would go to a nearly-always-empty conference room, and doze away. I have the weirdest dreams in that short amount of time, but the phone wakes me up and I’m able to return to my job. I suspect that my director supervisor is aware, but my work has not suffered and he knows this started with the pregnancy, which he supports.
Do you have strategies for sleeping in public?