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Sleepless in the City

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So last night I went to bed a lot earlier than usual. Not “early” for the average person but early for me nonetheless. After sleeping for about five hours I found myself wide awake at 4:30 a.m. I tossed and turned for a while then reluctantly gave in to the urge to grab the Blackberry and check email or see what was going on on Twitter.

Between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. I received quite a few emails both personal and business related. 12:00 a.m., 1:33 a.m., 2:05 a.m., 3:45 a.m. Wow, do people sleep anymore? After scrolling down to see what was up on Twitter I noticed a serious late night/early morning status update pattern:

“Time to take a three hour ‘nap’…why am I still up?” – Designer, Brooklyn

“Damn. 3:36?” – Recording Artist, Houston

“I have to be up at five a.m. but opportunity knocked…and I answered.” – Hip Hop Artist, Bronx

“When do Twitter users sleep?” Marketing Executive, New York City

“I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Time to sleep and work tomorrow.” Painter/Photographer, Miami

All of these tweets took place between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. on a Wednesday. Is going sleepless the new black? Is being able to say I only got a couple hours of sleep like a badge of honor these days? Yes, we’re all on our grind and working to achieve our dreams but something as important as sleep shouldn’t be sacrificed on a regular basis.

I know I’m just as guilty as my fellow Tweeters and late night emailers but moving forward, I’m making a commitment to do better. Why? Because sleep deprivation has more side effects than irritability, lack of mental clarity, and fatigue. According to, when your body isn’t getting proper rest you run the risk of:

dizziness and nausea
dry mouth
hand tremors
increased blood pressure
increased risk for diabetes
increased risk of fibromyalgia
memory lapses or loss
nystagmus (rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement)
slower word recall

Now ask yourself…is it worth it? You better be responding with a resounding “no!” In a city like New York where there are so many places to go and people to see, getting a good night’s rest is oftentimes easier said than done. If you’re taking cues from A Tribe Called Quest and have been labeled a chronic “Midnight Marauder,” perhaps you should just start with baby steps today. Your mind, body, and soul will definitely thank you for it tomorrow!

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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