Sleep Depravation

According to current US Government and Military guidelines, a prisoner must be allowed to get four hours of sleep every twenty-four hours or it is considered “torture.” Sleep depravation is one of the most popular and effective forms of torture—keeping someone awake for over 48 hours makes them numb to pain, hallucinogenic, and highly susceptible to suggestion. One in such a state will answer almost any question you ask them.

If that’s true, then feel free to answer any question about me that you’d like and I’ll tell you.

For me it began on Saturday. I had an early morning flight to Minneapolis the next morning so I went to bed early, about 9 PM. But my son had some friends over, one of whom threw up at about 11 PM. That made the rest of the boys queasy and things got messy. Literally. Not quite the “barf-o-rama” proportions of Stand By Me, but still not good. I was kept awake until the wee hours of the morning.

I figure I got a little under four hours of sleep before I was up to catch my flight. Unfortunately, I don’t sleep on planes—or at least I don’t sleep well. Landed in Minneapolis and drove an hour and a half to a youth event in Durand, WI.

love going to Durand. I’ve been blessed to have been there the last five years. Though a bit drowsy, it went really well. Part of my payment for the event is with Wisconsin memorabilia and cheese curds. Every year they give me more cheese curds. It’s fantastic! (BTW, I don’t like cheese curds, but my wife and kids really do.)

Gave my last talk and was on my way back to the airport. Had a lovely dinner with my “hostess” at the Mall of America before I left.

Connecting flights and a delay in Chicago got me home after midnight. I was happy for a great day but pretty tired. I don’t even remember falling asleep.

But I do remember being woken up by my kids at 7 AM. Yesterday I felt like I was playing a character on the Walking Dead. Meant to go to bed early but got caught up in grading. Still, I figured a good night’s sleep was all I needed to reset my clock.

A good night’s sleep was not what I got. My four year daughter came in at 1 AM wanted me to cuddle with her. So I did. Then she wanted me to cuddle her in her bedroom. So I did. (Remember that people who don’t get much sleep are highly susceptible to suggestion.) I was phasing in and out of consciousness until I heard the words, “I just pooped in my pants.”

That woke me up.

Poor thing had diarrhea and stomach cramps all night long.

For a second night in a row I don’t remember falling asleep but certainly remember how I woke up this morning. My wife came in and said, “Didn’t you have a final at 8 AM this morning?”

It was her use of the past tense that hit me like an electrode panel of a heart defibrillator. I shot out of bed.

Thankfully, it was only 8:05 (for all I knew it could have been noon) so I threw clothes on and made it to class by 8:15—much to the disappointment of some students who hoped if I missed the final they’d get an automatic A.

I’m fairly lucid right now but doubt that will last. Honestly, I don’t remember being this tired since we had babies—and my prayers are with all those sleep deprived parents who are going through that joyful stage of your lives right now. I’m sure I looked like crap when I showed up to class this morning but I know I wasn’t alone. Many of the students are going through their own form of sleep depravation torture also known as “finals.”

Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up 5 Hour Energy shots.

Looking over this blog I now realize it has no point whatsoever and probably was as much of a waste of time write as it was for you to read. Sorry about that. I’m glad I said the thing about Durand, though. It was a great event and blessings to everyone who was there.

To conclude: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this concerns all mankind.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) I promise the next post will be better 🙂

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7 Comments

  1. Bob, that was not a waste of time at all. In fact, you admitting at the end that it had no point whatsoever (other than maybe you trying to assemble the pieces of a puzzle of insanity) was well worth my 2 minutes hahaha. Just serves as a good example that even Bob Rice, the man who balances it all, is not Superman. Also, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that classroom when you finally showed up lol. Hope you can get some sleep brother!

  2. I read this about five minutes after my roommate told me the story from the students’ end. Don’t worry. Finals season. Everyone gets it… 😉

  3. Dear Bob, I love that you started your blog with a reference to the Military. As a veteran and mother of a veteran, I am well versed in “sleep depravation”. My son used to tell stories of that while in infantry school. He could really spin a yarn. Someday I’ll share. Bob, your blogs are never a waste of time. Besides, you talked about your whirlwind visit to Durand, my beloved home. Yes, I was there at that youth rally. In my opinion, it was the best to date Only you didn’t stay long enough. Next time maybe we’ll just keep you a couple of days. Make you eat cheese curds! And drink beer! We are blessed that you agree to come here every year and talk with us. The kids get a “taste” of who you are and get more excited about the Steubenville Youth Conference. So get some rest, cuddle your children, and don’t scare your students too much. I’ll be eagerly awaiting your next facinating blog.
    Sue, the tattoo lady

  4. Love this post. I’m glad to know that when I feel like it’s torture being woken up numerous times a night by numerous amount of kids…I’m not the crazy one! 🙂

  5. Haha – you have always told us that we should read your blog. Now that the semester is over and I have a little time on my hands, I did…and this was a great one to start with! 😉 Thanks again for everything, Bob, especially your witness of joy!

    1 Thess. 5:16-18 (I hope I got this one right on that final!)

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