Sleepless in Cyrodiil

So at night time, your body is feeding itself with drugs that tell you it’s time to go to bed. This is why we sleep at night and prefer sleeping in darkness. During the day your melatonin levels go back down, so if you can make it through the night awake there’s a good chance you’ll make it through most of the following day. You’re going to spend most of that day hungry, however. Sleep regulates two other hormones in your body: leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin stimulates our appetites, telling us when we need food by causing us to feel hungry. Leptin is the hormone that causes a sense of fullness after completing a meal.

Sleep deprivation results in ghrelin levels increasing while leptin levels fall, leaving you both hungrier and less satisfied for having eaten. If you want to lose weight or stay in shape, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. The increased irritability I experienced was the result of my being an ass, while the grogginess is aptly explained by the fact I’d been up for a really, really long time. Almost everything proceeded as predicted, with the expected descent of my cognitive faculties and resulting loss of skill in any game I played. What was surprising was that my reflexes remained constant throughout the entire 45-hour period, with only statistically insignificant shifts in my timing.

It’s two weeks later and I still haven’t fully recovered. I also haven’t got over my resentment of Tim, whose original idea started this whole affair. The longest lingering side-effect is a cold, which at one point made my face swell to twice its natural size and prompted Craig to say that I looked worse than any human being he’d ever seen. It turns out that sleep deprivation affects the immune system, causing a decrease in the white blood cell count in your blood stream. This is common sense. If you don’t get enough sleep, you get run-down, making you more susceptible to common diseases, horrible spots and bitterness directed towards commissioning editors and their dangerous ideas.

The second major consequence is the accumulation of sleep debt. If you don’t get enough sleep, over time you build up sleep debt and find yourself mentally or physically fatigued. The day after completing my 48-hour bout of stupidity, I woke to aching muscles and stiff joints. I had performed no strenuous exercise during the experiment (or for the three years prior to it), but nevertheless I felt as if I’d been hit by a car. These feelings were gone within a day, but the sleep debt persisted. To test your own sleep debt, find a quiet place where you can relax and be alone. If the feelings of sleep come easily, you probably have a sleep debt of your own. Personally, I could fall asleep in the middle of this....