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Sleep deprivation & memory retrieval

I haven't whined much about how little sleep I've been getting with Little T
recovering from his surgery and waking up at night. The sleep gods tend to take revenge if I comment on my children's sleep patterns. But I'm going slightly mad from lack of sleep.

I tried to deliver some chocolate to a friend who's having a hard time. Last time I spoke to him, I asked "Did you move recently?" "No." he replied. "Oh, I thought you did." I said. "Why'd you think that?" I mumbled something about him having a housewarming party recently. He replied "Yes, that was a year and a half ago and you were there." "Oh." I said, rather confused.

I drove to his apt and on the porch was a cigarette lighter and 2 cans of Bud Light. My friend writes poetry and drives a Prius. This was definitely not his apt. I did have enough sense to call a couple of our mutual friends, but none were available. So I called C and asked "Can you check email to see where he lives?" C checks and comes up with the same address. "That's not right." I said and I described what was there. I asked for the date of the email. It was in 2003. C checked a later email. It was the invitation for the housewarming party. It was a different address. Fortunately this address was only a couple blocks away from the old address.

Now I know what happened. When my friend moved, I told myself to update my address book at his housewarming party and then forgot. My poor brain was trying to nudge me, but I had no idea what about. When I'm chronically sleep deprived, my memory often simply fails and I'm left asking silly questions.

Though inability to retrieve a particular memory is pretty typical for me. My memory retrieval system is good, but very context based. I can remember all the items I need to buy if I walk down the aisles of a grocery store and see the items, or if I know the store, the items near the items I need. If I miss an aisle, I'll forget to buy all the items in that aisle. Computers have been a godsend for my memory. At work, I used to carry around a Palm Pilot, which was my little context holder to jog my memory. I would put in enough cues, so that I could remember all I needed to know. What type of memory retrieval system do you have? What's the craziest thing you've done due to sleep deprivation?


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Jan. 11th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
Sairuh said...

It wasn't sleep deprivation per se: When I was in high school, I was taking a nap after a busy day. Apparently my dad had telephoned and left some message/instructions with me. He claimed that I sounded awake and coherent. But I had no memory whatsoever of this. I haven't had a similar experience since, but I think it's a good example of how I've got this blind spot regarding telephonic activities. ;-)

7/28/2005 06:38:58 PM

Jed said...

Thank you again for the chocolate!

Sorry for the confusion about the housewarming. What I meant to say was that it wasn't really a housewarming party; it was M's cookbook party, and it just happened to be at my house (which I had just moved into a month earlier). I'll be having an actual (extremely late) housewarming party at some point after my couches arrive (in a couple months); will let you know when that happens.

8/02/2005 10:07:43 AM

Thida said...

Sairuh, I'm also pretty blinded if I'm woken up by the phone.

Jed, that's right and we had lovely food! It was filed as a housewarming party in my memory, because it was the first party at your new place. I look forward to your actual housewarming.
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