Warning: Sleep-deprivation and TV do not mix
Have you ever been watching TV, had a serious emotional breakdown over a plot twist, and blamed it on the fact that you were “sleep-deprived?” This just in: You are not full of s—.
Let me take you back seven days: Alynda Wheat sent me her rough cut of the Bones season finale so that Abby West and I could watch it together in the office. Even though I’d had approximately five hours of sleep on each of the three previous nights, we decided to stay late anyway and have our screening… in Dave Karger’s office. (He has a love seat, and is so nice that he won’t mind if/when he reads this.) Fifty seconds in, when Sweets said, “It’s Agent Booth’s funeral, Dr. Brennan,” Abby had to press pause
because I told her to. A minute later, when Caroline started delivering her graveside eulogy, I slid off the love seat onto my knees, turned my back to the television, hugged the seat cushion, looked up at Abby, and said something to the effect of, “What?… Wait. What?… What?” It wasn’t that I thought Booth (David Boreanaz) could actually be dead. (And no one should’ve, which is why I didn’t use a spoiler alert.) It was that my mind was too mushy to process anything unexpected and remotely upsetting. Right?
Right! I just Googled sleep-deprivation and emotional, and the first link was this: “Sleep-deprivation causes an emotional brain ‘disconnect.”‘ It says, “Without sleep, the emotional centers of the brain dramatically overreact to negative experiences, reveals a new brain imaging study…. The reason for that hyperactive emotional response in sleep-deprived people stems from a shutdown of the prefrontal lobe — a region that normally keeps emotions under control.”
That makes perfect sense. So now, while I Google which of my lobes insisted that Abby rewind Booth’s bathtub scene (embedded below, because I can’t let go of that beer helmet issue I have), share what TV moments you’ve overreacted to due to sleep-deprivation. I know I was pooped when I phoned a friend after that Miranda-chokes-home-alone episode of Sex and the City and left an urgent message saying I would tap out a code if I ever needed her to call an ambulance but couldn’t speak. A tuckered Slezak admits that he was “emotionally wobbly” throughout Wednesday’s American Idol finale. Your turn.