Is it possible to be so exhausted that you think you can function properly and not actually be functioning properly at all???
I think this is exactly what's happening to me right now. I love to travel, always have. However, this is the first time I've ever traveled on so little sleep. This is also my first 12-hour layover somewhere.
One of the things you learn in Psych 101 (or first-year psychology) is just how important sleep is to your brain. Why your brain doesn't actually function better during exams when you cram all night and don't sleep. Why people who sleep less tend to eat more or drink more. The list goes on and on. My point here is that I know better than to leave for a trip (that will take 36 hours of travel to get to my destination) with no sleep. However, I wasn't able to sleep before hand. I tried and failed epically and now I'm paying the price.
As I sit here and try to think of the lists of things I should be doing, all my brain can do is muddle through a pool of thoughts that I can't quite seem to grasp. As I sit here and look at the list of things I wanted to accomplish while I was on my 12-hour layover in Toronto, I can't even remember what aspects of them needed to be work on.
I know this has nothing to do with my memory being shot and everything to do with my brain not being able to make the proper connections between my neurons to work because of my lack of sleep. I also know I have no one to blame but myself for this. I knew I had this very long day ahead of me. I knew I would be on an overnight flight (which I booked intentionally so I could sleep through most of it) and have a huge layover. I knew I would be exhausted.
My hope is that by the time I get on my flight from Toronto to Dublin that my body and brain will both be in such need of sleep, that I'm able to sleep for 90% of the eight-hour flight.
My advice, for anyone traveling with layovers or a long flight, be sure you get lots of rest before hand. Travel can be exhausting enough without adding layovers, stress and of course the inevitable travel drama.
Half of the fun of all this is to learn things like this (maybe not this specifically because no one wants their brain to feel like mush). Learning what to pack and how to make it all work in a 50L pack is one of the things I had looked forward to. I want to learn to live out of a backpack. I want to learn to always be on the go (with reasonable time to recover).
So I guess the real question isn't can you be so exhausted you can't function even though you think you are. The real question is why do we intentionally put ourselves into positions that compromise our ability to function?
Right now I honestly don't think I can even understand that question, let alone answer it.
I've also had to proof read this like ten times, so clearly not functioning at 100%.