Monday, July 23

Needin' Some Beauty Sleep

That awkward moment when you're ready to join Inomniacs Anonymous.

This insomnia thing is getting weird. For the last...however long...I haven't slept enough. At first it was a bad habit during school, mismanaged homework and balancing life, but back then I still called midnight late; certainly 1am was late. Yet after graduation it seems 2am quickly became a regular thing. (And this is with knowing from experience that my body favors 9 hours of straight sleep--I feel great after that much sleep!)

I knew this wasn't intelligent, though it's a really hard habit to break, so I've been trying to get to bed earlier, and mostly failing at that, but even when I do manage a midnight or earlier lights-out, I'm still usually awake until 1 or 2am. Taking a long time to get to sleep isn't a new thing to me; I remember waiting for sleep to come for what seemed like forever over a decade ago. Of course, when I was ten and younger "forever" may have been less time then than it is now.

I thought I would be able to readjust my sleeping/waking clock after I was awake the entire night once last week. Of course, it would have helped if I'd been in bed before midnight the next night, but was I? Well, I tried to be. Alas.

I'm not sure this is exactly insomnia, though. I sleep pretty well in the morning, after the sun is up.

I keep joking that I just need to go to Hawai`i and I'll already be on the appropriate sleeping/waking schedule. (If only....)

My dad said I don't get enough exercise. I knew that, but could it be that simple to solve? Looks like I'll be hitting the indoor running track in the near future.

After I cried out to my brother "I'm an insomniac" on Facebook around 1am (after I had dimmed my lights early and got to bed early), he offered some suggestions. His basic idea was I don't have to sleep but I can rest. Huh. I tried what he said and it was surprising how the simple thought "I don't have to sleep" was actually freeing, mentally. It still took a while to get to sleep that night, but it became less frustrating that I wasn't asleep already. It wasn't an attainable goal, so I reached for one I could manage. And it helped, noticeably, for a couple or few nights even. Sadly though the benefits seem short lived (but not entirely, and I'm gonna keep tryin'!) One idea was focused muscle relaxation. I'm still not exactly sure what that means, but I tried it by tensing my entire body then relaxing it. I've tried it again, but I've been fairly stiff at night lately, so I haven't been successful. I wonder if some stretching before bed would be a good idea.

Now, if only I could get a massage every night before bed, ahhhhhh, that would be wonderful. I had my first ever massage by a professional last week, and even though it was brief, afterwards I was ready for some long-term relaxin'. (No, it didn't happen.)

A friend has suggested that I take melatonin before bed. I won't deny that I'd thought about it, but I'm also not sure I want to do that. I thought if I could lessen the stress I face in life (a good idea in general, don't you think?), sleep wouldn't be so elusive (at the right time of the day), and that would be better. But after another nearly sleepless night on Friday (for no apparent reason; the previous one had a reason), I'll be thinking about it again you can be sure. Now I just have to keep tyring to convince my body that bedtime is sometime before midnight but after seven in the evening (baaaaad time for me to take a nap! don't ask me how I know). I'm guessing it's a process.

I wonder if it would help if I got a dog or cat to cuddle with at night? Oh yes, the reasoning for a furry pet is building in my mind now. muahahaha....

Do you have the insomnia blues? What do you do to counter them?



  1. The first thing that came to my mind reading this was that part of it might be that you crave alone time with no demands on you, and staying up late is a way to get that. I find that even after a very long, tiring day, if Lucy is up late, I'll be up even later. I just can't go to sleep until she's been out of my hair for a couple hours. Maybe that's part of what's going on here?

    Also, I'm sure you could find some relaxation scripts on YouTube, to guide you through muscle relaxation. You could try a few different ones to find one that doesn't either creep you out or annoy you. (I'd offer you mine, but the only ones I have are for pregnant ladies.) :-D

    1. I think that is definitely a factor, though I'm not sure if that's all that's going on at this point anymore (if it ever was just that alone). Tis a mystery.

      haha, that's an interesting idea. I had not known about those before. I tried stretching last night and I think that helped a little maybe. Feels good to be loose.