I’m tired. Not tired as in stressed or overworked or had a late night yesterday, no I’m tired as in seriously sleep deprived going on six weeks. What counts as seriously sleep deprived? Four to six hours every night for more than forty days should do it. It adds up!
Truthfully, I’ve never been big on sleep. In college all-nighters were common enough, I even pulled an infamous all-weeker my first semester of freshman year (not recommended!), but as I get older I find myself valuing sleep more and more. Which is funny because now that I do, I can’t seem to get it!
Lately I have been in a major funk. Depressed, frustrated, and just all around blah. But why can’t I be this way and still get some sleep? Because being so tired all of the time is only contributing the funk I’m in. I feel off, mentally and physically, which is making me unproductive. Which in turn only adds to any negative feelings I can’t seem to shake.
I’m so jealous of my husband, Roy, who seems to have the opposite problem. Whenever he is in a funk all he does it sleep. And when he’s fine and funkless he can still sleep pretty much anywhere any time he wants. It is never involuntary – it’s not like he has a sleeping disorder and can’t stay awake – but seriously he can be on the couch, watching TV or even in the middle of a conversation – if he is tired and his body needs sleep, he gets it. He can nap during the day, sleep through noise and animals jumping on him… J-E-A-L-O-U-S.
I can’t do any of those things. First off, I’m a light sleeper. The slightest movement in the room wakes me up – and I’m deaf, so you know it’s bad! Secondly, I cannot sleep during the day. It’s not a light thing, it’s some kind of twisted biological clock. My body knows if it is daytime and will not let me sleep if it is. Forget blackout curtains or a mild sleeping pill – nothing helps.
And on the subject of sleeping pills – yeah I take a mild dose of one. I also take melatonin. I also don’t do anything on my phone or look at a screen 20-30 minutes before bed (there was a study about it affecting sleep patterns). I don’t get my blood pumping at night, and I always unwind before bed.
Sometimes I can’t fall asleep, but much more often I simply wake up after only a few hours and can’t get back to sleep. Sometimes there is a specific reason like my stomach is bothering me or I have to pee. Or something has me extra-stressed. But more than half the time there really isn’t a specific culprit. I’m just up and once I’m up there is no going back to bed.
I’m to the point where I don’t know what to do. I’ve already been to the doctor about it (hence the mild sleeping pill) and it’s not like I’m back in college and totally devalue sleep or take it for granted.
I used to see sleep as a waste of time. I used to think about all of the things people could do with the time they spent sleeping. But that was my clueless naïve twenty-something brain. Now I long for sleep and see its benefits – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
The other day Roy said, “This is really getting to be a problem.” He was referencing my lack of sleep and I bit back the urge to sarcastically quip, “Tell me about it,” in reply.
But it was as if I said that aloud, because Roy wanted to talk go on and on about how tired I look and how it isn’t good for me to be without sleep for so long etc. and I finally said in a clipped tone, “Can we please not talk about how tired I am? I would like to sleep, I would, but I’m not. And I don’t know what else to do for it, so unless you have a suggestion can we not talk about it ever again.”
Because talking about feels like picking at a scab that isn’t fully closed. I know sleep is important for anyone. I know that with my extensive medical resume it is especially important for me. I know I look exhausted (and guess what, I feel exhausted too). I know it’s affecting me and that is spilling out into my day-to-day. But unless someone has suggestions on what might help – why discuss it at length? I want to sleep and I can’t, so there is no benefit to talking about how tired I am and how important sleep is. I already know both of these things and yet cannot get the sleep I need.
I’m hoping that changes soon. It’s not like I am not sleeping because of a specific problem and I finally have the solution to it so the sleep should fix itself, but enough is enough. I’m hoping it’s come to that. I just want to SLEEP already. I want to sleep as I should going forward, and quite frankly would be ecstatic to catch up on some of the sleep I’ve missed out on.
It’s good to have #goals. Until then though I guess I will just be a slightly off crank who keeps Googling like a madman to find a homemade remedy or tip that might mean an extra hour or two of sleep. Every little bit helps!