I have real trouble with sleep, so much so that not sleeping has become a constant in my life.
I'm working out ways to move away from 'one good nights sleep, one terrible nights sleep, one good nights sleep, one terrible nights sleep' to a more consistent and regular nights sleep.
I've written a diary about what it's like to be me when sleep doesn't arrive.
First moment of consciousness in the morning
- I'm awake
- It’s morning
- I can feel the warmth of the mattress cocooning me, the softness of the pillow and duvet over my face
- The light is creeping in around the edge of sheet
- I can hear birds singing announcing the day and the traffic starting to get busy
What happened through the night?
Eventually... I remember... I got to sleep okay
- I woke up just after 1am
- I stayed awake until 5am
- I finally fell back into deep sleep, exhausted
- Dragged out of deep sleep with urgent alarm at 6.30am
- Another day with only three and a half hour's sleep
- It’s going to be a long one
How my body and mind feel
I feel exhausted, it’s been an exhausting night … and all I’ve done is ‘sleep’
- Thick brain fog
- Tired gritty eyes
- Sore joints
- Body aches
- Body ways a ton
- Walking is tiring
- The gym is beyond hard
- And I can’t drive today
The sleepless 'quick fixes' I'm tempted to do
Discipline is hard with diminished willpower, it’s easy to reach for a fast fix
- Must not sleep or nap, must stay upright until tonight
- Need to not go for the sugars, the caffeine and fast fixes
- I know they'll each cause a crash and a trough and an extra hill to climb... must think longer term
Feeling the pressure of getting a good nights sleep
- Must get to bed at 10pm
- Need to start again
- Must create a better night... and then a better day
Thoughts before bed
- Why am I so awake at 10pm?
- Wish I was this awake at 8am
- Must get to sleep
Tips that help me
A mindset that helps
- Be kind and know that it takes baby steps
- Remember you can keep going when sleeplessness overwhelms you
- List three things you are grateful for
- Tune in with your feelings - note how do you feel
- Tune in with the impact - how does it affect you
- Remember what works and doesn't work for you
- Think about what you can do differently
- And remember the difference this makes
This is what I’ve found works for me, it could tip the balance for you too. Most of these will not be new to you, you may have heard them before, but when you actually do these, and stick to them for a few days, it can make a huge difference to your sleep patterns.
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