Trying to Catch Some ZZzzz’s

One of my biggest struggles in life is getting enough sleep. This is most often to do with anxiety and stress. From the age of 15 to 25 I slept for an average of 4 hours a night. I hated going to sleep because I could not stand to be alone with my thoughts. I would lay in bed obsessing over my heart-rate, a bump on my leg, and every other symptom I could create. To keep myself from being stuck with the scary non-stop thoughts I would just go-go-go until I physically could not move and would pass out from exhaustion.

It did not help that I knew lack of sleep is extremely unhealthy AND even leads to higher anxiety. So, when I could convince myself to get in bed at a decent time I would worry that I couldn’t fall asleep and then obsess over the side effects of being sleep deprived. It’s madness, I know.

Once while traveling, I stayed in a hostel with a guy who told me all about his struggle with insomnia…the poor guy kept giving me every little detail not knowing that I was soaking it all up and storing it for my own future panic attacks. Convinced then, that I too had insomnia, I didn’t sleep for weeks!

While living in Albania, I learned to sleep. We were forced to live like Europeans (and I mean that in a very good way). We moved slower, sat down to drink our coffee, ate 3 hour dinners, and relaxed. We really relaxed. I not only slept at night, but I slept late, I took naps, I slept on the beach, I slept on our picnics, I slept anytime I was tired…it was glorious.

Getting all that sleep spoiled me, and now I cannot understand how I functioned for ten years on such little sleep.

Lately, I have been struggling again. I lay in bed at night, mind running wild with to-do lists and worries, and cannot go to sleep.  A couple of hours pass and I then worry that I won’t wake up in time for work. More time passes and I worry I’ll never go to sleep. When I do eventually drift off, I wake up to the slightest movement or sound and struggle to go back to sleep.

I am not sure if it’s anxiety, my busy schedule the last couple of weeks, or something else, but I am tired (literally) and ready for a full night’s sleep. Since I’m not as skilled as I once was at sleepless nights, its starting to show. I’m grumpy at work (What do you mean we’re out of coffee!?!?!?!?!), mixing up my words (Chairs in your sit please!), and have very little patience (Did I mention I got peed on today?). Even my boss is noticing the bags under my eyes.

It’s now 1:40am on a work night, AND I am flying to Texas tomorrow. I know I should be in bed, but the anxiety over the trip and work beforehand is keeping me up.

I don’t have any answers or suggestions for this blog. I only have a promise. I am promising to try to get more sleep. I promise to search for the root of the problem, start getting in bed earlier, and sleep. Who’s going to hold me accountable?? Anyone else deal with insomnia?


3 Replies to “Trying to Catch Some ZZzzz’s”

  1. I got very sick when I was 14 and was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. On top of being a hypochondriac and have absolutely no drive to do anything, it got worse. I couldn’t sleep at night and was constantly falling asleep during the day. Nowadays, even though I think I have it under control, I find that my sleep schedule will randomly flip. I’m hyper at night and dragging my feet during the day. It’s difficult because I know it won’t go away. I’m stuck with it. So this morning I started yoga. We also went for a walk in the park. I’m hoping I have the will power to keep it up but the later it becomes, the more tired I am. Then around 10 pm I get a random jolt of energy. I’m considering seeing a psychologist again.

  2. 2nd paragraph: me to the very last period. I struggle. It sucks. My Fi has no idea 1.) why I sometimes (okay almost every night) dread bedtime and 2.) how I function. Last night I achieved sleep sometime after 4am…I remember seeing a piece of TMZ on tv is how I know this…only to wake up about 630am. I have this morbid reward/system of motivation to make it thru the day– I treat myself to Starbucks on no-sleep mornings, especially since I have SO MUCH EXTRA TIME before work. This morning it was a triple shot in my skinny latte. That can’t be healthy.
    Do you ever lay there tossing and turning next to your husband and not only struggle with your own thoughts racing about insomnia and whatever else it may be that night, but then get super guilty feelings bc you’re so afraid that you’re gonna keep him from sleeping too??
    This doesn’t happen every night, it kind of goes in cycles for me. I’ve noticed, as I keep more of an eye on it, it may have a hormonal-root for me, especially due to the hormone and insomnia issues that my mother has dealt with all of her adult life.
    My way of prevention is routine. Long hot bath reading gossip websites, then sleepytime tea on the couch, then living room lights out and restrictions on the type of tv we watch, finally bedtime. If I stray, I’m in trouble. If I get an idea and obsess over it, I’m in trouble. And sometimes for no good reason I can see, I’m in trouble.
    It’s 11:00 at night and I’m awake after sleeping 2 hours last night. This is not natural.
    Just wanted to share my story…there’s strength in numbers!!

    1. OH thank you! Agree, yes: strength in numbers! We can suffer together and call each other at 3am to discuss how fun it is to not sleep. haha.

      I am so glad you mentioned your hormones effecting your sleep because I just started realizing over the last couple of months that it is so much worse during “that time of the month”. Hmmm wonder how that problem can be solved?

      And, no I do not every worry about keeping Husband up because 1)he NEVER has to get up early and 2)I am just envious that he can fall asleep the second he closes his eyes. Sometimes I want to wake him just out of spite…but I’m not that mean.

      I think having a routine like that is such a good idea! I know I sleep better when I calm down and relax for at least an hour before bed, I just don’t always have time for that…Something I need to work on!

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