I love being so feel-it-in-your-bones tired that you barely make it into bed, falling heavily into the sheets like you just climbed Mt. Everest, about to conquer your dreams. Waking a wonderful 10 hours later, stretching and feeling ahhh-maz-ing. Except yeah, that is usually not my experience.
I start each day so tired. I blink through sleepy eyes thinking, “I am definitely getting to bed earlier tonight! I have never felt so darn tired.” And yet, if you are anything like me, real life doesn’t seem to work out that way. Like many of you, I literally cannot remember the last time I felt really well rested and woke refreshed from a full night’s rest.
After finishing work about 8pm, I put the kids and the hubby to bed (he gets up at 1:30am for work, always light on the sleep as well) and throw in a load of laundry. Next up is prepping lunches and checking backpack for important school stuff. Then lay out clothes and set the alarm. Wipe down counters and have dinner or a snack. And then, it is quiet in the house.
This is my “me” time. I should occasionally use it to get some much-needed catch up sleep, but never do. Instead, I write, watch my tv shows, or shop for kids birthday gifts online. I plan, I chat with my sister, I prepare for the next day at work. My neighbor bestie stops over for a quick visit. I call my gram, I text my friends, I drink my wine. It is glorious and it is necessary. It is also not always the best practice.
When I am sick I notice it is much easier to fall asleep by 9 or 10pm. However, I am currently riding the midnight to 1am train, and it is depleting my reserves. No matter how tired I am all day though, it is like a switch flips and – voila! – I am wide awake at night and motivated to get shit done. Even when I finally do get exhausted in the middle of the night, when my head hits that pillow, then my brain thinks it is play time.
Brain: Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to think about monsters (the human kind) and mayhem and how you said that awkward thing to your kid’s teacher yesterday? Did you set the alarms? Yep, checked three times. Did you sign the kid’s behavior chart for the day? Who cares, nevermind, you will check it in the morning. Must start planning little one’s birthday. Tomorrow you have the work meeting, don’t forget. Crud, forgot to take out cash for the tooth fairy (thought I still had time!? I learn nothing). Mother’s Day is next weekend, must think about that now because why not. Is that a spider on the wall? If you don’t look it will definitely be a spider, better turn on the light and check it out. Nope, just a shadow. Back in bed. Is that the little one crying? Nope, just the cat. Now would also be a good time to worry about the hubby driving to work in this storm. Sheesh! He has to be up in twenty minutes. How does he do it? How are you gonna do it? If you don’t go to bed now you are going to ride the struggle bus tomorrow big time. If you go to bed now, you’ll have a solid 5 hours. Ok, that’s doable. Sigh, if you go to bed RIGHT NOW you can have 4.5 hours of sleep. Ok, GO! GO!! GO!!! No pressure though… Shoot, now I gotta pee…
I sometimes take melatonin or Benadryl, which does help a bit with falling or staying asleep… eventually. Half the time I forget to take it until it is just too late. The other half, I actually need to stay up for a project or to accomplish something. Naps are GREAT unless they backfire on you. Nothing worse than waking up after a nap feeling ten hundred billion times worse than before you laid down. Working out helps with my energy, but not necessarily sleep, in my personal experience. Hot baths are great but not always wanted, and I hate hot tea.
Nowadays I push through and try to catch up when I can. 6am just comes so early when you are a night owl! We have two weeks left in this school year and I very much looking forwards to enjoying a slightly later sleep-in time for the next few months. I have made peace with this angsty sleep situation for now. The more I fight or force the issue of sleep, the more difficult it becomes to make my brain cooperate. So totally mental.
As I am getting older I have been realizing how true this is in many areas of life. Yes, you have to work towards goals and (literal) dreams. Set the stage, put in the hours, prepare as best you can. However, I have found personally that the more focus and anxiety that you spend on something unpleasant, the more power you give to it. I try to keep the bothersome issue in the back of my mind, meaning I am aware of it and I will address it when necessary, but I will NOT let it take over my life. I refuse to give any situation that sort of power. Especially stupid insomnia. I would rather laugh about the absurdity of it and focus on solutions.
Perhaps you can apply this concept to an area of your life that is irking you. Choose not to let a negative issue become the focus point of your day. Address it respectfully, search for solutions, but carry on IN SPITE OF the stressor. Give yourself the power to change your – … zzzzzzzzzz (snore, snore, mumbles in sleep) zzzzz…zzzzz.
(Yawn) Sorry, just finishing up this late night article and promising myself I will grab some good sleep tomorrow. Until then, “me time” is the right time at night time.