So I have always had a pretty bad relationship with sleep. When I was young (3-7) I had terrible night terrors. Night Terrors are essentially nightmares except your brain won’t wake you up. I also had bad sleep apnea for many years, to the point where my tonsils were taken out at the age of 6 so I didn’t stop breathing for too long in my sleep. So basically sleep time was a cause of emotional and physical distress for years.
I remember for a couple years in the middle I had worry dolls, which, I hid before sleep and then I was supposed to think about where I hid them instead of worrying. As I got older this was replaced with books and YouTube. I remember in high school when I was stressed and couldn’t sleep I would watch the same Netflix show over and over, so no one could tell how much I had been watching.
Now over my many years of sucking at sleeping. There have been many nights sleepless, weeks running on 10 hours or less, times where even on hardcore medication where I felt awake all night. I have learned an incredibly important thing from this. Humans are endurance creatures. If you need to get through something, you can. Our bodies will stretch themselves to the limits to get us where we need to go.
During this pandemic, I have definitely noticed this getting worse and worse. I am lucky enough that I don’t have to leave home and panic that I wouldn’t be rested enough to drive to work. (DO NOT DRIVE TIRED!). I can work from home, that is nice. But in additional to the million of other factors that go into sleep, my work space and my relax space have now been combined; which I have found to have a big influence on my ability to get to a point of rest.
Anyways, sleep is really hard to catch-up on. It seems like there is not a complete reset button. It’s not like when you finally get a good night of sleep you feel refreshed you body just switches out of survival mode and into “I-need-more-rest” mode. When taking sleeping medication it feels so much like you are just gonna be tired but alive the next day.
I feel like naps may be the great detractor of sleep long-term and I hate when people recommend naps when I tell them that I have struggles sleeping. First, I work all day. I do not currently have a schedule that lets me nap. Secondly, napping when sleep deprived doesn’t not give the boost of energy I wish it would by itself. (I will say having a cup of coffee and then a 10 minute nap is the most awake you will ever feel). Thirdly, my sleeping sucks regularly and I don’t want to shift my sleep cycle even more than I have to.
Wish me luck getting a good night of rest.