Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I Love Sleep, Sleep Hates Me

Anyone who knows me well (or reads this blog, as I mention it probably more often than not) knows that I struggle to sleep. I've been this way since middle school and it has plagued me through my adult life. Sure it makes me great during NYE or on overnight drives from San Francisco to Portland, but frankly - it's quite a hardship in a world meant for early risers.
^Here's an emo pic of me at the beach to show you that I'm in deep thought about this topic

When Jay and I climb into bed together at night, I have a front row seat of what a normal sleeping schedule looks like. He'll scoot under the covers and wrap himself up like a burrito in a mash of sheets and poofy blankets while he knocks the pillow around until its abundant feathers lay as he hopes. He'll generally then lean over to give me a kiss on the forehead as he turns on his Kindle and begins his beloved nightly hobby of leaving behind his day and poring himself into the words and minds of others. Without fail, a few minutes later I'll see his eyelids languidly sweeping lower and lower. This is always followed by the Kindle delicately finding a diagonal resting spot on the tip of his nose. He's out. It's become my nightly duty to whisk his reading device from its makeshift home and place it gently on his nightstand as I tuck myself back into my side and wonder why I'm not tired to the point of drifting off like that. I've been tired quite literally all day long. Why not now? C'mon brain. C'mon body. Shut down. Shut down.

No dice. It's extremely rare that I am ever asleep before midnight but I'm more commonly awake in bed til about 1 AM.

I've tried many variants in the hope of fixing this problem: Herbal tea, natural relaxers such as Melatonin and of course, I've had a Doctor prescribe a few samples of non-over-the-counter options. They often worked but I'm a little freaked out by the thought of taking prescription sleeping pills every night so I never pursued them with regularity.

I often wonder if I'll ever not be tired again in my life. I'm always tired even when I'm laying awake staring at my ceiling counting as many sheep as I possibly can. But that is hardly exclusive to someone with insomnia, I'm sure. Does anyone ever feel fully-rested? Is this just life as we know it now that we no longer wear jelly shoes and have ribbons in our hair? Are we destined to always be tired?

Perhaps that is the case. And perhaps the only thing that amplifies our adulthood more than a persistent desire to take a nap is the way we all just suck it up and move on with our day regardless. It's not like I'm in a horrible mood or that I don't find joy in my surroundings as I go about said day. It's just that it'd be mighty nice to tackle them with the buoyancy of a well-rested child. A pipe dream, I know. And while we're at it universe, I don't want to get greedy but I would like my 3rd grade metabolism back. What was the point of giving me that in my most selfish phase? At least give a girl a chance to appreciate it like I would now!

Are you a good sleeper? 
Early to bed, early to rise? 
Or are you up counting sheep with the likes of me?
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SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Girrrl. I have more of a problem as I age than I ever did and the nights it happens to me (still infrequently), it sucks. I would struggle if it was a daily thing like you are dealing with. I wish we lived in a world where we worked according to our best schedules. Like, I am utter shit after 3 p.m.

Ashley Lillis said...

I'm pretty sure that we have similar situations, except that I'm the one that falls asleep and my husband is the one that ends up staying awake to all hours of the night. He doesn't seem to mind it too much, but I know that it has to suck to constantly feel tired all the time! Hopefully you can find a way to fall asleep easier soon!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

Girl the struggle is definitely for real, but mine has changed a bit over the years. I used to be the one laying awake trying to fall asleep for what felt like forever while my husband was clonk out within minutes of hitting the pillow. Now, I'm usually so tired that unless I have a lot on my mind that I usually drift off pretty quickly too. My new nemesis is not being able to stay asleep. I wake up a lot throughout the night and just lay there which is no fun. Sometimes I have to play some solitaire or read my Kindle until I get sleepy again. Then the next morning I feel like a zombie.

I'm of the thought that we are responsible for too much, put too much on our plates, stress about too much, and our brains can't properly shut down when we need them to at night. Try some light yoga stretching and relaxation moves before bed as well as a calming tea. Hopefully that can help you wind down and find some sweet sleep when you need to ;-)
Green Fashionista

Pat Hatt said...

Yep, some nights my mind won't just f off and keeps going and going, so sleep sure isn't showing. Others I wake up in the middle and am unable to get back to sleep until it is time to get up. So wish I could sleep like that cat some days.

Nadine said...

Lately I have been exhausted and usually in bed by 10 and passed out. But I have a hard time staying asleep. I wake up several times throughout the night and it annoys me so much! And now that I am pregnant, the bathroom trips and the hip pain dont make those matters any easier. I know my husband is tired alllll of the time even though he gets sleep. I think it is just the way it is for some people. I am tired most days too, but that's normal work day drained. I think it is different. I hope you find something that works for you!

Samantha said...

No I'm not and honestly, I have to use all sorts of methods that suck to go to sleep (NyQuil benedryl glass of wine you name it). I blame it on 3.5 years of law school. Legit I didn't sleep much during that time. Or my schedule was wack. After I took the bar and all that, I never corrected things. So here I am 11 or so years later, still not sleeping. It stinks!

Brittany said...

I used to have SUCH trouble falling asleep. I remember lying awake and actually crying at night because I felt so tired, but couldn't sleep. I don't know when it changed or why, but now I can fall asleep almost on command. Unfortunately, I still wake up feeling exhausted, too. It seems like adults are just destined to be tired all. day. long.

Jax said...

Unless my mind is full, I could easily fall asleep any time of the day. But, I will always be wide awake around 6 am. I could pass out at 3am and still be up at 6. Melatonin didn't work for you?? I've heard lots of good things about that.

Jax said...

...p.s. I know you said you're afraid of prescription sleeping meds, but what about zzquil??

Andrea Nine said...

Ugh, I know how frustrating it is sweetie! I wish I could tell you it gets better with time but I'm going to be honest with you Since I am considerably older; it does not. You will have glimpses Here and there of sleeping bliss but I've learned its just something you learn to live with but I will pray you find a remedy. You Cali gals are so much more advanced then we ladies of the Midwest, lol.

julie @ jewelswandering.com said...

Oh insomnia, what a curse... I know all too well what that's like... Forget melatonin - give L-Theanine a go... It's not a sleeping pill or whatevs, it just helps your brain shut down so you can sleep... It's a green tea extract/derivative and was the only thing that worked when I had super bad insomnia for a year...

Optimistic Existentialist said...

My friend...I have been a life-long sufferer of insomnia (I even have a post in draft about this - ironic timing). I have found two things that now help me:

1. An over-the-counter sleep aid (Walmart generic brand). Works WONDERS. Completely safe too. Non-addictive.

2. A sleep-sound maker (rain sounds) that I use at night.

The combination has really helped me.

Caitlin @ Candyfloss & Persie said...

@Jax - been a few years since melatonin, perhaps I should give it another try. And good call on the ZZZquil!

@Julie - thank you!! Seriously, I will try.

@optimistic - great idea, thank you.

Thank you everyone for your tips. I will truly give them a shot.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

seriously, yes to the 3rd grade metabolism. i would appreciate the shit out of it now.

i don't think my situation is as drastic as yours, but i am a sucky sleeper as well. it takes me like an hour to fall asleep, KC is out like a light immediately, so annoying. I've tried all sorts of over the counter and natural remedies and nothing works for me. The only thing that half works is when I just make myself as tired as i can. stay busy, exercise.. etc. but yeah. sleep hates me too.. well, maybe dislikes me.