Dreaming of sleep


I had a solid sleep schedule up until recently.

I would sleep every night and usually get at least six-hours, if not more. Not only was I getting enough sleep but I was also regularly experiencing deep sleep. It was an effortless venture. However, this has slowly slipped away.  

I now find that it is taking me hours to get to sleep. Even going to bed at a reasonable hour at 9 or 10pm doesn’t reward me with any sleep until hours into the night and even the early morning. I had one of the worst sleeps in a long time a few days ago when I actively remember looking at the clock at 4am in the morning and still not feeling sleepy. Despite these struggles I have noticed a few things that help me.

1. Routine

Routine is a hard thing to create and an easy thing to lose. Literally one or two nights outside of my normal routine can have disastrous impacts on my sleep. However, I am trying to set some limitations on my sleep. Phone down by midnight.

2. Embrace the sleepless nights

This may sound odd but it’s some advice my mum gave me (so it must be good). But I have found if I have been tossing and turning for hours that sometimes the best thing to do is acknowledge ‘I’m not feeling tired, and I need to sit up’. In this instance, I make a cup of tea, do a drawing, water my plants or fold some clothes. I find it can quickly make me sleepy in sometimes as little as ten minutes compared to hours of counting sheep while in bed.

3. Waking up early

Once I have a sleepless night, I will tend to have a slow morning where I sleep in and struggle to get out of bed. I have found that if I push through the pain and force myself to wake up at an early hour it helps me sleep the following night.

4. Reflect on your life

This sounds deep but it is quite simple. I was sleeping well before and now I’m not. Why? Am I too busy? Anxious? Overstimulated? Stressed about something? When I have reflected on these aspects of my life, my attention has quickly shifted from ‘why am I not getting enough sleep?’ to ‘this is an issue preventing me from sleeping well and I need to take action’. So here I am.

Tagged in What messes with your head, sleep