Me. I do! I need huge amounts of sleep and I don’t ever really get enough. I’ve always been like this, needing lots of sleep and being really awful when I don”t get enough. Sleep is my answer to a lot of issues. Grumpy? Have a nap. Sick. Go to sleep. Talking to much. You’re tired go to bed. (There was a really bad time when I was about 2, when I didn’t sleep and Ma still has nightmares about it!)
So having established that I’m genetically half sloth and daily living exhausts me. Having problems staying asleep makes it hard for me to live with me, a lot of my life is spent being tired and thinking about my bed and being asleep in it.
My inability to stay asleep, gets really bad in autumn and continues through to spring. I’ve always attributed it to grief and stress because this really started the year Stef died. I remember my GP telling me that it might never be totally normal again. So autumn comes around and although I like to think I’m emotionally healthy and have moved through the really bad phase of grief and stress, every year around this time, my body forgets how to sleep. I’ve always assumed that this is the last manifestation of that loss, when my sleep cycle goes from mildly difficult to absolutely, bloody awful, I’ve always assumed that it’s my mind being a drama queen. It’s always felt like it’s my fault, that somehow if I could be more sensible and less angsty, then this wouldn’t happen. I would be able to sleep like normal people.
However, over the weekend, I had an a-ha moment. That maybe the reason my issues with sleep intensify in autumn is because of autumn and how my body copes with it getting darker. It might have nothing to do with my mental health but more about SAD.
Perhaps the depression and angst is just easier to access because I’m tired and my thoughts just go down the well worn routes of grief and depression because I’m seasonally affected and it’s harder for me to be positive and sunshiny, when I’m experiencing mild depression.
If that is the case though, what’s my strategy?
I have no idea, it’s still a working theory and hopefully thinking of it as a biological reaction instead of assuming that it’s emotional, will just make it easier to deal with. It’s not me, I’m not directing this in any way. Like the PMT migraines this is not something I do to myself but something that happens. I can do stuff to reduce the impact but I’m not sabotaging anything.
I do know that yoga helps with my sleep and I’m doing that every evening and all the stuff that I try and practice in during the winter will help. I will have at some point to cave and take a sleeping pill because 5 hours sleep a night is not enough and that’s what I’ve been averaging over the last couple of weeks.