Tuesday, April 30, 2013

If it weren't for the thinking part, I could better handle insomnia.

I started getting occasional bouts of insomnia when the kid was a baby. I don't recall how often my sleepless nights would occur back then, though I very vividly remember one fall night when I got up to do work. But for the past few years, I would say I have had trouble sleeping anywhere from a dozen to several dozen times a year. Typically it is stress-related, but not always.

This latest wave began when I was offered the job for which I have now completed my first month. It was really bad the week before my job started and the first week of, but it has settled down since. Unfortunately, I still cannot seem to go more than four or five days without getting only a few hours of sleep in one night.

The good news is that because I have been quite busy at work I don't really notice how tired I am. Surprisingly (and I hope I am not jinxing myself or tempting fate by saying this) I still can manage to react quickly in traffic, something I have to do pretty often. But there are times the exhaustion hits me like a ton of bricks, typically when I am sitting and doing nothing, which is pretty rare these days.

But I think even worse than my being tired yet unable to fall back asleep is that while I am lying awake, I just can't seem to shut my mind off. Although I suppose that is a big part of what insomnia is about... Tonight's/this morning's thoughts have included the $$$$ car bill we were just hit with (and the hubby's talk about getting a replacement vehicle), guilt from not sending my SIL the card I bought her for her 40th birthday, feeling bad about having to give up choir because I have had to work late on practice evenings (and feeling worse that my choir director does not seem to care), worrying about the economy and my hubby's job (which he is so unhappy about), feeling sad that my kid will have to get up early this summer because she will be in some type of daycare (and not knowing exactly where she will be this summer), worrying about my kid in general, and fretting about messing up or forgetting something at my job. Even the Penguins have entered my consciousness because what if they don't go deep into the playoffs?! To think that hockey could be done in a week or two seriously concerns me (though I really do feel as if the Pens will go far and hopefully all the way).

I have covered a lot of ground in the past few hours, since I work up around 1:30 a.m. (and that does not even include my drifting in and out of sleep for the three hours prior to that)! If someone out there has any suggestions for what I can do to help myself fall back asleep when I wake up, I would love to hear them. I am guessing blogging is not going to be on that list, but I will let you know later how that worked out. :-)

Good night. Or, rather, good morning. The under two hours until my alarm goes off is going to come pretty fast, I am guessing...

2 comments:

Jessica R. said...

And why is it that all our worries and problems feel so much worse in the middle of the night?

bluzdude said...

I don’t usually have much trouble with going to or staying asleep, but it happens occasionally. Usually, it’s triggered by current or upcoming events that have me stressed out, like something going on at work, health problems, or imminent travel. Wrapping your brain around your current problems makes prolonged wakefulness a lock.

The best thing I can recommend is anything that will turn your brain off, or at least divert it to something benign. I usually try to dwell on reliving happy memories from the past, or formulating some kind of new fanciful event. I like to imagine myself owning some kind of musical talent and performing (and totally killing) on stage.

In your case, maybe try imagining some kind of vocal showcase for your singing. Imagine how you’d sing the songs and the corresponding reactions from the crowd. Work out your “set list,” and what you’d do on stage.

Ultimately, it’s all just a trick to get your mind off the day to day hamster wheel problems that can keep you spinning all night long.