Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nighty Night?

The change in seasons has been taking me for a bit of a roller coaster ride lately and I am ready to get off.

I can't quite put my finger on what is bringing about all of these conflicting feelings but I am determined not to let them get the best of me.  Some of it, I think, has to do with the sun beginning to set earlier now but I think the other factors may be a prolonged lack of sleep and a lot of family stuff rolling around in my brain.  I know I am tired and I am ready to fall asleep but I don't always stay asleep.
Maybe this has happened to you and then you know how frustrating it is to look at your bedside clock, close your eyes and pray for sleep to come and send you to a restful place.  And then it doesn't happen.

Did you know that over 20% of Americans may suffer from chronic sleep loss or untreated sleep disorders?  Amazing right?  It seems so simple: it's night time, you're tired, lay down on the bed, close your eyes and off to sleep.  Not.

Sleep is one of those things that I take for granted until I can't do it.  I would love to sleep in like I used to when I was in college.  Now that was really sleeping!  I could sleep until noon or one o'clock with no problems at all and wake up totally refreshed.  Plus I never felt guilty if I slept half of the day away.

Now it seems as if I need some kind of nuclear fairy dust to get me to go into a deep sleep.
I made some progress last night in catching up on some of my lost sleep, forcing myself to turn off the television around 9 pm and get ready for bed by reading.  These small changes might be the trick to turning the whole sleep thing around.  I'll have to wait and see. 

In some ways this inability to sleep reminds me of the period of time after my husband died and I would only sleep for a few hours a night.  Trouble with sleeping is normal when you are grieving or handling a stressful event in your life; especially when your grief is new.  Grief may cause anxious and depressed feelings which can then cause you to stay wide awake, getting caught up in a loop of lacking sleep.
It's true that your life has changed.  There is no ignoring that painful fact.  I can't tell you when you will laugh again -- although I hope it's soon -- but I can tell you that the more you are able to acknowledge your true feelings and express them, the faster you will process your grief feelings and regain your sense of self and regular sleep habits.

Ah, yes regular sleep habits.  I'm looking forward to having those back in my life and will continue to try some different ways to make this happen. 

Without being too personal, what are some of the things that help you sleep well?

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