So Tired…

I’m a very light sleeper and I have problems getting to sleep in the first place. I also don’t function well at all without sufficient sleep so it’s easy to have a whole day be a write off as I shuffle through it in a daze.

All my life, I’ve been around people who can function off of very little sleep, who’ve given me shit for being a wreck while they’re seemingly unaffected after a late night. They would give me no understanding and assume I’ve been exaggerating. I’ve always been envious of these types of people: people who are so able to function off of little sleep that they cannot even believe that a guy like me can’t.

Finally, after dealing with this for years, Carol has said to me, “You just don’t function as well as me when you’re tired. Here, have a nap.”

For the first time in my life, I’ve been shown compassion over it and it was from Carol. I’m going to have to remember to thank her for that.

Although functioning extraordinarily poor off of a lack of sleep has been an issue my whole life, it became worse when I started having to cope with chronic illness.

Before I was told something was wrong with me, it felt like something was wrong. I was heavily into weight training and martial arts. I was always comparing myself to others and it seemed I just couldn’t keep up with them. I’d be too beat up from training and would have to take multiple days off, and I’d max out in my strength training at too low of a weight. Recovery was tough and I was constantly sore and exhausted. I was told that I’d get through the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) by powering through it but I found myself just getting more worn down, feeling a little worse each day until I either got injured or had to take a break for the sake of my health. Then I’d be back at square one and I’d repeat the whole process.

After I was told I was sick, I gave myself permission to sleep longer. Instead of the normal 8 I strive for, I slept for 10. Carol didn’t complain about it but I doubt she liked it.

I don’t know how much the extra sleep helped. I was still unaware of what exactly was going on in my body, so I was still eating a normal diet which was exacerbating my health issues. I gave up on exercise entirely and I slept and slept. I slept in another room, away from Carol, because any sound she made in the night would wake me right up. Also, I was always covered in sweat when I woke up. My sheets’ colours would run from constantly being damp.

10 hours of sleep, in a dark room, by myself, every night.

I learned about my illness and made adjustments to my diet and lifestyle. After a while, I believed I was ready to go on like a normal person again. I cut down my sleep to 8 hours again. I slept next to Carol again.

8 hours seems to do it for me, that is, 8 hours of mildly interrupted sleep. It’s probably 7 or so hours that I need altogether, but if I plan for 8 hours, I’m likely to get the amount of sleep I need, unless…

Sounds. Thoughts. Dreams. Stress. Sickness. All of these things keep me from getting the sleep I need.

Sounds often wake me up but sometimes, I assume after hitting a certain level of exhaustion, I’ll sleep through some heavy noises. Thoughts stop me from falling asleep. Sometimes I can clear my mind, sometimes I can’t, and sometimes I don’t want to because I feel I need to work through them. Sometimes my dreams or sleeping thoughts are so annoyingly repetitive, they keep waking me up and forcing me to think the thoughts I was trying to clear from my mind. Then there is the stress, especially the stress of not getting enough sleep after going a few nights without. These end with a big crash where my body takes over and shuts me right down for the super rare full night’s sleep without interruption. I can’t do much about sickness. With kids in school, they bring home everything and sometimes I catch it too, sometimes I don’t. Having a lung disease, I don’t particularly mind any sickness that doesn’t worsen my cough but still, a stuffy nose or dry throat is going to interrupt the sleep.

For the past 3 weeks, taking care of a puppy has kept me from having any good sleep. Every yip he makes, wakes me up. Every weekend, I’m up at the same time as on weekdays. There’s no catching up on sleep. To top it off, I’ve caught a cold. It’s not in my chest, so it’s not so bad, but I cannot sleep.

I cannot get enough sleep.

And I’m a zombie. I’ve spent over a week trying to compose a new blog post but I haven’t been able to think straight, at least not until today because last night I finally got almost a full night’s sleep.

I feel like I’ve been wasting my potential for so much of my life because of low functioning due to lack of sleep. This is what I should’ve told my therapist as she talked last night, giving me advice that I was too tired to focus on.

So here I am today, understanding that my ability to get quality sleep has been lacking and I can’t function nearly as well as others in my life can when lacking sleep.

This is a problem I think I can work on and improve. Time to figure it out.

2 thoughts on “So Tired…

  1. Have you tried Melatonin? I get mine from Walmart and it really helps me on the nights I can’t sleep, or anticipate that falling asleep is going to be difficult.

    I also take Adderall for ADHD, which shuts down the racing thoughts when I go to bed at night.

    I’m glad Carol suggested that you nap. Having support, even in the smallest of ways, is so affirming.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure we all think (hope) we have the answer for you! Since dday I have suffered from insomnia and it is debilitating. Yes initially we function off adrenaline but eventually the body eventually shuts down with no rest. You are in a tough spot having both an autoimmune disease and now, emotional trauma that is VERY draining.

    I gained physical ailments from the trauma which I know were exacerbated by insomnia. The ONLY thing that has worked for me is medical marijuana oil that I place on my tongue (I will not smoke or vape). 1.4 ml of 15% THC oil and night, and 1ml CBD oil (no THC) in the morning is what works for me. I also suffer from chronic back issues (slipped disc) – and I don’t have pain anymore.

    The only issue I’ve experienced is not being able to travel with the oil. I was recently in Mexico for 9 days and didn’t sleep for 9 days….but resting on the beach made it bearable 🙂

    Also, the good news is I don’t have the physical ailment anymore from the trauma 🙂 it took 2 years but it’s gone.

    Good luck Jack, I know this is tough – but you’re tougher xo

    Liked by 1 person

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