That sweet rest eludes me. Relaxing teas, melatonin, amino acids, passion flower, valerian root. They all work for a while, then they no longer work. Or rather, the tea makes me get up in the middle of the night so I had to stop that one. Defeated the purpose of helping me sleep.
Sleep is that nightly recharge for our bodies. That rest we give ourselves to prepare us for the next day. It’s essential for our physical and mental health to get good rest. Many of us run ourselves into the ground which depletes our immune system and opens the door wide for infections, flu, and colds. I know how important this is and I try to get as much sleep as I can. Yet, something in my body is working against this need.
This is a problem I’ve had for as long as I can remember. There were many nights when I was growing up and I was still awake when my mother came in to check on me.
“What are you still doing awake?” She’d ask.
“I can’t sleep.”
“You better get to sleep.”
It’s not like I had the light on and I was reading or doing something. I was just lying in bed, wide awake. Unable to sleep. And she wanted me to go to sleep. If only it were that easy.
Once I was asleep, I could sleep through earthquakes (seriously), hotel phones, and fire alarms. Even this is something that escapes me now that I’m a Mainlander again. Ever since moving to Kentucky, little things will wake me up. I think this is a safety thing. I felt safe back home because I knew it. I grew up in it. Went back to it. I’d walk alone at night feeling safe. Not on the Mainland.
Anyway. Our new place in Ohio has windows all over the apartment. Our master bedroom faces Northeast. So we get morning sun on that side. It was a pain during the holidays when I’d work until 1 or 2am and then be up until at least 4am because I can never sleep once I get home from work when I do a closing shift. I’m always up at least 2 more hours.
I had a sleep mask that I pulled out and started using. That helped me sleep longer and not wake up because of the light in the room. Although, after all these months, I still forget to slowly take it off. Talk about blinded by the light. AH! Bright light! Bright light!
Noises were still keeping me awake or waking me up. I finally broke down and bought some ear plugs. I don’t know why I never tried them before. Best. Invention. Ever. At least far as sleep aids. They dial down the noise from Chaz’s night job as a lumberjack and keep me from hearing the ignoramus jerks honking their horns in the parking lot late at night (jackassery!). They still doesn’t help me get to sleep, but I wake up less during the night and I can sleep longer in the morning on the days I can sleep in.
I don’t know that I’ll ever have good rest night after night. Well, maybe if I’m not working. I do seem to get better sleep when I’m unemployed. I’m so used to this since I’ve lived with it for so long that it’s like a part of me. Insomnia and sleep deprivation. Yoga is at least helping me the mornings I work to feel more alert.
Those of you who have never met me in person, do not be offended if we do meet and I yawn a lot. Nothing personal. Just living in my sleep deprived world.