I’ve been fighting insomnia for the last three years now–yes, three YEARS–and it hasn’t been fun. Suddenly at age 28, I went from sleeping 8-9 hours a night to hardly sleeping at all. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it changed, but it’s been a long time since I had a decent night’s sleep.
My new normal is now about 4-5 hours a night, if I’m lucky. It’s a terrible few hours, too, filled with tossing, turning, and several waking periods. I always figured that one night, I’d get more sleep, but I’m still waiting.
The hardest thing about not getting enough sleep is trying to get through the day, even though I feel exhausted. It’s hard to work when I’m focused on staying awake. It’s hard to be excited about my favorite artist coming to town when I’d rather just go home and sleep. It’s disheartening to decline yet another outing with my friends because I just don’t have the energy to go out.
I’ve been lucky to have friends and family members who are extremely supportive. I’m also very grateful that my fiancé has put so much energy into making sure I’m okay. Most of the time, they understand sleep is a struggle for me, but sometimes I wish I felt up to going out and having a laugh with my friends. Sometimes I want to have a random date night with my fiancé, without thinking about how tired I am. That’s the aspect of struggling with sleep that bothers me the most.
I’ve tried just about everything to help me get more sleep: sleep restriction therapy (SRT), exercise, sleep studies and meditation. I never stuck with it long. I recently made the decision to work harder at prioritizing sleep… hopefully, participating in Beyond Tired will help me learn how.