Insomnia feels like a so-called “first world problem” to everyone else. My mom will say slyly, “ohhh you’re just too well rested!” and encourage me to mow her lawn. My colleagues will passively aggressively turn it into a competition, saying they must work so much harder because they sleep so well at night. Even my spouse (who also suffers from insomnia) wonders why I just don’t pop some pills and get over it.
But fixing bad sleeping habits is much easier said than done, especially for natural night owls with chronic insomnia…who are now pregnant. This is what has happened in the last few months. Since my work schedule is flexible, I’ve ended up sleeping around 4am each night and waking up around noon. This results in very poor sleep, since all the neighbors and maintenance workers are going about their noisy days by then. It is also inconsistent sleep because I’m constantly waking up earlier or later, depending on the activities and appointments scheduled during “normal” hours. And…there is something profoundly depressing about waking up at noon and sitting in the lamp-light for most of my waking hours.
I’ve also been thinking about my own poor sleep habits lately and how they impact my productivity in three basic ways.
1. Poor sleep results in poor concentration, poor cognitive functioning over all, and just plain low energy. This also comes on the heels of a recent scientific publication that made the rounds in the media: sleep is important to clear out our brains!
2. Poor sleep might be a symptom of deeper anxieties that are interfering with goals.
3. It just feels like such a frustrating waste of time!
So, it has been an on-going goal of mine to “correct” my poor sleeping habits (which have now been exacerbated by pregnancy). Although countless other people have blogged about being an early riser and sure-fire-ways to fix your sleep, I find them all pretty useless. If it was that easy, then we wouldn’t need 1000x blog articles with about 30 identical bullet points explaining how to do it. And plus, most of these people are just advocating that normal, healthy people stop hitting the snooze (in other words, not people like me). I mean, there are reasons we hire scientists to study sleep patterns – this stuff is not as easy or “natural” as it seems.
I don’t really care about falling asleep at X time and waking up at the optimal Y time. I just want to FALL ASLEEP, PERIOD. I want sleep to be a non-stressful, regular activity that follows set patterns to optimize my health, energy, and mind.
You know what helped? Reading guides to get your baby’s sleep habits in order. I’ll write more on this tomorrow because…it is getting late and it is time for bed :/