It is 4.03 am. I am laying awake since 2.18 am. I’ve been trying to go back to sleep. I’ve tried deep breathing. I’ve started a short story hoping I am getting tired. I ate a bowl of soup and watched the sleeping neighborhood. I have taken some melatonin before going to bed. And still here I am. At four in the morning. All I am doing is hoping for sleep. But I got up to write out my frustration.
I have mentioned earlier this month that I have insomnia. I have written about it on this blog too. I know I am not alone since that article is one of the more popular ones. But I wish it was different. Sleep envy is still a real thing. I would give up coffee for better sleep. Maybe even some candy. Maybe it is all about how and when I eat. I have no freakin clue.
Tracking my sleep pattern
But I am on a mission to trying to figure it out. This summer I started wearing my Apple Watch during the night to track my sleep. To get a better understanding if I am really that much awake during the night or if it is just an assumption. Something I feel because I am so exhausted in the mornings. Or get sleepy rather quickly again.
Well I did get some clarity. That’s for sure. Unfortunately it is even worth then I thought. Or maybe not because I don’t have any comparison.
I can honestly say that I set aside enough time to sleep. Since my teenage years – when I first heard that seven to eight hours are recommended – I tried to be in bed at least seven hours. That led to lots of teasing from one sibling I shared the room with. So for decades I have – of course with exceptions – planned on sleeping seven or eight hours.
When I tracked my sleep my watch dutifully told me I had been in bed often times eight to nine hours. It also tells me that my average time of sleep is six hours and two minutes. And that I am awake for minimum three times – on good nights. On others it can be over ten times. Some nights I am only awake three or four times but then for hours. Like today.
Measurements for better sleep
To say I am exhausted is an understatement. And it is not that I haven’t been making attempts to make it easier for sleeping. Here is a quick list:
- I do not drink green tea after noon – that was definitely one reason for restlessness
- I sleep in a totally dark room
- I had the tv removed from the bedroom – at the expanse of the husbands preferences
- I sleep with ear plugs for 90 % of the time
- I don’t have my phone near the bed anymore
- I often times drink herbal tea before bed
- I hung u some lavender close my pillow
The problem isn’t falling asleep. That is the easy part. The struggle is staying asleep. Or if waking up falling back to sleep.
One thing I could probably make another attempt in is not eating so late and shortly before going to bed. To the sacrifice that the husband and I will never be having dinner together or spending any time in the day together. As he is working easily until 8pm. So dinner is usually not on the table before 9pm. If I push hard a bit earlier but that puts stress on his daily routine. So I guess one party has too sacrifice… Who?
Hoping for sleep – what is next
Some weeks back I asked on Instagram for some advice to my problem. One friend suggested I try melatonin. I am usually not to eager to use supplements but here I caved. And while I believe I have seen a slight improvement at nights I take it as I tend to sleep longer chunks of time I am not sure. And I need to get a bit more serious about documenting it. But I am ready to ask my neurologist if she can prescribe some sort of sleeping pill. (Edit: she didnt because she supported the idea with my melatonin. But recommended I keep a close watch and may want to get in touch with a sleep therapist.)
And maybe I try to bring up the issue with my physician again. Last time I did during routine consultation it was dismissed with “every one has trouble sleeping every now and then…” Well, thank you. I did went to a new doctor so I will give it another try. But I will come prepared with charts. I don’t want to be dismissed like that again.
Now, maybe you have some further ideas. Is there a good book out there about sleep? Ideally with some sort of scientific approach and not just like relaxe before sleep meditate and such? I have read somewhere that there are two sorts of sleep personalities. One sleeps without waking up once. Others regularly have wake periods. That would be something I like to educate myself in more.
Are there podcasts about this topic? Do you have any other ideas on how to manage to fall asleep again, increase sleeping periods?
Another friend suggested high intensity training. It does sound awful to me. I hate sweating. And it does sound exhausting so much so that I don’t even want to get changed. But maybe there is some milder version?
Well, you see I am open to suggestions. Thanks for bearing with me at my nightly babbling. It is 4.49 am now and I will give it another try hoping for sleep to find me.