I don’t sleep much.
This may not be a surprise to those of you who know how active I am and how much I get done on any given day. Unfortunately, often on any given night I’m pretty active, too. Even though I always get to sleep easily, I wake up often. Many nights I find myself wide awake at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. (for a while, 3:30 a.m. on the nose was my body clock’s daily wake-up time)
When I don’t have these wide-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night episodes, I get, on average, five to six hours of halfway-decent sleep each night. Believe it or not, five hours is really quite enough for me to be one hundred percent functional on any given day, and that’s even without coffee, which I don’t drink. I’ve read many articles about how “getting eight hours” isn’t truly for everybody because there are so many factors involved, and because I don’t walk around like a zombie all day long I’d even go as far as to say I’m happy with five hours.
But five GOOD hours.
It’s when I’m going through a phase of insomnia–like these days–and getting less than five hours either because I wake up frequently or because I am wide awake (for the rest of the night) after only two or three hours that I get…well, crabby. I long to be a heavy sleeper, or someone who needs an alarm to get up, or someone who can sleep past 6:30 a.m. on the weekends. I think it’s just not meant to be.
Lots of people tell me I must not sleep well because I have too much going on and in the past that’s definitely been a factor but these days, it’s not that kind of insomnia. I have made some changes:
I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with a wise friend who talked about how I should think of each element of my active life as a different bucket that I’m carrying, and I need to figure out which buckets to drop. I love that imagery and she’s so right, but I’ve been there and done that. My response to her was twofold:
1. I have actually dropped many of my buckets in the past year.
2. I am very, very happy with all of the buckets I’m currently carrying and I don’t care to drop any more.
My brain is one of the things that keeps me from sleeping well. It doesn’t stop. I’m not awake worrying about things, either: I’m constantly coming up with ideas, darn it. I keep a notebook on my bedside table just in case I think of something and start to worry that I’ll forget it by morning. I write it down and, voila’, I can put it out of my head. Sometimes, though, my brain just keeps buzzing. And buzzing. And buzzing.
Sometimes my inability to stay asleep has nothing to do with thinking. I’m a light sleeper and any random noise can potentially wake me up to the point of not being able to go back to sleep.
Sometimes I wake *myself* (and Jim) up, snoring. (Shut up.) But I’ve taken steps to prevent that, too: I wear those nasal strips (ahem, if you have a few minutes you should watch this vlog in which my sistuh-from-anuthuh-muthuh Liz reveals our nasal strip secrets to the whole world), and I bought ANOTHER new pillow, one that’s more firm and keeps me more elevated than my newish, fancy goose down pillow did.
Sometimes I have to get up and, well, you know. Nature calls. Sometimes more than once. It’s terribly annoying. (See: It sucks getting older.)
Am I doomed to five-or-less hours of sleep each night forever? My goodness, I hope not. What I do know is that worrying about it is futile. Also, this too shall pass.
Because I could sure use some sleep.