Sleepless Nights

It has been a rough couple of weeks.  One of the main reasons for that is because I have insomnia.  I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder- delayed sleep phase disorder.  Basically, what that means is that I have a really hard time sleeping, and when I do get sleep, it is usually when “normal” people are up and about their day.  The older I get, the worse it seems to get.  I have tried many things over my lifetime to fix my sleep issues, but it is a constant struggle.  I occasionally can fall asleep around 4 or 5, though usually it is closer to 8 or 9 and sometimes even around noon.  I get anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of sleep a night (day), but I try to get 5 or 6 hours when I can.  Most of my sleep issues are genetic.  I get it from my father’s side.  He had insomnia, as well as his father and his two sisters.  Exercise helps, and so does taking Melatonin, but there is no real “cure”.

One of the side effects of insomnia is depression.  Funnily enough, one of the side effects of depression is insomnia.  It’s no surprise that I also struggle with depression.  It’s one of those chicken and egg scenarios, as I’m not sure which came first.  I certainly have always had a delayed sleep phase, and I feel like I have always had to combat depression, but that last is more a case of alternate causality.  At any rate, the last few weeks have been hard on me with both my sleep and my moods.  My body is in transition at the moment, and it is rebelling.  It has been six months since my grandmother died, and I am still very much dealing with the grief and loss.  Though there are perfectly reasonable explanations for everything going on physically and mentally with me right now, it doesn’t make it any easier to get through it.  I feel like I am on one big wheel of suck, everything feeding into itself.  I’m hormonal, and emotional, and more than anything else, I am exhausted.

I find this state of being extremely frustrating.  I had major struggles with my mental health for years and years, but had reached a place of balance and happiness.  I dealt with all my demons and felt healed and whole.  Even though I still had sleep issues, I was able to manage the negative emotional side effects through certain lifestyle choices that allowed me some leeway in my sleep schedule.  But when I lost my grandmother, I lost control of everything.  She was the most important person in my life, aside from my husband.  She had a big hand in raising me, so it was like losing a mother.  My entire world came crashing down around me.  I know that grief takes time, and that it has only been six months.  I think that I have handled things as well as can be expected, and there is no one keeping score, anyway.  And I am certainly doing better than I was in the first few months.  But it is still a struggle for me every day.  It is infuriating, chasing sleep every night, often falling short.  I am trying to take control of my life.  I’m trying to get fit and healthy physically and emotionally.  I feel like I was doing so well a few years ago, but I’ve lost my way and need to find it again.

But good lord, am I tired.

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5 responses

  1. I love you. Be patient with yourself.

  2. It’s terrible to be so tired. Is a sleep study an option? Or can you try Ambien to see if you can sleep during “regular” hours, or at least sleep solidly when you are able to sleep? I hope you can get some real rest soon.

    1. I have a new plan to try to regiment my sleep, so we’ll see. Hopefully that will work.

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