Sleepy Time #14
It's been almost a week of 5 hours a night, but the first few nights were, shall we say, a bit of a bust. The first night of going to bed at 1am ended when my body woke me automagically at 5am - one hour earlier, and clearly it decided that as I was going to force it to sleep for 4 hours, no more, no less, then it would MAKE me wake up after four.
The night after was a bit disturbed. Not in a skinning-kittens-disturbed kind of way, but unsettled all night. We'd been out with friends, and there was a bit of an incident which ended up with Kellie and myself a little bit stressed out, so I suspect that has more to do with it than anything else.
Sunday night, I went up at one, and couldn't get to sleep, so had to get up after half an hour, and come back downstairs for half an hour. Upon returning to bed at 2am, I dozed off fairly quickly - only to have to get up again at six.
Monday night went fine going TO bed and TO sleep, but my body woke me at 5am once again, so once again I only had four hours of sleep.
Tuesday and Wednesday, however, seemed to be better. Both nights I've gone up at 1am, gotten settled and dozed fairly quickly, and woken up normally at 6am.
As it's taking me a while to get settled into the 1-6 rhythm, I'm going to stick it out for at least a few more days (1am to 6am, not talking about ditching the whole thing) but I may well stick it out till next Friday, just in case.
The positive aspects of this, is mostly that it IS working. I am consistently sleeping right through the night, despite that night only being 4-5 hours long. It has been years since I was able to sleep in such large blocks, especially night after night after night. Even the night I was disturbed (again, not sacrificing kittens) I would wake up, fidget, get comfy, go back to sleep. Before, if I woke up in the night, I would be AWAKE, and toss and turn and not settle back down.
Nothing else has been changed. I've not added some magic oils to my pillows, nor have I changed my bedding, the side I sleep on, removed nor added anything from the room.
So, again, to those that were interested in doing this to help get out their insomniac regime, I cannot rate it more highly. If you're a shift worker (like Mr Insomniac Medic, our favourite paramedical bloggerer!) then I don't know what to suggest. A month off to do it, maybe? hehe
And now, for the downsides. Well, on the bright side, the downsides aren't awful downsides like, say, you'd get with medication. Nope, these downsides are the same ones I've been blogging about since I started. Exhaustion, dozing off at random, seeing things, lack of coordination, grumpy and taking things a little too personally, reduced reaction times...
ALL things associated with too little sleep, and if I am honest, most of them I had to some degree already after years of not sleeping. Yes, it might seem extreme to go this far and limit the hours I spend in bed, but, if you've never suffered properly with insomnia, you cannot grasp how it makes you feel. "I'm tired" is just a polite way of saying "I am so physically and mentally exhausted, that it is all I can do to speak, move and think. I feel sick with the tiredness, my body just wants to curl up and sleep..."
And medication is not an option for me. I don't want to be out of it for 8-12 hours a night. I don't want to take meds, then miss a sick child or something happening. If I need to wake up, then I need to wake up, be alert and be able to function.
But anyway. Yesterday was a very tired, whoozy, drowzy day. From about half ten yesterday morning, it was all Kellie could do to keep poking and prodding and shouting at me to stop me keeping my eyes closed for more than ten seconds. A few times I dozed off mid-conversation, once while holding a hot coffee, once while washing up... And a few times, I kept seeing people coming towards me out the corner of my eye - only for them to not be there a heartbeat later.
Yes, a little disconcerting, but I'll deal with it. I know they're not there and it's just my tired brain randomly firing off, but such is life. Hopefully, once I add the extra hour and get to six hours a night AND sleep through, things will start to change.
For today, however, I will just rely on my ten-minute alarms, and keeping as focused as I can!