England, Sunday 10th March 2019, Day 37
Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.
Hello! I’ve been absent this past week, unable to write a post as I unexpectedly had a terrible allergic reaction to shellfish and was horribly sick for 4 days. I am feeling stronger now and ready to get back to my blog and to catch up with your posts too!
I must say, that I enjoyed my sleep during those 4 days, when my body needed it so badly. It was the golden chain.
Don’t you just hate it when sleep is elusive?
Even when I am well, I cannot function without proper sleep.
I get grumpy without at least 8 hours decent sleep.
I yearn for the days when I was 20 years younger, when sleep came easily. One of my brother-in-laws called me “Horizontal Harriet” when I was in my late teens because I could sleep anywhere, at any time of the day.
Then came the lighter sleep of a mother, always listening for her child crying, sleep talking or going to the loo.
Then, work made me stressed. The stress made me ill. Sleep was the only thing that could keep me functioning with some level of efficiency.
Good quality sleep.
I needed sleep to be the golden chain to keep me healthy.
It was frustratingly elusive.
I exiled my kitties into the kitchen every night and firmly closed the door. Without them in the bedroom, I realised that Sir “Lick-a-lot” and Dame “Snore-a-lot” had been disturbing my sleep in a major way. They did not like the exile. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I began using the free Insight Timer app to select a sleep meditation every night. They were just what the doctor should have ordered!
These measures did not solve all my sleep problems, but I did manage to get a few decent nights sleep each week. That was enough to keep me going.
Fast forward to today
Now I am back in England. I’m not working and I no longer have work-related stress.
But, you’ve guessed it, I still cannot sleep.
More daily exercise than I’ve done for ages, tick
No caffeine after 5pm, tick
Reading before bed (not playing games on my phone), tick
Sleep meditation, tick
Sleeping with the window open to prevent stuffiness, tick
I try everything I can think of.
What is going on???
My meditations help me to fall asleep quickly and easily but I’m wide awake two or three hours later.
In my semi-conscious sleep state, I am having fantastical, daring, scary adventures. Or I seem to be organising the biggest clear up in the world. Planning the most exciting trip, in minute detail. The dreams keep repeating themselves over and over again through the night. My mind gets stuck in a loop.
Its the incessant repetition that wakes me.
I turn onto my right side.
I drink water.
“I’ll try my left side” I mutter as I re-arrange the pillows for the umpteenth time.
I check the time.
“Humpf, just 20 minutes since I last checked”
Sometimes, I fall back to sleep for an hour or so, only to be woken again by the endless loop of my thoughts.
Rinse and repeat.
Without the complexities of work challenges to keep me on the ball, I instinctively know that my mind is inventing complex things for me to think about.
Which are keeping me awake.
In a complete turn around, its no longer the stress and worry keeping me awake.
It’s lack of cognitive stimulation.
I did not anticipate this.
That’s what I need.
Hmmm… how to achieve that?
Do you struggle with sleep issues too? Any thoughts on how to have a better nights sleep? Leave me a comment below.
This post is part of my Transitions series.