Urrrgghhhh, it’s almost 3 am and I’m awake with sleep-maintenance insomnia which wakes me more nights than it doesn’t for as long as I can remember and makes it difficult to get back to sleep.
I’ve never stopped to look at this insomnia pattern I have.
- I go to sleep
- I wake up 2-3 hours later with a repeating thought that won’t go away until I get up and when I do it slips away
- I go downstairs telling myself it’s so I don’t disturb anyone but it;s so I can snack. Something sugary with milk.
- I stay awake for a couple of hours until my mind settles
- Back to sleep
I’ve gradually grown to accept this over the last twenty-five years, suckered in by a sweet tooth in a trade off for sleep.
(I’m feeling the slow down that signals the start of getting back to sleep).
It’s become a habit. I expect to wake up, shuffle downstairs, drink a chilled glass of milk with a few biscuits, chocolate of course, while the cold floor on bare feet lowers my body temperature and my head calms down to let sleep take over.
It’s not a great habit. Tiredness builds for a few days until I’m barely functioning, and I finally collapse into a very early night. There’s also the perpetual weight gain that comes from jacking up blood sugar levels to look like a punishing theme park rollercoaster.
The thing is I know what I can do to reduce the chances of it happening.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day
- Avoid sugary and processed foods
- Put all electronic devices down by 6 pm
- Wind down with an hour’s reading before bed
- Journal before I sleep
It’s not that I forget to do these things it’s that I do them for a while, reap the benefit and stop, which is why I’m awake at 3 am writing about insomnia because I’m a dumbass with a habit of learning lessons the hard way.