(Wow, it's been a long time since I've blogged)!
After pretty much a lifetime of insomnia problems (that just keep getting worse and worse), I finally broke down and went to a sleep doctor today. I'm not sure what I was expecting. I thought they would sign me up for one of those overnight stays at a sleep clinic--maybe give me some drugs (I'm typically not a fan of prescription drugs, but I'm getting a little desperate). I assumed I'd get advice like: don't read on your tablet before bed; shut off the t.v. an hour before bed; cut back on your caffeine; and no wine before bed.
I didn't hear any of these things. I kind of wish I did.
So first, I'd like to apologize ahead of time for the royal b*tch I'm going to be for the next six weeks (well, six weeks starting after the 4th. I have some special plans over the holiday weekend).
I guess my brain has learned some bad habits when it comes to beddy bye. And now it has to be re-trained.
So why am I telling you all this? Well, again, to apologize ahead of time for how crazy and mean I'll be. Plus, maybe you are in the same boat? Maybe you want to have some fun with me! I know many of you also suffer from insomnia.
So the doctor says there are two rules:
1. The bed is for two things, and two things only--sleep and sex. If I'm not doing one of those two things, I shouldn't be in the bed.
2. For the next six weeks I must go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
Well, except that I have to go with my earliest morning since I can't very well sleep through my career. And my earliest morning is 4:30am. So instead of counting the days until I get to sleep in, I will be setting my alarm (Saturdays and Sundays too) for 4:30am every morning. Based on the fact that I'm sleeping 3 1/2 - 5 1/2 hours a night right now, bedtime will be at 10:30pm (I typically head upstairs between 9pm and 9:30pm when I have to be up at 4:30am).
The thought is that right now I'm spending 8 hours in bed, but I'm only sleeping half of that. So, no more than six hours in bed so my body can learn to sleep during that six hours. Once I start sleeping well for six hours, I can increase my sleep in 15 minute increments.
No reading in bed (that will be hard. I read in bed every night). And if I'm in bed and find I can't sleep, I'm to get up and go to another room to read, watch tv, etc. If I wake up during the night (which I currently do all the time) and can't go back to sleep, I'm to get up, go to another room and read or something. In four to six weeks, my body/brain should be cooperating. And bed should = sleep.
If it means that I will eventually be able to get a good night's sleep, it will be well worth it. Because there are times I am so sleep deprived I feel like I'm losing my mind.
Bonus: Something to blog about! And with bedtime being only 6 hours out of a 24 hour day, that's 18 hours to accomplish other things! (When I'm not in a rage).
So stay tuned for more on my sleep journey!
"O sleep! O gentle sleep!Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids downAnd steep my senses in forgetfulness?"-Henry IV, Part 2 (Act 3, Sc. i), Shakespeare