Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sleepy Times

The page in question
"I've realized that I've come to regard sleep in the same way that I sometimes view eating: 'Didn't I just do this recently? Do I really have to do it again so soon? There are so many better ways to use my time.' Obviously, this isn't a healthy relationship. So now the question... how do I fix this?"

The above is from my journal/sketchbook, and over the words I drew a moon and stars.

I've struggled with sleep for much of the last year, and it hasn't been the usual insomnia that I sometimes deal with. This time it seems to have been a matter of my circadian rhythm switching to nocturnal, so that it was pretty much impossible for me to get to sleep at anything approaching a reasonable time no matter what my plans for the next day were. Therapy appointment in the morning? I'd go in on a few hours of sleep, if I was lucky. Date day with my boyfriend? I'd fall asleep on him. Class in the afternoon? I'd at least have a bit more sleep for that, thankfully. And when the anxiety was bad I wouldn't even have caffeine to help me stay awake, since anxiety and stimulants are an unpleasant combination.

There have been times of my sleep schedule being pretty normal. But that's not a matter of me using self discipline, it's a matter of my circadian rhythm conveniently resetting itself. It's not something I seem to have control over, which I try not to think about. Currently it's what I want it to be...or so I pretend to myself. In the past week I've been edging towards staying up later again, and waking up in the afternoon. I tell myself I can easily fix it, if I really want to. That's what I tell myself.

A number of things have been contributing to this, I think. Of course there are the anxiety and depression. When I've got anxiety it can be easier to sleep during the day, since the light is comforting and scary things can hide in the dark. Not that I was always aware of this being a reason...it took some thinking to realize it. And with both anxiety and depression it can be unpleasant to be alone with myself, which is pretty unavoidable when I'm sleeping or falling asleep.

Then there's the feeling that I haven't done enough in the day, and that if I stay up just a little longer I can actually do something productive. Or, that sleep is just a nuisance that gets in the way of actually doing things...but would I do anything? No, other than probably spend more time online to keep me out of my head. Hey, it's been dark and scary in there, often enough. Why would I want to be alone with myself?

And for all I know, there could be other things contributing to my sleep problems that I haven't yet identified.

That said, I am better than I was a couple months ago. I just hope that I keep improving, both where my sleep is concerned and in my overall mood.

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