When Spring Break Breaks Your Sleep Routine
Last updated: May 2023
Spring Break this year was great. I accomplished a long list of tasks around the house, watched all the Netflix and Hulu my heart desired, and got myself back on track with walking in the evenings.
On the other hand, this much-needed week off did a real number on my sleep patterns. I can see it coming now. Next week, when I head back to work, I am going to be in for a real struggle. Navigating insomnia is tricky, and even though I knew better, I let myself get far off course over those 5 days, and my broken sleep routine will affect my insomnia.
How Spring Break broke my sleep routine
Over the last few months, I discovered a pattern that worked well for me. Strangely enough, falling asleep on the couch for just a little while helps me sleep more soundly when I get up and move to the bed.
Following that same idea, I started Spring Break the same way. I may have, in fact, taken it to the extreme. Feeling no pressure to move to the bed by a certain time, I allowed myself to stay on the couch and doze back off after taking a glance at the clock around 10:30. The next thing I knew, I was waking to complete silence, a blank television screen, and a clock that glaringly stated I had slept 3 additional hours.
A broken sleep routine affects my insomnia
I allowed this to happen not once, but each night since the start of my break from school. The sleep I am getting on the couch is sound – that much I know. What follows is frustrating and something I cannot explain. Forcing myself up and to the bedroom, I tuck in and hope for the best as I try to fall back into a deep sleep.
Unfortunately, what worked before Spring Break is no longer hitting the mark for me. I toss and turn and watch the clock for a good hour or more before finally drifting off. Even then, I wake periodically through the night.
I had a good thing going, messed around, and ruined it.
A glutton for punishment – that’s what I am. I knew better than to shake things up, but darn it, staying up late and enjoying a little extra downtime is deserved, is it not?
I know to handle insomnia with kid gloves, but cutting myself some slack was just too appealing. Sigh. I will spend the next couple of nights getting back into my routine while keeping my fingers crossed that I can find the magic combination once more.
How to reverse the damage
Tonight, I will try to reverse the damage by finishing up all the housework and showering early. Once I head to the couch and start to feel sleepy, I am going to force myself to go to bed.
I dread it, to be honest. My body craves the routine, but my brain is still begging for more of the break. Hopefully, between my noisemaker, contour pillow, and meditation app, I will find that ideal combo once more and be better prepared to fight off worknight insomnia.
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