My Insomnia is Constantly Changing
As soon as I adjust to a schedule or lack thereof, things change again. I think that is one of the hardest parts of having insomnia. When your body adjusts to functioning on whatever amount of sleep you are getting - inevitably, it will change again.
I have been back and forth quite a bit recently. Changes in my mental health, uncontrolled hypothyroidism, and fluctuating hormone levels are to blame for the rapid cycling of change. Even though I know the causes, it feels impossible to keep all of these things under control.
Functioning on varying amounts of sleep
There are nights when I feel like I get just the right amount of sleep. I can function quite well, and I feel rested. Once I get used to this, it is much harder to return to sleepless nights with little sleep. My body and mind must readjust and learn to function on less once more.
After getting little sleep for an extended period of time, I learn to function on less sleep. I am still fatigued, but I manage to muddle through each day and still get things done. Then there are nights when I hardly sleep at all. It is impossible to function well, and my body starts to ache because it is so tired.
Adjusting to a changing sleep schedule
I can adjust to any amount of sleep over time, but the adjustment period is tiring in itself. Constant change makes it impossible to adjust, and it becomes so exhausting that it makes insomnia even more difficult to deal with.
After dealing with this for a little while, I begin to feel physically ill. My body aches the same as it does when I have the flu. I have headaches and bouts of nausea. If this continues for too long, it greatly affects my mental health and can lead to a full-blown episode of depression.
Battling mental and physical fatigue
For me, one of the biggest issues in dealing with insomnia is the constant need to adjust to a changing amount of sleep. As soon as I adjust it changes, and I must begin the process again. It's tiring, both mentally and physically.
Add in fatigue caused by other illnesses, and some days are just a blur. Hypothyroidism causes fatigue. Hormonal changes associated with menopause cause fatigue. So many chronic illnesses cause fatigue. Fatigue is a symptom of more things than I could ever list, so odds are everyone has something that causes fatigue. Add insomnia to the mix and it is a recipe for sheer exhaustion.
Accepting that my insomnia is a state of perpetual change
If I could stop this constant cycle of change and adjustment, I feel it would be much easier to cope with insomnia. Give me a set amount of sleep and I will adjust and learn to live with that many hours of sleep. My body will manage the fatigue and learn to function to get through the day.
Alas, I will never have any sort of schedule and change is inevitable. I will never be someone who gets a refreshing 8 hours of sleep every night and wakes up energized and ready to greet the day. I will always be the grumpy gal who drags herself out of bed each morning, cursing at the sun, and wishing to stay in bed all day.
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