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Daydreaming of a Good Night's Sleep

I laid in my daughter's bed the other night holding her hand as she drifted off to dreamland, I thought about how different sleep can be for a small child versus an adult with longstanding insomnia.

My daughter is approaching 5 years old and her bedtime routine has been the exact same for the last few years. We go upstairs at 7:00 pm every night, she brushes her teeth, and changes into her pajamas. We read 3 books of her choosing, we turn out the light, and spend a few minutes together in the rocking chair.

Then she gets into bed, and I lay beside her until she falls asleep. This last part didn't start until she moved from her toddler bed to her big girl bed, but honestly, I don't mind it. It gives me the chance to watch her nod off, and to think about all of the things I love about this sweet girl (especially when it's quiet!).

I usually leave her room sometime between 8:00 and 8:30 pm and she almost always sleeps through the night until around 7:00 am, when she wakes up and calls for my husband.

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The brutal truth

My daughters sleeping patterns - when she goes to bed, what we do before bed, how long it takes her to fall asleep, when she wakes up - those have been consistent for quite some time now, and the other night I was started to wonder what it might be like if my life looked like that too.

Here is the brutal truth - I could go to bed at the same time every night, with the same routine, the same time schedule, and I could fall right asleep. Or, I could toss and turn for hours watching the clock change and staring at the ceiling. It kills me sometimes that there is really no way to tell how things will shake out.

We spend a lot of time thinking about sleep

Through this community, I have learned that so many people with sleep disorders, insomnia specifically, justifiably spend quite a bit of time thinking about the sleep they are not getting.

Whether it's while laying in bed trying to fall asleep or during the day when they are supposed to be doing other things. I wanted to share my experience, in case it sounds familiar to you, you are not alone.

I spend so much time daydreaming about a good nights sleep, or how much sleep I did or did not get the night before, or how desperate I am for a nap. And these daydreams sincerely distract me from the task at hand, whether it be unloading the dishwasher or taking notes on a call for work.

Daydreaming about catching some z's

If you ask me how I have avoided being swept away by my daydreams, I will tell you that it has not been easy. Especially when I am going through a stretch of several nights of poor sleep - it's nearly impossible for me to think of anything else.

Sometimes, on weeks like this, I will block out a period of 1 to 2 hours on my calendar to try to close my eyes. There are days I fall asleep in minutes, and there are days where I don't sleep, but I just lay there in the silence. Neither makes me feel well rested, but not trying sometimes feels harder. And to be honest, I always always feel bummed when my daydreams don't become a reality. It's just sleep - it shouldn't be so hard!

Have you struggled to focus when you're sleep deprived? Have you noticed that you're dreaming of what it might be like to be fully rested after a good nights sleep? How do you deal with the disappointment that this dream doesn't often come true? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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