Naps Before Nights and Nights After Naps
Last updated: November 2021
With my husband and our circle of friends, I've become notorious for the pre-evening activity nap. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does happen, it's a somewhat comical, somewhat vicious circle.
The most common reason I take a nap? Because I'm too tired to watch a movie or a show that I really want to watch and want to stay awake throughout.
So, here's how it goes.
Why I take a post-dinner nap
After dinner, I'm exhausted, but I don't want to let anyone down. We have plans to catch up on our DVR, but I can't keep my eyes open. So, I tell my husband he has to wait a bit. I lay down next to him on the couch and tell him to wake me up in a half-hour.
Sometimes I'm out like a light in 3 minutes flat. Other times, I doze off shortly before his timer goes off. I get up, splash cold water on my face, grab a snack, and then we watch the thing.
My real night's sleep is ruined
But after the episode ends, I am AWAKE. Like, my brain is going, my body is fidgeting, I'm not falling asleep any time soon wide awake. So, I do the things. I wash dishes or throw in laundry, I make lists or scroll through social media. I watch 1 or 2 or 3 more shows.
And then when I'm finally ready to sleep, it's too late at night. My routine is thrown off, and my real night's sleep is inconsistent and more frustrating than normal.
What is this? Why do I do this to myself?
And more importantly, how on earth can I fix this?
Life with insomnia
This, friends, is real life with insomnia. It means that I can't tell you the last time I got a good night's rest. Or the last time I felt actually rested. It means that I am constantly trying to make it to the next shut-eye timing, regardless of just how stressful or anxiety-provoking that may be.
It means that some days I walk through the motions, too tired to think about how they actually go. And other days, I'm just chock-full of caffeine, always wondering when the next nap opportunity may arise.
Insomnia is in the way of the life I want to lead
Now, I'm no stranger to the falling asleep during movies act, to the eyes closed for a few minutes line in the middle of the first episode, but this feels different.
This feels like my insomnia is actually getting in the way of the things I want to do and the life I want to lead. This feels frustrating. When my friends laugh, I know they mean well. When my husband sighs, I know he's not really upset. But I am. Here I am, a full-grown adult who gets too tired for evening plans or too wired after accommodating for them.
Lack of control is the hardest part
Lately, this has felt like one of the most challenging parts about insomnia – the lack of control I have in staying awake and in falling asleep. Does this sound familiar to you? Is this something that insomnia has ever made you struggle with? I'd love to hear your stories below.
Do you think insomnia has an impact on your mental health?
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