Settling Into a Routine With Insomnia: My Dilemma
Last updated: September 2023
I spent many years lying in bed for 12 or more hours a day trying to get enough sleep. My weird sleep schedule, or should I say lack of schedule, made it difficult for me to get enough sleep to function. I longed for some type of schedule that would allow me to be out of bed during the day.
I am happy to say that after many years of struggling to be out of bed during regular business hours, I finally have a normal schedule.
Having a schedule has advantages and disadvantages
The great thing about this schedule is that I wake up at the same time every day. The problem with having this normal schedule is that I wake up at the same time every day. Let me explain.
I have to take a medication every morning, and I need to take it at about the same time each day. My body seems to have set an internal alarm clock to wake me each morning just in time to take my pill. It does not matter if I have only been asleep for 20 minutes, I will wake up and then I cannot go back to sleep. That's a problem.
It's great that I wake up to take my medication, but I wish I could go back to sleep.
Sleeping late is no longer an option
I used to spend far too much time in bed to get enough sleep to function during the time I was out of bed. Now I am out of bed more during the daytime, and I have some days when I am unable to focus at all. The fatigue is more than I can bear at times.
Unfortunately, I am unable to sleep later. If I don't sleep at night - I just don't sleep.
While lots of people who work on a schedule are accustomed to this, I am not. It has been a tough adjustment, as I am unsure how to manage the fatigue at times.
Battling increased fatigue
While I am thankful that I have my mornings back and that I am able to get more done, because I am out of bed during business hours, I am dealing with a lot more fatigue. I can't sleep in to catch up on sleep. I also find myself wanting to go to bed earlier and earlier, and that is not possible.
My body is used to being in bed for at least 12 hours every day. I did that for years in order to get enough sleep to function. Now, I am out of bed several hours more, and my body is balking at that and the additional fatigue. I’m going to have to find a way to function on days when I have had very little sleep.
Trying to adjust to a routine
As much as I would like to crawl into bed earlier at night to be in bed for 12 hours again, it just isn't possible. Since I can't sleep later and can't go to bed earlier, I am going to have to learn to function on a lot less sleep on a regular basis.
While I am grateful for a routine, I have to find a way to make it through each day even if I slept for less than 2 hours the night before. I don't know how I am going to manage. Have you developed a routine that has left you too tired to function? How did you cope? I would love to hear about your experience.
What do you do at night when you can't sleep?