Insomnia: A Shift in Sleep Patterns
Last updated: December 2022
I have spent a lot of time complaining that I felt like I was missing out on life because of my sleep pattern. I went to bed at decent times but still spent up to 16 hours a day in bed. It was the only way I could manage to get enough sleep to function, but I spent most of the day and night in bed. Eventually, I realized a sleep pattern shift was needed to cope with my insomnia.
Insomnia sleep pattern shift helped me
After feeling like life was passing me by for so long, I finally had a shift in my sleep patterns. I finally feel a bit more normal and am reclaiming hours in the day. I feel more productive, and this happened at a time when I really needed it.
Monitoring my mental health
One of my first concerns, when I have a change in my sleeping patterns, is my mental health. I have bipolar disorder. Getting too much sleep is a sign of depression, but getting less sleep and feeling like I have more energy would be a sign of mania.
I took a long, hard look at the recent changes. I am getting more hours of sleep in a row at night, and I am sleeping a little longer than usual. My average sleep time is more normal. It’s not too much or too little. It’s just right. Because I am able to sleep longer without waking, I can be in bed for less time and get enough sleep.
Sleeping during the night
Another big change is the hours that I am able to sleep. For years, I slept best after the sun came up in the morning. I could not sleep at night. Now, I find I am sleeping better during the middle of the night.
This feels foreign to me, but it is a welcome change. I am able to get out of bed earlier in the day. I am out of bed for more than 3 or 4 regular business hours. This gives me more time to get things done.
Enjoying greater morning productivity
Even though I am not a morning person, I am generally more productive in the morning. Unfortunately, I usually sleep through the entire morning. I am naturally a night owl. Even though I tend to be more awake during the night, I am not productive during that time.
It is hard for me to start a task later in the evening or at night. I think it is because I see nighttime as a time when you are supposed to relax, not work. I do not see it as a time to take on some of the things on my to-do list. Even though I was up all night, I was unable to get anything done. I had about 3 or 4 hours that my brain was ready to focus and work. Unfortunately, I had many things to deal with during those few hours and rarely accomplished anything. Now that I am awake in the mornings, I am getting more done.
Have you ever had a shift in your sleep patterns? How did it affect you? I would love to hear about your experience. Please share a comment when an insomnia sleep pattern shift helped you.
Do you think insomnia has an impact on your mental health?
Join the conversation