Insomnia has been a loyal companion to me througout my entire life. I have tried to terminate our relationship numerous times, but insomnia simply refuses to take the hint. Insomnia faithfully sticks around through good times and bad times.
In a bad night my inability to sleep culminates in feelings of despair and hopelessness, and when I finally get out of bed in the morning utterly exhausted, my first thought is: So I made it through the night, but how am I supposed to make it through the day?
Stumbling through the day like a zombie, the only thought that keeps me going is the thought of being allowed to go back to bed in the evening. But when I go to bed at last, I still can’t fall asleep in spite of all the exhaustion and fatigue.
It’s no secret that poor sleep affects the mood causing irritability and stress, and on the other hand insomnia feeds on anxiety, leading to a vicious circle.
There are numerous tips for improving sleep, but these either don’t seem to do much for me (avoiding caffeine and alcohol, creating a comfortable sleep environment, establishing a calming pre-sleep routine) or I’m not disciplined enough to really follow through (Keeping a regular sleep schedule — even on weekends. Well, I don’t sleep in until noon on weekends but I simply can’t bring myself to get up on 6 a.m. when I don’t have to go to work).
One thing I have managed to achieve in the last years: I don’t work myself up anymore so much over not being able to sleep. (One tip I actually found useful is: Not watching the clock at night). So I don’t get lost in those feelings of despair and my world doesn’t fall apart just because I don’t sleep. The only “terrible” thing that is going to happen when I don’t sleep is that I’ll be (very) tired during the day.
And I have learned: My phases of really bad sleep don’t last forever, sooner or later I get back to my normal type of bad sleep.
So the only thing left for me to do is: finding out how to deal with my day-time fatigue. Any tips?