Pretty regularly I suffer with bouts of insomnia. I am currently mid bout (hoping its more like the end of this bout as I don’t do well with sleep deprivation). My periods of insomnia vary in both length and severity but its always a frustrating and difficult time for both me and my family (as I am not the nicest of people to be around when tired)
I seriously don’t do well with lack of sleep, if effects every part of my day,.. one day this week in particular – I thought I’d note down just a few of the affects I’ve experienced of not working with full brain function
The night before:
- Went to bed 11pm
- Still awake at 1pm
- Got up at 1.30am – did emails, read book, washed up, watched tv, made toast
- Went back to bed at 3.30am
- Looked at clock at 4.20am
- Woke up at 7.30pm – panic as had to get up for work!
This has been pretty much a standard night for a couple of weeks now, although normally would be awake again by 6.00am, 7.30pm was very unusual.
I proceeded to make a number of ‘errors’ so to speak:
- Put milk away in the cupboard rather than the fridge. Only realised when I couldn’t shut the cupboard door properly
- Hunted high and low for car keys, only to find them in the shoe drawer
- Left house in my slippers, was at the car door before I realised.
- Left house a 2nd time still in my slippers as I’d forgotten what I’d gone back in the house to do
- Returned in to house for a 3rd and 4th time to get things I’d forgotten – essentials like my ipad (needed for work), purse & believe it or not, my daughters (they had gone back in to the house to use the loo during one of my return trips for forgotten items!)
- Set off to drop the girls at a friends who was looking after them, took the wrong turning of the roundabout, so turned around
- Driving along, realised I was almost in the next town, remembered where I was meant to be going, turned around again and headed back
- Had to return home yet again as had forgotten to collect the neighbours daughter who was assisting me at work today
I managed to get through work without too many mishaps. I tend to be able to focus at work, its my livlihood afterall, so its essential I at least look and act professional .. Although, at varying points in the day I couldn’t find my phone, cuppa (where did I put it down again), note book, pen etc
My afternoon / evening
- Collected the children, almost on time and headed off to mums – for her 70th birthday family gathering. Got there, handed over the cards, took a seat and happily chatted to family (stifling yawns and wondering if anyone would notice if I just nipped upstairs for a 10 mins power nap). People started to dispurse an hour or so later, saying their goodbyes,
- realised that I’d left my mums home made, slaved over, children decorated with love birthday cake sat in her kitchen! Only ones left were just me, the girls and grandma – but oh well, more cake for us, and they were more than happy to give her a personal chorus of happy birthday (minus the candles as I’d left them on the side at home)
- Time to head home.. ok.. so where did I put the car keys again???
- Concentrated very, very hard on the drive home to make sure that I didn’t miss the correct turn off and end up in the city centre
- Getting everything ready for tomorrow, picnic lunch boxes made, put dirty cutlery in the washing machine – only realised when the knife clattered in the drum.
Seriously.. sleep is required to function, I am clearly no longer functioning. I’m not always sure exactly what triggers these periods of insomnia. They seem to creep up on me and before I know it, before I get chance to nip it in the bud, the bout is in full swing and I’m lucky if I am getting 3hrs of sleep.
I know that heightened anxiety of various things plays a part, usually work related. I know when I’ve got things praying on my mind it effects my sleep, and hormones I also think have their own part in it all. I have sleeping tablets which I take very occasionally – usually only after a prolonged bout when I get to the state I have described above and normal daily living becomes impossible.
My patience is not the greatest at the best of times, during times of sleep deprivation it becomes even more of a challenge. I try to be honest with the kids about it, explaining how tired I am, and there may be times when I am grumpy. Then there are others where I just react, shout (scream sometimes – my poor kids, my poor neighbours!) as its the only reaction I can muster at that point. I try and be more concious about my interactions when I’m suffering with a prolonged period of insomnia, try to give my brain a minute between processing information and reacting to circumstances that present themsevles. Sometimes I manage this quite successfully, other times I don’t.
So, from reviewing my day, i think its pretty clear that its time to hit the bottle – of pills that is. Give myself a half decent nights sleep, and approach the next day with new vigour, hopefully with the ability to find my car keys, leave the house in shoes and with some normal amount of brain capacity to get through the day.