Sleepless, but not in Seattle

Seattle SleeplessWhen one thinks of the basic necessities in life, food, clothing and shelter come to mind.  I would also add sleep to my personal list.  As you know, infants spend the majority of their time sleeping and as we get older, the average becomes 8 hours for adults. This may seem like a lot, but are there some days where you’ve had 8 hours of sleep and felt like you could have used more? I rarely get 8 hours of solid sleep, so consider yourself lucky if you can reach that magic number. My ears seem to become supersensitive as I try to fall asleep, thus I manage to hear every little sound and sense every little movement.  I toss and turn quite often, trying to get that perfect position to send me into the land of dreams. Although the neighbourhood we live in is super quiet, I can’t help but still wear earplugs. The bf snores here and there, so rather than waking up  in the middle of the night to block the sound or block his nose (ha ha),  I immediately put them in before bedtime.  They’re like my security blanket.

I am a very light sleeper and occasional insomniac. I am constantly tired. I am eagerly counting the days till the weekend so that I can catch up on the sleep I so desperately need.  I’m sure my earlier than a sunrise wake-up time and long hours at work doesn’t help too much either.  I have no choice but to come home and take a power nap before I rush over to my second job. You would think having two physical jobs would be able to knock me out just like that. If only it was that easy!

I have been a light sleeper and insomniac for as long as I can remember.  I have memories of reading books in the middle of the night just to make myself tired.  My mom is also a light sleeper. She also takes naps. She is quite sleep deprived to the point where she often takes sleeping pills to help her sleep. I haven’t gone that route yet, but as part of my quest to seek solid sleep I have recently started taken melatonin supplements.

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It assists in the regulation of other hormones and maintains the body’s circadian rhythm (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/melatonin-000315.htm/). The melatonin supplement has more to do with the timing of sleep, rather than actually helping you fall asleep. However, taken in higher doses, the side effect  can be drowsiness.  I have upped my dosage three times the normal amount and I still feel like a$$ when I wake up in the morning. According to the article Melatonin seen as a safe pill to nudge you into dreamland, the sedative like effect doesn’t seem to work on everyone. Just my luck.   The only thing I have noticed since I have started taking the supplement is that I have been dreaming some really weird dreams here and there. Even nightmares.

Prior to trying melatonin supplements, I tried the usual suggestions to help me sleep: warm milk, chamomile tea (I often have to wake up to pee in the middle of the night already) no tv or computer before going to bed, going to sleep at a normal time, listening to soothing music, exercising (not right before though).  Even counting sheep. I tried to imagine each of them jumping over that damn fence in a different way. NONE OF THEM WORK FOR ME!!!

It just boggles my mind constantly how people can pull all-nighters or thrive on little sleep. Just a coffee or two and they’re good to go. I’ve come to the conclusion that where I think drinking coffee will help and I happen to like the taste of it, it doesn’t wake me up. I like to think it will. One of these days. But it never does. It gives me that warm hug and disappoints me at the same time.  When I’ve been severely sleep deprived for a few days, all I can think about is SLEEP. I have to fight to stay awake while driving to and from work through loud music and blasting the A/C.

Whereas my mom and I are light sleepers, my dad and my sister are heavy sleepers and can pretty much sleep anywhere. They could probably sleep through a tornado. Where’s the fairness in that? I would give my right hand (it’s fine, cause I’m a leftie..ha ha) to get consistent sleep or get it more than once in awhile.

Hopefully this article didn’t put you to sleep. ;) What helps you sleep at night?

 

 

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