Lack of sleep is my number one enemy. I also have a habit of getting hangry but this is easily solved. I am not however, someone who miraculously manages to function on a few hours shut eye; sleep brings out the best in me.
What happens when I do suffer from restless nights: firstly my concentration decides to take itself off on a holiday, anxiety increases and self doubt rears it’s ugly head. Then hypersensitivity takes centre stage and the tears come for no reason – the other day I started crying when I realised that I had left porridge on the stove for too long and burnt it – which then adds to the self doubt, and up my marches my internal bully to berate me for being so rubbish at everything. Angst, who hasn’t had much of a look in since my teens decides it’s time to shine; que listening to the most depressing music. And lets not forget the cranky, irritable monster who will snap at anything you say.
When, back in March we were forced to stay home I slept like a baby. Even if I felt anxious, stressed or depressed, nothing phased my sleep. For months it was the best sleep cycle I’d had in years. Until, seemingly out of nowhere disrupted sleep began to creep back in.
At first I figured it must be the sleeping conditions. Trying to sleep in a room with mould on the ceiling, no skirting board and untreated floorboards is not the best idea, especially when you are allergic to dust (I know, world’s lamest allergy!) Luckily our bedroom was ready to move into just as the temperatures were starting to really drop, so, beginning of December, after a few days of working out how to dismantle the bed, we were all settled into a mould and dust free room. Guess what?! Yep, my runny nose was gone and sleep was still no where to be found.
The internet alone is flooded with articles telling you the steps you absolutely must take to ensure a perfect nights sleep. Pinterest seemed to have read my mind when one of their daily inspiration picks included a whole board with posts on how to get a good nights sleep. Most of these so called top tips I already do; from sleepy teas to not looking at devices before bed. There are some though, that would require me to start my bedtime routine at at least 5pm, and who has the time or energy for that?!
I am not alone in my sleeplessness. After the year of trauma we’ve all had, too many loved ones have reported sleep is gone because they are too exhausted and there minds won’t stop racing. This too is how I feel; exhausted from the constant unknowns and year of chaos.
It’s not like life has suddenly slowed down to help balance out the fatigue we are all feeling. That’s what we were all expecting from a festive season where the usual merry activities have vanished. Yet, work has other ideas and my to do list seems endless. Some of this is creating really exciting opportunities for me in 2020 – others, not so much (thank you Brexit!) – but I’m running on empty, teetering on the edge of burn out. I am counting down the days till my annual leave starts, which feels slower than ever.
Sleeplessness is the thief of inspiration and creativity. It’s been – honestly, i’ve lost count – since I’ve slept soundly and my batteries have almost run out. Santa if you’re reading this, I have been so good this year and all I want for Christmas is to sleep undisturbed through the night.