I’ve been having changes in my sleep patterns again, this time probably for the better overall. I’m usually wanting to go to bed around 10pm and I’ll sleep for three hours. Then I’ll wake up and be up for an hour or two. Then I’ll go back to sleep until 8am. Now I spend most of my waking time in daylight hours. Earlier this summer I spent most of my waking life in the overnight hours. But I do think it’s for the better.
I was feeling a little more short tempered and easily irritated for a few days earlier this month. I think the changes of sleep may be a way to ward off bigger problems in the future. But I’m starting to feel better again even if I am sleeping more. But at least I sleep when most of the world sleeps now.
For most of the winter I had the problem of sleeping too much. I’d sometimes sleep until noon or even later and still be wanting to sleep by midnight. Now my problem is that I just have a real hard time staying asleep, especially in the overnight hours. Of course I’m concerned about this. Sometimes major problems follow large changes in sleep patterns for me. Getting good sleep is important for controlling mental illness problems.
This has been going on for several days. One of the changes I made in an attempt to get more consistent sleep is taking my medications earlier in the night. Sometimes my meds can make me sleepy. Another thing I have done is cutting back on caffeine after 4pm. I admit I love my caffeine, especially coffee and soda pop. But perhaps I’m getting more sensitive to caffeine as I age. But the cutbacks on caffeine make me less jittery but they aren’t helping me sleep much.
One advantage to sleeping less is I’m getting more done. I’m spending more time outside. I’m able to do laundry more often. I’m keeping less clutter around my apartment. Some of my habits have improved as I’m drinking more water and bathing twice a day now. I have always liked taking a hot bath right before bed. It helps me relax. And I think I’ve lost a few pounds in the last couple weeks because I’m more active.
I still sleep some in the overnight hours. I just usually don’t stay asleep for more than two hours at a time. Since I keep my windows open most of the time anymore, I can hear the birds singing in the early morning hours when I would have been sound asleep in the winter months.
As much as I enjoy being able to get more done and having more energy, I am concerned about the changes in my sleep patterns. I have traditionally had problems after major changes in sleep patterns. This concerns me as springs and early summers have traditionally been my happiest times of year. Spring has always been a favorite season of mine. I just hope that if any problems do come up because of this insomnia I’ll be able to handle them without having a blow up on my family or friends.
It’s been a rather quiet last several days for myself. Besides running errands and seeing my psychiatrist earlier this week, I really haven’t done much besides sleep and stay out of other people’s business. I’m finding myself just wanting to sleep a lot. I probably sleep twelve hours a day anymore. Not only do I sleep a lot, I am also not doing a lot of physical activity when I am awake. My psych doctor is concerned and thinks I could have some underlying physical health symptoms. So I imagine a trip to my family doctor is in order soon.
Haven’t been watching the news lately. I don’t spend much time on social media either. And I think I’m feeling better because of it. I just had to unplug. Knowing about every bit of bad news going on wasn’t helping me.
In short, no news can be good. I guess I really don’t have much to report for this week.
I am now three weeks into a medications change. I have been completely cycled off one of my old medications and onto another. And of course different medications have different side effects and issues. One issue with my new meds set up is that I don’t fall asleep as quickly. My old set up used to make me sleepy quite fast. Not so with this new set up. So it’s no longer like I can drink caffeine in the evenings and still fall asleep at a reasonable time. So I am adjusting to no caffeine after about five p.m. or I’ll be awake all night.
Another change to my habits is that I now actually get frustrated by the lack of opportunities to socialize in my apartment complex. I used to just exercise in the late mornings and then spend the rest of the day often not socializing at all. I found a lot of socializing in the past boring because many people just aren’t that interesting. How much can you seriously discuss the weather or the problems with your neighbors and job before you’ve said it all before? I miss the older and interesting friends I had who were able to talk about things I was interested in. Now many people in my complex are just old, irritable, and uninteresting. I would love to socialize more but where am I going to get the social interaction humans need? I can’t really work anymore because of the mental illness. I really can’t volunteer because who really takes on single men in their thirties as volunteers? Seems to me most volunteers are retirees in their seventies and housewives. People already look at me like I’m a freak. I simply won’t go back to church. The churches I’ve been involved in don’t take kindly to singles over twenty five. Besides I do not believe that God (if there is one) is interested in human affairs or at all concerned about human suffering. I can’t take part in anything I don’t believe in just to make friends and look good. Really, what are good options for single men to socialize outside of work? Does anyone even care?
Not being able to fall asleep quickly and the frustrations I face because I want to socialize now are the two biggest drawbacks to my having switched medications. I imagine others may crop up eventually. But so far most things are looking alright.
Since the end of the holidays things have slowed down in my life. I have gotten quite a bit done. I have also more stable than the last several months. I attribute this greater stability to not just the end of outside stressors but also on how much sleep I get.
I confess to being a night owl. Have been my entire life. Even I need at least seven hours of straight sleep in order to function well. I can get away with pulling two all nighters in a row and sleeping for maybe five hours in the morning hours every two to three weeks. But it takes longer to recover than in years past. A lack of sleep makes me irritable, short tempered, and unable to focus if it goes on for more than a few days. So to cut this off I’ll reduce caffine, especially after lunch for a couple days. This helps with falling asleep easier. It allows me to sleep at times when the normals of the world do. After a couple days of more consistent sleep I feel like I’m reset. I can probably do one all nighter every five to seven days without much problem. But I try to sneak a second one in I’m asking for trouble. Three in a row is asking for problems. After my grandmother died and my subsequent car wreck, I was pulling two to three all nighters per week. No wonder I had two breakdowns within three months. I usually have only one per year, often in late August or early September.
In short, I need sleep. It takes a toll on my mental stability if I don’t get consistent sleep for more than a few days. Mental illness can be made more severe without good sleep. I know mine can be worse when I’m not sleeping well.