At about 1:30 in the morning, I was still awake. At around 1:30 in the morning, I’m almost always awake. I track my sleep with the Fitbit on my wrist- it’s not a perfect tracker, but it does a pretty good job of noting when I stop tossing and turning. My regular sleep patterns look a great deal like this one, except Monday was extra horrific because of Daylight Saving Time. The blue lines indicate restlessness (tossing and turning) and the red line indicates I was completely awake. If it’s a work day, odds are pretty good that my sleep didn’t break much more than six hours.
I have good intentions, I really do- I generally brush my teeth and get into bed before midnight. There’s always a lot of tossing and turning, though. Sometimes I just can’t get comfortable. Sometimes I can’t get my brain to shut off. Once in a while, I use an over the counter sleepytime pill (diphenhydramine, usually) to help out- that’s why there’s a big swath on Monday with no indications of restlessness. The image to the right is a pretty normal night. I don’t know if it’s the bed, or the extra electronic light in the room where I sleep, or the temperature, or all the things that are chasing my attention, or some combination of the above, but the lack of good sleep is starting to grind me to a pulp.
I started this post at about 1:30 AM last night, intending to say a whole lot of other stuff about how much it sucks to not be able to sleep. Since I started thinking about the blog post, I continued to be wide awake until about 3 AM. Then I conked out until work called me at 5:45am with an emergency. I made the mistake of caffeinating myself in order to solve a technical problem, and was able to go back to sleep for another hour after. My total sleep for last night: 3 hours and 39 minutes.
Being on call for work is a temporary condition, and they very rarely need to wake me up from a sound sleep. The rest of the scenario from last night is all too common, though. I’m partway through my relocation to Orlando, and my to-do lists have their own to-do lists. I need to find a better way to shut my mind off so that my body will actually go to sleep.
* – “Sleep. Now.” is a line from Dark City, and also the title of one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack. It’s a pretty groovy little tune. You should check it out.
What do you do when you can’t fall asleep?