“You look like you’re struggling.” a nice coworker said to me today. I had consumed a lot of delicious food from a potluck (everybody really brought their A Game today) and enough caffeine to reanimate a dead horse. But yes, I was struggling to stay awake. Struggling to process thoughts. Struggling to work. Struggling. When she said that to me, it was out of kindness and understanding. A simple acknowledgement. An observation. Not a negative judgment. And when she did that, I stopped fighting it. I decided to go home early and take a nap. I woke up a little over an hour later and felt much better. The fog had cleared and I was able to get back to work.
It just made me think about how often we just ignore what our body is trying to tell us and plow right on through whatever it is anyway. I’ve been guilty of this so much lately. When I was working from home the past 3 years and, more recently, unemployed, I just woke up when I woke up and slept when I felt sleepy. Sure, I still had problems with insomnia and being sleepy when I needed to be alert, but it was a lot easier for me. I almost never had any caffeine during that time.
My sleep/wake cycle has been all over the place. When I was little, I never stayed up past 8:30pm, and never slept in much past 6am. In my late teens and early 20’s, I became more of a night owl. And I feel like I remained one until the last year or so. I worked second shift sometimes. When there was no other pressure on me, I’d go to sleep around 2 or 3am, then wake up around 10am. Now I find that I have a hard time sleeping in much past 7:30am. It’s getting to bed early that’s the most tricky for me. For work, I wake up between 6 and 6:30am. I should get to sleep around 10pm to get adequate rest. As hard as that is, trying to make it through my days with much chemical assistance (Red Bull, energy shots, coffee…) is harder, not to mention more expensive and worse for me. Starting tonight, I’m going to make a concerted effort to get to sleep at 10pm. It’s close to 9pm already. *sigh*
I’m also working on figuring out my benefits so I can get that sleep study, start some real form of treatment and stop self-medicating. My body is trying to tell me something. And I’m trying to listen.