When did something so natural, so essential, become such a difficult thing for so many people? Without sleep, we can't function. Our bodies need sleep. Our minds need sleep. So why are so many of us struggling to sleep through the night? And even when we sleep, why are so many of us waking up each morning just as tired as when we went to bed.
I have always been able to fall asleep quickly and easily. Sleep has always been easy for me. I don't suffer from insomnia like so many people I know. But, for the last few months, I have been struggling to stay awake. I go to sleep easily...at any time of the day or night. But when I wake up, I am still exhausted. I can't make it through the day without a nap. Jim has told me that I now snore. I don't think that I used to snore, but some nights he has to sleep on the couch because I am so loud. He has also said that I jerk throughout the night, almost as if I am waking up.
I know many people who need to take medication at night to sleep. What is causing them to not be able to sleep? Many of them have told me that they can't get their mind to shut off. How do you quiet the thoughts in your mind? Many have tried meditation and relaxation techniques before bed. Sometimes they work, other times they don't. Others try reading until their minds stop focusing on all the little things of the day. Again, sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. Why are some people able to calm their brains and others cannot?
I know other people who swear by yoga or other relaxation techniques to calm their minds and bodies. Again, it works for some and not for others. Delainey and I sometimes play the relaxation game before she goes to bed. I talk her through a series of relaxing her body and letting all the tension leave, starting with her toes and working all the up through her body. Sometimes it helps her, other times she struggles to sleep. She has been this way since she was little. I hate that she struggles to do something that should be natural. I know other parents who have the same struggle with their children.
Then there are people who sleep easily, but wake up throughout the night. Menopause can cause many women to have this problem. There are medications to help us go through menopause, but it is a balancing act to find what works for each person...there is no magic formula that is one size fits all. Sometimes we wake up soaking wet from night sweats and have to cool off before we are able to get back to sleep. Other times, we can't cool off and get back to sleep at all. And I won't even talk about new parents who get woken up all night long because baby needs feed, a new diaper, or just misses mom and dad!
I will be seeing my doctor soon to discuss the results of a sleep study that I did a while ago. I hope that he will give me some answers for my exhaustion. I am sure that Jim is tired of hearing me snore and kick him throughout the night. And Delainey would be happy if I didn't feel the need to take a nap every afternoon. Me...I just want to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning ready to start the day.