I’ve noticed, since returning from the visit with my parents, that I’m (super-duper-more-than-usual) tired. At first, I attributed it to the late arrival back home on Monday (after 1am) and then having to be up at 7:15am to get ready for work on Tuesday morning. I worked Wednesday, Thursday and had Friday off.
On Friday, I woke up around 7:15, like normal, but went back to sleep. At 10:00 am, I woke to pee. I came back to bed and leaned back with my eyes closed – cats asleep on both sides of me. At 2pm, I bolted upright! Damn! Did I sleep all that time? Yes. Yes, I did.
Yesterday, Saturday, I slept until 8am… then rolled over and woke up again at 10am. I got up to take a bath because I needed to (not wanted to) and finally felt a bit more awake. We went out to do some errands… then came home. Did some laundry, watched some television, made dinner and mindlessly turned to a movie that turned out… not half bad. We put on our jammies and I fell asleep during the cold open of SNL.
This morning, I woke up at 10am and gleefully jumped out of bed. Well, not quite… but almost. My knee has been a wreck since my trip and hurts like the devil… but the point is… I was fully awake and ready to face the day.
It occurred to me that sleep is often the first thing to suffer when you’re anxious, stressed, or scared. I’ve been all three since my dad fell. Even though we were talking every day and I was being kept in the loop, it was not the same as being there. I knew this cognitively, of course. Being there and not being there is something I’ve dealt with in spades since I moved to Canada. My entire family was on the West Coast in the States… thousands of miles away.
I thought of how – through the years – sleep has been something I’ve coveted, because I love it so. I’m one of those people who really need 9 hours a day. I used to say I was a night person because I could stay up until all hours and sleep the days away. I took jobs that worked with my schedule (like restaurants that specialized in continental cuisine – dinner houses) and was a happy camper.
But with life changes came sleep changes. I was a morning person for a while. Now, I’m a neither person. I like to go to bed fairly early and if I had my way, would sleep late.
But I do tend to go on, don’t I?
This morning, while I was thinking about how tired I’ve been, it just occurred to me that I’ve been on high alert since Dad fell. I haven’t actually had a good night’s sleep for three months… until I could hold his face in my hands and know he was going to be okay.
Looking back, there have been other times like this since I moved: When Mom had spinal surgery, when my oldest daughter had cancer, when my son drove off a cliff, when my youngest daughter was pregnant with my grandson… and more. In more than one of those cases, I did not get to see, hold or do much more than say (and send) prayers from afar. It’s a wonder I got to sleep at all.
The point is, sleep. So important.
For Self-Helpers, regulating sleep is one of the BEST things you can do for your physical and emotional health.
Because it’s an “Easy like Sunday”… I’m just going to share some links for you to read further, if you desire. I found these helpful, in one way or ‘tuther. Hope you do, too!
Poor sleep habits can make you fat?
Sleep can boost your immune system?
Ongoing sleep deprivation is linked to heart disease?
Sleep helps you improve your memory?
Sleep deprivation and depression are linked?
Sleep can help your sex life?
How to stop tossing and turning?
Sleep helps skin health?