I swear I’ve got a sleeping disorder. Over the last several months it’s very common for me to only sleep for an hour of so and then get up again. When that happens I end up not returning to bed for hours and then I only sleep for an hour or two at that time.
In other words I’ve been living on only one to four hours sleep most days for maybe the last two years.
I’ve always been a late night person. Not falling to sleep until about 2 a.m. has been my common habit for most of my life. No matter if I had to get up at 5 a.m. for a nursing shift or if I could sleep in. I’ve also never been a morning person. I’m groggy if I get up before 9 a.m., or well … that’s the way it used to be when I’d at least sleep for several hours at a time.
I think my sleeping problems started when I began working in the ER at the hospital in 2002. I’ve been a nurse since 1992, but in those first 10 years on the job I’d never had to do a night shift. Suddenly I was expected to do at least two night shifts per week … and not just an 8 hour night shift. No … a 12 hour night shift.
My night shifts were always at the end of my run of shifts and it would take ALL of my days off for me to get back to a normal sleep at night schedule. Just in time for those early morning shifts at the beginning of my run of shifts.
Then of course in mid-2005 my Crohn’s really started acting up and by the end of the year I was off work on medical leave (and still am since my Crohn’s hasn’t settled down at all).
While I’ve been off work I’ve kept myself busy on the computer. Writing blogs and starting more blogs and websites. Hey it’s been not only a way to pass the time but a way to earn the income I’m not making by working full time as a nurse.
I’d stay up later and later because my pain is always worse from evening onward into the night. So pain is a factor in my not sleeping well and or putting me off a normal sleep schedule. However filling my time by being on the computer working on my sites just keeps my mind active and as a result I don’t settle down to sleep at a decent time – or at all most of the time these last few weeks.
Of course now it seems to be getting worse.
I did go to a sleep clinic a couple of years ago. I knew I had a sleep problem. They put my light sleep down to my pain. Of course my time in the sleep clinic was a horrible mess as they tried to make me go to bed early and since I was in pain and couldn’t even take my mind off of it by reading for a while I simply didn’t sleep for hours. I finally slept at the clinic for about half an hour!
I think it’s time I talk with my doctor about my sleep problems again and maybe (shudder) go back to the sleep clinic again.
In the meantime I think I’ll try to turn the computer off my midnight at the latest and see if that helps my mind slow down and helps me get to sleep.
At this point I feel so sleep deprived that I’m sometimes not sure that I’m making sense. Sad eh?
Do you have trouble sleeping? Or have you had trouble sleeping in the past? What helps you get to sleep?