I need it and I want it so badly! My sleep has been suffering for quite some time now, and I am assuming this is due in large part to my anxiety. If you read yesterday’s post, you will know that I didn’t have a very good sleep two nights ago. I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and didn’t fall asleep again after that.
Last night I was eager to have a better night, and took several steps to improve my experience. I took a warm bath, practiced some relaxation techniques, and put my phone away early. Everything was in line for a successful night. I was in bed by 9:30, and found myself drifting off into blissful sleep shortly thereafter. A dream come true, right?!
Wrong. I woke up at 10:30. AHHH! I WOKE UP AT 10:30!!!! I tried, patiently at first, to fall back asleep. But as the minutes passed, and eventually the hours, I found myself becoming more and more discouraged, frustrated, and exasperated. I finally fell back asleep sometime after 1:00 a.m., waking up several more times between then and the 7:15 alarm.
Two rough nights in a row. Two rough nights in a row, coming up on one of the busiest weeks of my year (next week is one of our two major Family Experiences at FBC KIDS, and I will probably be working 12-15 hour days from Sunday to Thursday in order to make it happen). Sleep is really important right now.
The way I see it, I have two options. My first option is that I can get stressed, I can get frustrated, and I can get grumpy. I will admit, that I felt ALL of those things last night. I even felt them a bit this morning. But my second option is that, like yesterday, I can choose joy despite my circumstances. I can decide to view my life through a different lens and I can let positive energy run through my veins, rather than negative. I can choose to say, “I am not entitled.”
I know this post sounds an awful lot like yesterday’s. But here’s the thing… yesterday’s mantra worked. I had a great day yesterday. Though I was functioning on only around 4 hours of sleep, I was able to maintain a positive attitude through my entire ten-hour workday. For me, that is a win! So I feel like I really only have one choice here. Choose the positive and hope, once again, for a better outcome tonight.
That being said, I know that sleep is massively important. I can’t keep this up forever, and will definitely be talking to my doctor about it at some point. I am also going to try a few specific ideas that I have come across in my research to help better prepare me for sleep after my long, intense work days. Tonight, I want to try the following things after 7:00 p.m. to see if it will make any difference:
- Put away my laptop for the rest of the night.
- Shut down social media and only answer texts after 7 p.m. Then, put my phone away completely from 9 o’clock on.
- Pass on the night snack and complete my daily water intake BEFORE 7 o’clock.
- Work on a puzzle and listen to an audio book.
- Spend time reading and praying.
- Do a meditation exercise before getting into bed.
I know it that takes time to change sleep patterns, and so I can’t expect immediate results. I might have another rough night tonight. And I might need to practice these techniques for a long time before I see results. But I guess it’s worth a try. Though I do turn to Benadryl when I am really desperate (and I am getting there…), I don’t want to rely on medication every day to help me sleep. I do recognize that it can be very helpful for a time, but I don’t necessarily want it to become a long-term solution.
All things being equal, I am tired, but trying. I am trying to stay positive. I am trying to keep my focus where it needs to be. And I am encouraged today by Psalm 34:10, which says that “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” I will cling to that today, and trust that God will get me through yet another tired day with everything I need.
And until tomorrow… wish me luck!