Sleep update

This is another in an intermittent series of posts about my sleep patterns. If you’re not interested in recent changes to my sleep patterns, then you can stop reading now. :) This is more for my own future reference than anything else.

For many years, I had all sorts of insomnia issues—trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, sometimes not sleeping at all. Couldn’t sleep with too much noise or too much light, or when stressed, or too hot or too cold, or all sorts of other issues. I read a fair bit about insomnia, and tried various approaches, and even made myself a list of things to do when I was having trouble sleeping, but not much worked. (Except NyQuil. NyQuil almost always worked. But I couldn’t take it too many days in a row or it would stop working.)

Then a couple years ago, most of that went away, all by itself. I have no idea what changed, but I started being able to fall asleep fairly easily most of the time, and sleeping enough most nights. I was usually waking up on my own after about six hours of sleep, feeling pretty well-rested. I know that in theory, most people usually need more like eight, but I wasn’t feeling underslept.

(I read something many years ago about sleep cycles for most people usually lasting an hour and a half, and that seemed to be true for me; for as long as I’ve been paying attention, I’ve been much more likely to wake up after six hours, or sometimes seven and a half, or sometimes four and a half, than other durations.)

One of my longstanding approaches to falling asleep, listening to a particular piece of music, became even more effective for a while; sometimes I would start the music playing and fall asleep instantly.

Anyway, that was all very nice. But things have changed again over the past couple years.

For a while, I was needing (and getting) a lot more sleep than usual; usually seven and a half or eight hours a night. Which on the one hand seemed only fair, given the most-people-need-eight-hours thing, but on the other hand left me feeling vaguely cheated out of an hour or two a day that I was used to having.

But that too went away after a while, and now my sleep schedule has gotten kind of chaotic. Sometimes I get six hours, sometimes seven and a half; often, lately, only five and a half, which hasn’t traditionally been enough for me. And when I sit on my sofa in the afternoon, I often fall asleep for an hour or two. I think I’m not getting enough sleep at night, but when I wake up after too little sleep these days I often can’t get back to sleep.

Also, oddly, I’ve started finding sleep less physically comfortable; in particular, I usually sleep on my side, and whichever hip I’m not sleeping on often hurts in the morning. (That sometimes happened in the past when I slept in particularly uncomfortable beds, but these days it tends to happen in any bed, including my own.)

I don’t think any of this is a big problem. But it’s starting to get a little annoying, and I’m a little sad/disappointed that I seem to be going back to regularly not getting enough sleep.

One Response to “Sleep update”

  1. Heidi

    I find that occasional use of melatonin helps me fall asleep. Particularly if I have had several days in a row of seeming wide awake at bed time. There is also a new-to-me product called InstaSleep (I kid you not) which is a quick melt tablet which has a “proprietary bled of 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), Gamma–aminobutyric acid (GABA) and Melatonin” . I find that Benadryl leaves me rather unpleasantly fuzzy-headed and often only keeps me asleep for the 4 hour duration of the dose. There is also a podcast called “Sleep with Me” which at least one friend said worked for her. So you might give that a try instead of music. As for feeling achy/uncomfortable, perhaps you could try purchasing an additional topper for your bed. It would cost less than a new bed so if it didn’t work, you wouldn’t be out too much money. You might also see if some physical therapy or exercises targeting your hips might help or a massage.


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