I have a love/hate relationship with sleep. At night, I don’t want to go to bed. In the morning, I don’t want to get up. I was doing really well for a while. I had an alarm set for 8 am. It was across the room, right next to the window. So I would have to get up out of bed in order to make the alarm stop, and then since I was at the window I would open up the curtains and blinds and let the light in. Then I would turn around and make the bed, so that I couldn’t crawl back underneath the covers. I would check my email and Facebook on my phone sitting on top of the already made bed, and then would move on with getting my day started. It worked out so well… until it didn’t anymore.
I don’t know what happened, but for the last few days (maybe weeks?) I have outsmarted my own carefully set up “get out of bed and start your day before noon” routine. My alarm still goes off at 8 am, but instead of opening up the curtains and blinds I stumble back to bed and underneath the covers. I’m even too clever for the second alarm that I started to set on my phone. When I stumble back to bed, before I fall back to sleep, I grab my phone and turn off the alarm that is set to go off in about 10 minutes. Then I sleep until 10 am. Or 10:30 am. Or 11:30 am, like I managed to today. It’s still not as bad as when I used to sleep until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, but when I was sleeping until 2 or 3 pm I wasn’t going to bed until around 4 am. This past week, I’ve still been going to bed around midnight, if not earlier.
I say that I don’t know what happened, but that might not be entirely honest. My husband had some days off for the recent holidays and I did not stick to my rigid sleep schedule during that time. And once a schedule is broken, especially my sleep schedule, it can be hell for me to get it back on track. I am a creature of habit for a reason. In fact I actually ended a friendship with someone partially because they had no respect for my need to stick to a schedule. Also because they were obsessed with me not being on medications or seeing any therapist. Anything that they thought was “not normal” they would ask my husband if I was “getting any help” yet. But that’s another subject, for another blog post.
I talked about how I used to go to bed around 4 am. Why 4 am? Because that’s when my husband gets up for work most days. For the longest time I could not sleep until after his alarm went off and I had the bed to myself, so I got into the habit of waiting to go to bed until just before his alarm was going to go off. I broke that habit, and I don’t plan on going back to it. I am finding the last few days that it’s taking longer and longer to fall asleep though.
How long I’m sleeping might also have something to do with the fact that it’s winter. With it being winter, it’s cooler in my apartment. I can’t sleep very well when it’s warmer in my apartment. My apartment does not have central air, it has something called a swamp cooler. It does not work very well at cooling my apartment. Now that it’s winter, I have my nice comfy comforter on my bed, and I can sleep. Maybe, I’m making up for the summer months where it’s all but impossible to sleep?
Also, because it’s winter, it’s darker out, which probably makes me more prone to depression, which makes me want to sleep in longer, which makes me miss more hours of daylight, which makes more depressed, and so on and so forth… It doesn’t help that once the Seasonal Depression kicks in, my Bi-polar Disorder decides that it needs to contribute some mania. You know, to balance things out? So I don’t want to get up in the morning, and then my mind won’t slow down at night, so I don’t want to go to bed at night. And then, not to be out done, my Panic disorder and O.C.D. need to team up to add some anxiety over the fact that my schedule has been messed up. I’m sleeping longer, and therefore have less time in my day, so therefore I should not be wasting the limited time that I have. It’s a great big, exhausting mess.
I was embarrassed about my issues with my sleep schedule for the longest time. I felt like people were going to look at the fact that I don’t have a job, and the hours that I slept, and automatically decide that I was lazy. Not that the hours that I sleep is really anyone’s business, and not that I really have a lot of contact with people other than my husband. See, even though I proclaim that I don’t care what other people think, I worry a lot about what other people think. (Probably a lot of my Social Anxiety comes from that… or maybe it comes from my Social Anxiety…) But, many of the times when I decided that I was going to stop sleeping in so late, was to make people (that weren’t even really in my life) happy. This time I’m trying to start getting up earlier because I actually want to.
Random interesting tidbit: One of the aspects of my Bi-polar Disorder is paranoia. One of my paranoid delusions manifests itself when I am half asleep. You see, even though I live in an apartment with only my husband, (and my cat) my mind decides that my apartment, specifically my bedroom, is a public place. That the person who is sleeping next to me, who I am snuggling up against, might be a stranger and not in fact my husband. My husband might also be in bed, but it’s possible (in my delusional mind) that there are many more people in our bed than just us. Which is ridiculous in so many ways, but especially since we have a hard enough time sharing the bed and covers with it being just the two of us. If my delusions ever become worse than this, then I will look into possibly trying medications again.
Anyway, so I decided today that I am going to start to get up at or around 8 am again. I set an alarm on my phone to go off at 8 am, then I have the alarm set across the room next to the window at 8:10 am, then I have another alarm on my phone for 8:15 am. We’ll see if that works. Plus, now I’m sort of going to be held more accountable since I’ve told everyone that reads my blog about my plans to start getting up earlier. Maybe that will help.