I used to complain and complain about how very tired I was.
Years ago, I had trouble sleeping. And I complained about it all day long. Whoever wanted to hear, I told them about my lack of sleep, about how the kids kept me up all night, and how so so tired I am.
But it wasn’t only about the kids. Since I’m a child, I’ve had trouble falling asleep. That wasn’t something new, it was something that was just a part of me. Then came babies, waking up to nurse or give a bottle, just because… and I was up all night.
The night would start with me trying to fall asleep and finally, finally drifting off to sleep…then boom, a child wakes up. By the time said child was sleeping, I was very much awake. And the cycle would continue all night long. I would stare at the clock, watch the numbers turn, while twisting and turning and crying, “Why can’t I sleep?” (Yes, I considered taking a sleeping pill, but that wouldn’t work if I had children who needed me.)
One day I had enough. I thought it was time I took control of my sleep and not my sleep in control of me. I implemented a few things:
- No looking at the clock. The more I focused on the clock, the worse the sleep was. No easily visible clock, no more checking the time.
- No more talking about it. I stopped telling everyone how I don’t sleep well, I stopped complaining to my sister how many times the baby woke up, how many kids came to my bed…you get the idea. In the past few years I broke my rule a few times but most of time I do NOT focus on it anymore. I broke my rule to write this post.
- I learned a simple breathing technique that does help me fall back asleep easier once someone wakes me up. It’s called the 4-7-8 breathing method. The basic idea is inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. This breathing technique has been proven to help people fall asleep in a shorter period of time. (I found it via Google one night while trying…you guessed it…to fall asleep.)
* image credit Casper Sleep Website
That’s all. No major breakthrough. Am I sleeping long? Definitely not. Have I been sleeping better? Definitely yes. Do I still sleep very little every night? Definitely. However, I don’t dwell on it. I found that expressing my tiredness actually made me more tired! And that I’m less tired when I don’t think or complain about it. Now, I feel more at peace with my sleep patterns. Will I ever sleep 8+ hours like some other people can? I don’t think so. But I’m productive, happy, and I try to convince myself that I do not need sleep as much as other people…maybe.
One last thing.. I am not an insomniac. I got rid of that word too. I simply sleep less than other people. It’s all in the marketing.