Insomnia is a bitch. For years I have struggled, on and off, to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get a decent night’s sleep. At times this hasn’t been entirely without reason – when Rob was very ill there were times when being up late/being woken in the night was unavoidable. Some of my insomniac tendencies definitely came about as I attempted to adjust to a new normal sleeping pattern after his passing. But a fairly large part of me believes that insomnia is purely a result of poor mental health, in my case.
I’ve heard it all when it comes to cures – forming a routine, not using my phone before bed, etc etc etc, but lets face it, it’s the modern world and these things as a 21st century student are pretty much unavoidable at times. Not to say that I don’t have a choice about going clubbing until 3am then falling into a shitty quality sleep with my makeup on, cradling a slice of pizza… But this is student life.
After having this disorder largely under control for a while, I recently found myself having a few nights in a row where sleep was just not coming, and I was left in an exhausted, frustrated 2am anger, which left me irritable and sluggish for days – and sleep just would not happen. Luckily, I have a bottle of The Body Shop’s sleep mist, kindly gifted to me by a school friend shortly after Rob’s passing, which I now use religiously every night – and makes a huge difference to my quality of sleep (seriously, if you want a great night’s sleep, use it!!!). However this doesn’t seem to impact my ability to get to sleep.
Most frustratingly, I am also not a productive insomniac. I have heard many stories of people who use their poor sleep patterns to get work done, or be creative, yet I am not this person. I will stay up half the night, with no productivity, and then lose the following day to exhaustion on top. Not ideal.
What I have learnt overall is that ‘sleep health’, although important, is bullshittingly unrealistic, and most of the time, you’ve just gotta roll with the punches. If you wanna scroll through various social medias until 5am because insomnia came knocking, then be exhausted the next day, that’s just how it’s gonna be. It’s unfortunate that sometimes you cannot control every aspect of your life, and that at the end of the day (or beginning, if you’re waking up from a restless night), you just have to look after yourself however is best in the moment.
Though I claim no responsibility, as you can see by my lack of medical degree. Just look after yourselves, basically.