Trying to fix my weird relationship with Sleep

If I could write a letter to my sleep maintenance department stating how my sleep needs repair and business consultation – I would. Because clearly, it has forgotten its prime function – its working hours. Under stress or under the usual circumstance, 2-4 am in the break time. I am not really sure why you see. If I have to dig in, there are so many reasons why I have this weird sleep cycle. What if this is the new normal?

My curiosity got the best of me and I deliberated my trouble to Google. Apparently, my symptoms align with “sleep maintenance insomnia” where the patient has a hard time staying asleep or early morning awakening. This is persistent, but mind you, two years back – I had a hard time falling asleep as well. Great Combo. Hence, I was an angry girl. (laughs)

The trouble started when I was trying to impress a person who hated when his call wasn’t picked up at a go. I started sleeping lightly, a tumbling needle could wake me up. I didn’t learn it quickly but it took me swinging and saving my sleep for later. A disconnection. Nightmares prolonged and disorientation when I woke up started.  

My nightmares were obviously hideous and scary. I remember waking up being tremendously disgusted. At times, I woke up gasping for breath because technically I had forgotten how to inhale and exhale. My mind had made me believe that then. I avoided sleeping at night and only slept when someone was around. There were times when I slept at 6 in the morning when the voice of people started filling the streets. Since the end of school, I did experience my first sleep paralysis, I thought it was a normal occurrence in people. Apparently, it’s not. Two years after the nightmares started, I was diagnosed with severe depression. 

It didn’t happen to me all of a sudden. I was 16 when I experienced my first sleep paralysis. As I grew into the stressful life of adulthood, at the age of 22, my nightmare started, and it ended the same year. I got diagnosed at the age of 24 when I hit rock bottom. There were days that went by without a blink of sleep. The point is I didn’t give up on fixing it.

I tried. I tried every possible way, and idea I was suggested but I was still not able to cure the break in my sleep. I had this belief that if I start working, tiredness would drag me to sleep. It sure did for a month or two but eventually failed. I blamed my irregular shift hours. I also went for a professional consultation. The therapist assigned me a sleep time sheet. I was instructed to cut down my caffeine intake and alcohol consumption. I was instructed to use my bed only for sleeping. It was to wire my brain that placing my head on the pillow means falling asleep. It worked like magic, or so I thought. My caffeine intake is limited to two cups and I barely drink. 

Some days are irksome when I wake up after every five minutes but one out of 100 days, I do sleep without a break. I take it as progress, a reward. I am very well-acquainted with the schedule of waking up at 4 am. My body doesn’t feel as tired as it used to. I believe I am establishing a friendship now.

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