If you struggle with insomnia, you’re not alone.
According to the American Sleep Association, close to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. And 30-50% of adults experience short-term insomnia, the most common sleep disorder.
Chronic insomnia disorder, which leads to distress and impairment in accomplishing everyday activities, affects 10-15% of the population.
While I don’t have chronic insomnia disorder, I do struggle with sleeping on a regular basis.
Insomnia has been a struggle for me for the last five years.
I honestly think it started when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I may be wrong. It could just be a coincidence that my insomnia started at the same time my dad got sick and eventually passed away. But I do know that since that time, my insomnia has become increasingly worse.
As a mother of six children, my life has always been stressful. There’s never a dull moment, and there’s always some kind of chaos or crisis. This is why I look forward to weekends where I get to stay home and lounge around on the couch versus going out and doing things all the time.
Sometimes, I need that downtime just to catch up on all the rushing I end up doing throughout the week.
Adding insomnia to my already crazy life has been incredibly difficult.
When you don’t sleep, it’s hard to function. It’s also hard to be positive.
This is why my whole mentality is about focusing on positivity and daily affirmations. Kindness, patience, and understanding are also important.
These things are hard to do when you aren’t getting enough sleep.
But if I make it a habit to keep my focus on the positive side of life, it makes each day a little easier—even when I’m exhausted.
My dad suffered from insomnia for as long as I can remember.
He wouldn’t sleep at night but would fall asleep in his chair during the day. I didn’t realize what it was as a kid, but now I recognize it.
While I don’t sleep at night, I don’t sleep during the day, either. I am not a person who has ever been able to take a nap; it’s been completely impossible for me. My mind races, and I think about all the things that are still left on my to-do list or all the things that are constantly happening around me.
I’ve tried medications. I’ve participated in a sleep study. I practice sleep hygiene, where the room has to be at a certain temperature, and I wear earplugs. I’ve even tried white noise. I’ve tried just about everything you can try, and it’s still a struggle for me.
Every night, sleeping is a challenge.
Last night I fell asleep without a problem, which was amazing! But then, at 1:00, I was wide awake. I drifted off just in time to hear the dog barking to go outside at 3:00.
As a side note, having four dogs doesn’t make life any easier when you already struggle to sleep at night. No matter what, there’s going to be something happening in the middle of the night—hence the earplugs.
After putting the dog out, I may have drifted back to sleep, but I’m not certain. Because even if I was asleep, my dreams were about all the work I had left to do.
By 5:00, I was up and ready to go, making my lists of everything I was thinking about while I was supposed to be sleeping in the hopes that I would get it all done today, so it doesn’t keep me up again tonight.
Every day, it’s the same thing. And every night, it’s the same kind of scenario.
I’m trying my best to move beyond the struggle.
While I recognize that I clearly need more sleep, I am determined that I can’t let my insomnia at night negatively impact my day.
There are nights when I don’t sleep at all, which makes it really difficult to function the next day. Those are the days my kids really notice and constantly ask me if I’m okay or if I’m sick.
These are the days when it is especially hard to find the level of patience I need as a mom. But I am determined not to give up or give in.
I continue to do my positive affirmations in the morning and my evening gratitudes. I also make sure to do my nightly meditations and really focus on writing down everything I need to do so I don’t have to think about it.
Once things are written down on my list, I know I’m not going to forget them, so I no longer have to worry about them.
This practice of writing things down has been really helpful. I’m hoping it will help me to get better rest. Between the hurricane, sick kids, and the pressures of daily life, I could really use a good night’s sleep.
There’s nothing more important than a good night’s sleep.
While it’s true that proper nutrition and plenty of water are important for your health, I truly believe sleep is the most important thing for your health. If you go too many nights without sleep, you lose your ability to function.
When I was younger, I was proud of how well I slept. It was my superpower. I could sleep anywhere, any time. I could sleep until 2:00 in the afternoon with no problem at all.
Looking back, I definitely took it for granted.
When I see my kids sleeping, I tell them how lucky they are. I tell them to enjoy it. And I joke with them to sleep as long as they can.
I had no idea the ability to sleep was something I could lose. And now that I’ve lost it, it’s so hard to get it back again.
Every day is a brand new day to try again.
Even though sleep is a struggle for me, I’m not giving up on finding a solution.
I know that a lot of people struggle with insomnia. If you’re one of those people, know that you are not alone.
I’ve tried many things, from sleep hygiene to medications, meditations, and so much more.
I have completely given up all caffeine, including my coffee. I love coffee in the morning, but it affects me in such a way that I still have jitters in the afternoon. So that’s something I’ve given up in an effort to help my sleep patterns.
I’m hoping that with all the different things I’m trying that there will be many nights in my future when I will have a good night’s sleep.
Until then, I’m going to keep on focusing on the positive and not give up.
I’m going to be grateful for the sleep I do get and share my struggles so others know they aren’t alone.
Above all, I’m going to remember that each new day gives me the opportunity to try again.
And maybe tonight I’ll get a good night’s sleep.