I can’t get no sleep…

Insomnia… I can’t get no sleep… (well, I can, but I wake up and then can’t sleep!) I used to get quite upset or annoyed when I couldn’t sleep… now I just try and do my best to use everything I’ve learned to get to sleep…. from books like…

Night school by Richard Wiseman
Why we sleep by Matthew Walker

There’s nothing like listening to a book that has all the theory and research behind why sleep is important and how people who are ‘super sleepers’ get plenty sleep … when you know you need to sleep, but you can’t quite get there.

Lying there, sometimes a little aggrieved that sleep is evading me… sometimes my learned tactics to get to sleep work, and sometimes they don’t. Last night was one of those nights, and it has happened quite a bit in the last few weeks.

Some of it is probably to do with:
– having a cold / being bunged up with the tail end of a cold,
– me doing less running / exercise (because I had a cold),
– because I’m busy at work / doing long hours, with lots on my mind.

I’ve had a bit of a habit in the last few weeks of waking up around 1-3am and being wide awake. I get to sleep ok initially, then half way through the night – ping! I’m awake. If I lie awake for a bit, I’ll tend to get up and get a drink of water, go downstairs and chill for a bit.

Or I’ll get my iPod / an audiobook and go back to bed to try to get back to sleep with words being read into my ears. I try to focus on the words being read, so that my brain stops the hundreds of thoughts whizzing around my head.

I’ve had this for years, and I know best practice in how I can get to sleep and get back to sleep. I also know how important sleep and getting enough of it is for overall health and well being.

See some of my ‘ping! I’m awake’ posts and posts for tips on good sleep hygiene here:

Back to his week – on Monday night this week I maybe got about 4 hours sleep, and had a busy day at work on the Tuesday. I had run on Monday morning, and coached on Tuesday night. The Wednesday I was up early for a long day of work (and rest) in Edinburgh. Tuesday I had a good sleep, but was up early (5:45am) for Work & Travel.

I’m pretty much over the cold (a week on), but I’m still slightly bunged up and hoping that will go soon. On Monday I managed to beat the insomnia, by sleeping downstairs from about 4-7am. It seemed cooler, I took some decongestant and water, and managed to nod off.

Wednesday night into Thursday morning not so much. Awake at about 2am… (I’ve actually stopped clock watching so as to not worry about the hours I sleep or don’t sleep)… I got up for a drink of water… chilled downstairs for a bit, then went back up to bed with my iPod to try to sleep again.

I put my audiobook on and tried to sleep, but I was going over the days events and what I need to do tomorrow… and as a result I wasn’t really listening to the book. An hour and a half or so and some tossing and turning later, I decide I’d go through to the spare room and see if I could sleep.

(Why isn’t sleep on this list?!)

Our bedroom is pitch black, and the livingroom and spare room aren’t, but sometimes a change of room helps.

Tonight’s insomnia was probably continued through too many thoughts, and a sore congested head / nose. I took a decongestant pill, and some water. And decided to take my mind off it by writing this.

It struck me, lying in the spare room trying to sleep, that I wasn’t annoyed, or upset… (like I used to get)… maybe I was a little frustrated, but ok. Tired, but just not sleeping – insomnia… and knowing this probably won’t be good for tomorrow and the next day.

I know what to do and when it gets like this regularly like it has been, I really try to work better on getting to sleep, and getting back to sleep.

I’ve lost count of how many hours I’ll have got tonight, and it doesn’t really matter.

I’ll try to be better from now on. Get rid of the tail end of my cold, get out for some nice easy runs (to tire me out / de stress), and get on with my work so I’m not overthinking it when I should be sleeping.

Roll on July.

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