Thursday Things

1. I realize I just complained about this (complained about it twice, actually) in my weekly training recap on Monday, but that’s not going to stop me from complaining about it again: I am so. tired. (literally) of the sleeping problems that have plagued me for the past month.

I’ve never been particularly great at going to bed at x time and waking up at y time without waking up sometime in the middle, but the past month or so has been WAY beyond what I’m used to. I would guess in an average week, I probably wake up during the middle of the night maybe four days out of seven. I don’t know why I wake up, but I usually fall back asleep within fiveish minutes. This past month, by contrast, has been a (metaphorical) nightmare. I’ll wake up sometime in the middle of the night, again for reasons I don’t know, but instead of falling back asleep, I’ll lay there for an hour, hour and a half, two hours, sometimes for the rest of the night, getting angrier and angrier and never falling back asleep. To say that this has been a major source of frustration for me would be an ENORMOUS understatement.

I’m sure this would be frustrating regardless of my morning circumstances, but it’s particularly frustrating because it’s not like I can just sleep in an extra two hours to make up for the sleep I miss between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. I still have to drag myself out of bed to go to work, or to do my Saturday morning long run, or to go to church. I can kind of handle it on weekends, because at least I have the option to nap on Saturday and Sunday, but on weekdays it’s just brutal. I have a short fuse at work all day and spend most of my eight hours resenting the fact that I have to be there, which is not exactly great for fostering a good attitude about my job (a job I do, generally, enjoy).

I don’t know why this has started to be such a problem lately. I’ve had one-night encounters with insomnia on a handful of occasions since I started college 10 years ago, but I’m almost positive I’ve eclipsed my count from the previous 10 years in the past month alone. It’s gone from being a once-in-a-blue-moon sort of situation to a two-to-three-nights-per-week sort of situation and I am OVER IT. I’m especially over it because I don’t understand why it’s happening. I haven’t changed my diet, daily habits, or getting ready for bed routine. I got new sheets right around when this started happening, so maybe that’s part of the problem? It doesn’t seem like sheets should have THAT dramatic of an impact on my ability to sleep. This is hardly the first time in my life I’ve switched sheets, after all, and I’ve never battled insomnia as a result of new bedding in the past. Whatever it is, I hope it goes away soon.

2. On a related note, I am so ready for the upcoming three day weekend. I’ve been desperate for some time off, particularly time off that doesn’t require me taking PTO (because that obviously happens all the time, where I’m just given free days off of work with no consequence whatsoever. /sarcasm), and I’ve been looking forward to Labor Day for months. Of course, I still have way too much to do this weekend, but at least I’ll have one more day to do it.

My therapist asked me on Tuesday if she thought I had enough time to relax each day, and I, without even having to think about it, said, “No, not at all.” Obviously marathon season, particularly this time of marathon season, makes that worse–having to devote between one and three+ hours to just to the action of exercise every day, never mind all of the exercise-adjacent things that come along with that (stretching, foam rolling, showering, etc.) doesn’t do much to increase one’s available free time. But even when it’s not marathon season and I’m just doing closer to the normal, AHA-recommended 30 minutes per day five days per week sort of thing, my available time to relax per day is still a joke. I’m lucky to have two free hours per weeknight on those days, and right now, during the bulk of marathon season? Forget it. I’m happy to get 30 free minutes per weeknight. And that “free time” is less “sit on the couch and do nothing” time so much as it is “make/eat dinner, do dinner dishes, get everything in order for tomorrow, and THEN sit on the couch and do nothing” time. Having no free time on weeknights obviously means everything that needs to get done–cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.–gets shoved to the weekends, along with any socializing at all, so there goes my available free time to relax on weekends to. And I don’t see any way around this, other than to quit my job or quit exercising, neither of which is a particularly viable option.

I realize my situation is not at all unique, and, honestly, not even all that new for me. I’ve been in this boat since I graduated from college. And I realize that however limited I think my free time is is NOTHING compared to what anyone raising a family deals with. I guess the grind is just wearing on me more than usual these days, and I feel like whining about it.

3. And to conclude today’s post, I present to you OneRepublic’s newest music video, in which my brother plays the most minor of roles:

Around the 2:00 mark where you see the whole crowd? He’s in that crowd. Somewhere. Even he doesn’t seem to know exactly where, but he’s in it. He was in New York last month, and I saw OneRepublic put out a call on Facebook for extras in their music video that would be filming in New York the next day. I sent it on to him, he emailed the address in the Facebook post, and voila. He got to be in a music video. I told him if he got his SAG card from this that I expected to be the first person he thanked if he were to win an award someday, but I’m guessing, “One of hundreds of people with their arms in the air for approximately four seconds of a music video,” probably doesn’t cut it 😛

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2 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Haha that’s so cool that your bro is in a music video!

    I wonder if stress is exacerbating your sleep issues? That’s the frustrating Catch 22 I face sometimes: not being able to fall back asleep makes me upset which just makes is MORE difficult to fall back asleep, thus making me MORE upset…etc. I also find I sleep worse on nights when I know I have to get up ridic early the next morning, because I’m stressed about how much it’s going to suck and worried I won’t be able to wake up, etc.

    I know it sounds like a crazy hokey suggestion – I thought so at first too – but there is a sleep app that could work wonders. It’s called “Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson”. He has a lovely, soothing Scottish accent and basically takes you through a guided meditation to help you fall asleep. And old blog friend of mine tried it after having the exact same issues you’re having and raved about it. I don’t wake up a lot during the night but I do have trouble falling asleep, and it really did work well!

    • I think stress has a lot to do with it, especially that cycle of frustration you mentioned. The longer I’m awake, the angrier about the fact that I’m awake I get, and so on and so forth. Thanks for the app recommendation! I’ve found I’m much better in engaging in meditation-type things when it’s guided vs. me trying to do it on my own, so I really appreciate the suggestion! I’ll have to check it out.

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