Gah, sleep…. if aliens ever do land (in America obviously, god forbid they land on the Wirral), what will they make of the fact that all humans lie down during the night and voluntarily go unconscious. But yet we have all been doing it since the day we were born. Until 2015 I was an OLYMPIC standard sleeper, i.e. head on the pillow and out like a light until morning and I was pretty pleased with myself because of this. Happy days.
In 2015 my mum died from Cancer after a year long horrific illness which was as harrowing as it sounds. During this time, I slowly lost the ability to sleep. My head was so full of worry and stress during her illness that my mind would whir constantly and then when she died, I was so full of grief that sleep eluded me to the point where a new normal sort of happened.
From maybe 2017 my new sleep was that I feel asleep ok, but I woke up much much earlier than I used to and frequently during the night. This became so normal that eventually my body sort of exisited on the workday sleep routine, regardless of the actual day of the week. I used to suplement this with couch naps from time to time…. which I think is perfectly acceptible in your 40s!
At the end of 2018 we adopted Daisy dog. Daisy always had a problem with toilet training, only being well enough to “hold it” over night for the first 8 months she was with us, after that we had to get up early and let her out and mostly clean up a soiled pee pad. In 2019 Daisy became ill and this got progressively worse in 2020 and for the 6 months before she died, we were up more and more during the night with her. She lost her sight and needed to get up for a wee several times in the night so we had to get up with her ever time. Exhausting and the literally enemy of sleep.
Then of course the shit show that was 2020 was the global pandemic we are all still living through. Stress, anxiety, boredom, worry, overwhelm etc etc all contributed to not feeling relaxed enough to enjoy a good sleep. 😩
In February 2021 my sleep is still suffering. I don’t talk about my work much in this blog, but for the last few months I have leading on a a HUGE project at work which is going live tommorow (1st March 2021). I am nervous, excited, worried and giddy all in one go and that is once again affecting my sleep. One common thing that always happens when my emotions affect my sleep is that I have very lucid and weird dreams. I won’t bore you with the wierdness of it all, but sometimes I can’t wait to wake up…. which is a frustating feeling to someone so tired. One night last week though, my dream was so disturbing that I broke the 4th wall within the dream and thought “I can’t wait to finish this dream so that it can be the weekend and have a proper sleep”.
Also at the moment we are a month (or two, I have lost count) into a full national lockdown, which brings it’s own levels of groundhog day, an inability to plan anything fun that is outside the boundary of our house. The government has announced the roadmap to easing restrictions, but that in itself (for me) brings it’s own anxieties. I can already see people just ignoring the “essential travel” and “stay local” advice that is still in place with people on my socials travelling to parks and countryside venues that are most definitely NOT local to them. All these things swirl around in my head at night as even though I am asleep, I mostly don’t feel rested.
But I wanted to leave you and me with a positive thought. In early 2020 I started swimming lessons to improve my swimming technique. I LOVED swimming againg and was going reguarly. Of course this stopped in March 2020 and I haven’t been since. However, I was vaccinated earlier this month and have my 2nd dose in May…. which means that if the pools are open in May, I may be able to go swimming. What a happy thought that is!!