Heart to Post

About Being Sleepless Outside Seattle

From now on, I’m going to post once a week (I’ve got WordPress added to my action list!). About my life, because that’s how this blog started: as a diary. By going back to the basics, I’m hoping to learn more about myself – and the world I live in.

I lie awake, I drive myself crazy, thinking of you

• *NSYNC •

Last Wednesday I saw her again after three months: my psychologist.

I started seeing her for my insomnia earlier this year, and miraculously she helped me fall back to sleep. Little by little.

It’s so weird to realise you don’t actually realise all that’s going on inside you. I mean: you think you know about all that’s going on in your head, when really you don’t.

Stress builds up and my psychologist told me my stress levels are running through the roof: they’re more than 90% full, so every little thing that happens during a day adds to that stress, overflowing me. Which leaves me, well, sleepless in the Netherlands.

Over the past three months, my sleeping has gone slightly back to normal. I say slightly, because I still spasm heavily before falling asleep and wake up every morning at 6 am on the dot.

But other than that, I was doing fine.

So fine, in fact, that I’d decided I was A-Okay!

Only… that stress gauge is still running and my brain is still accepting new stress-entries on a daily (and subconscious) basis.

The first time my insomnia hit me back – hard – was the day my mother had her medicine appointment at the hospital.

As I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, I felt my head rage. And really rage: I couldn’t stop a single thought from wreaking havoc in my head.

I was mad, upset, lonely, disappointed and immensely sad.

All the hurt and fears from 10 years ago, when my mother had breast cancer, came rushing back as if they’d never gone.

Ahhh, nostalgia 🙂

It took me two attempts at meditation, one melatonin and, much to my deepest dismay, a regular sleeping pill to eventually pass out.

The second night I nearly saw through was right after my eldest sister’s and mine high tea.

Of which I shall never speak again (the monkeys, remember?).

My psychologist was all ears, and luckily all understanding, too.

“If there had been no direct causality for your renewed insomnia, I would have been much more alerted. You will be fine once you deal with this stress.”

She recommended a YouTube video (in Dutch, so no point sharing it here) with information about healthy sleeping, and advised me to take the “sleeping diet” the video speaks of: force yourself into a healthy sleeping rhythm by going to bed at midnight and waking up at 6am.

Seeing as I’m already doing the latter (for no explicable reason), I might as well try the first, too.

The idea is to force your body and mind into getting enough rest a night (5-6 hours of really good, deep sleep for 7-10 days straight) and to create more rest-moments during the day. These moments will actively help your mind work through your daily impressions, so it can prepare itself for full rejuvenation at night.

I hate waking up early, but I hate lying awake more.

And I love myself enough to give this a try ❤

How was your week?

15 thoughts on “About Being Sleepless Outside Seattle”

  1. I need an update on this one Samantha! I have the other kind of insomnia, where I can fall asleep, but then sometimes, I wake up around 3a or so, then fall back to sleep until 7a.

    I just realized I unloaded my on insomnia on you lol, but I really do want to know how the sleep diet goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry, Katherin. I only just now realised there’s more types of insomnia than the one I’ve got 😂😅

      I have yet to try the sleep diet, I have to admit. I think I scared my brains into falling asleep sort-of-normally again when they realised 6 hours is not a lot.

      The idea of the diet is that for about 3-4 weeks you only spend 6 hours a day in you bed sleeping. That means, for instance, every night you put yourself to bed at midnight and every morning you wake up at 6 am.
      Our bodies and minds don’t need 8 hours of sleep, but at least 5-6 hours of GOOD, deep sleep.
      By forcing yourself to only spend 6 hours in your bed a day (with the intention of sleeping), you’re allowing yourself more hours during the day to actively process everything you’ve experienced that day. Think meditation, reading, writing, or anything else that helps you relax. This is a way to not only tire yourself physically, but mentally as well, so that your brains are relaxed enough to fall asleep.
      In 5-6 hours of deep sleep, they recharge.
      By sticking to the diet, you enforce your body and mind into a deep-sleep rhythm. After 10-14 days you are supposed to feel more rested and after 3 weeks you should feel fitter altogether.

      I have plans of trying this, but this week was so… full and exhausting and bizarre that I left it for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Every now and then, I end up awake for a couple of days. I am somewhat able to let go of stress. I have a decent prayer life and faith. Your therapist’s ideas should prove helpful. What you need is a hug😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank Tony. I do feel a bit lonely sometimes, especially now with my mother and just… things in the family in general. I’m going to try to start that sleep diet this week, am curious to see if it works.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ugh – insomnia — mine started about 10 years ago & crept up on me. finally this last year I’ve been working hard on finding solutions & have made much progress. it’s indeed terrible to lie awake at night trying to get back to sleep — good luck, dear 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Daal. I didn’t know you were an insomniac, too. I liked Insomnia better when it was just a coffee house chain in Ireland in my head. But… it’s a way of my body to tell me something and I haven’t been listening well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. At the risk of seeming a spammer, Samantha, over the past 10 years, I have written a number of posts on stress that I think could be useful to you. Just search S T R E S S on my blog. I took a course in stress and its affects on the body a while back. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

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