Sept. 11, 2021

Sleep Cycles

Ever since I got on this new med, my sleep cycles have been... interesting.

Before the med, chronic fatigue and insomnia ruled my life. I would regularly stay up until 4am then sleep until my alarm went off at 10 for my son to do his zoom meetings. I'd have to force myself out of bed to unlock my phone so he could use it. Then I'd crash again until around 11:30 before finally getting up. I'd be ready for a nap by 1pm and dragging the rest of the day. I had maybe one or two productive hours the entire day where I didn't feel like I was about to fall asleep.

I started this new med in July. Within days, I was getting up earlier and earlier. By the end of the first week, I was routinely waking up at 8am and staying awake most of the day. That was great. Except the early waking didn't stop.

My brain and body have decided that 6am is the optimal time to wake up and earlier is better. The last few days, I've woken at 4-4:30am unable to fall back asleep. So I've gotten up and worked on my Wiki project. I've actually gotten a lot done in the hours before I normally wake up to make sure the kids are off to school. But going to bed at 11pm and waking at 4am means only 5 hours of sleep a night, and I knew something would have to give.

Sure enough, as each day dragged on, I got more and more tired earlier and earlier in the day. First I needed a nap around 11am each day. I mean, that makes sense. When you get up at 4am with 5 hours of sleep, you've been up for like 7 hours at 11am. Sounds like a good time to nap. Except, napping does almost nothing for me. I usually wake up feeling more tired and with a headache. That could be from the sleep apnea. I haven't been using my CPAP machine much because my allergies have my nose all clogged up and the mask only covers my nose.

On one hand, I like getting up super early before everyone else and having quiet time to work. On the other hand, I went to bed at 9pm after taking a 2 hour nap during the day the last two days. I knew I needed to reset my internal clock, but I had no idea how. I couldn't stay up past 9pm, and no matter when I go to sleep, I always wake up at 4am. Obviously, the earlier I go to sleep, the earlier I'm going to wake up which would just make things worse. I need to try and stay up later to hopefully sleep in later.

Last night, I crashed at 9pm while my son continued to watch movies until I heard the current one end around 10pm and told him to turn it off. That's a testament to how tired I was because I normally can't sleep if there's any noise. The TV didn't even bother me at all. I was that tired.

As usual, I worked up at 4am and set to work on my computer. But after a couple hours, I felt like I was dragging. Usually, that doesn't happen until around 8 or 9am without coffee and 10-11am with a pot of coffee in me. I don't usually start drinking coffee until around 7am when I go downstairs to make sure the kids get off to school.

This morning, I decided not to fight the sleepy feeling and just go back to bed. It helped that it was freezing in the room, and I knew my bed would be toasty warm. I fell right back to sleep and woke up at 8am like I had wanted. Thanks to that little nap, I didn't need to take a big nap in the middle of the day, and it's currently nearly 10pm, and I'm still awake.

I still got a lot done after I got up at 8am, too. At least once I got my son to leave me alone. I'm going to try and stay up until 11pm again--probably do some reading if I can focus my eyes--and then maybe I'll sleep until 6am.

Written by justanotherjen

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