My sleep patterns have been much better.
Maybe it’s my work schedule. Maybe I am tired when I go to bed. Or it could be that depression is not as active.
Whatever the reason, my sleep has been much better in the past month or so. Most nights I only wake once, versus my old pattern of waking every hour.
This has been a blessing.
I am not tired during the day. I can function without that cloudy, tired feeling which happens when I feel tired. It’s like when I eat too much. I feel sleepy about 30 minutes later and struggle to concentrate until the feeling passes.
But last night, I just couldn’t get to sleep.
Or I couldn’t stay asleep. I was awake almost every hour. Last night, I woke up the first time about two hours after I went to bed. From there, it was a series of cat naps, followed by tossing and turning, then another short stint asleep. I was awake at 1 AM, 2 AM, 4 AM, then 5 AM.
At 5 AM, my phone started blasting the minions wake up call.
I had set my phone alarm last Sunday to get up for work. I turned it off last Sunday but never turned it off permanently. So, surprise, I was getting a wake-up call at 5 AM. The cat heard the alarm and figured I was getting up. So, he came into the bedroom and started calling me to feed him.
He can make his voice a silence piercing, attention getting, nerve-jangling cry.
Not wanting him to think he had the upper hand; I was trying to ignore his calls. But he upped the ante by standing next to the bed and cranking up the volume on his cries. Of course, he won out.
Now I am up, in the kitchen, shoveling some dry food into his bowl.
This is not what he had in mind. He has a habit of hopping up on the dog food storage container in the kitchen, so he can critic my choices of his food. This morning, he made it clear by not getting down to get the crunchies that he wanted some canned food. Not wanting to have him follow me back to bed howling, I obliged.
Back in bed, I slept until 6 AM, then 7 AM, then almost 8 AM.
Now I am up. The day has begun. I am thinking in the back of my mind that last night was the beginning of the end. That I am destined to going back to not sleeping. That I will never sleep through the night.
Challenging that unhelpful thinking, I am asking better questions. Is this thought valid? Are there other ways of looking at this? And I find I am catastrophizing. The future is unwritten, and one day does not a lifetime make.
If I spend time trying to understand why I couldn’t sleep last night, that will be the focus.
I will not spend time thinking that because I couldn’t sleep last night, that I am one step closer to the rabbit hole and that I will so be spiraling into the depths of despair. That is good news.
I am mad that my initial reaction is “oh s^*t, this is the beginning of the end.”
What a sad way to live. Damn you depression. The good news is that I caught myself in this unhelpful thinking style within a few minutes of getting out of bed.
And I have worked through it in the course of writing this. And I really appreciate that I was able to see the reality that one night of restless sleep is just one night of restless sleep. A pattern requires multiple days of doing the same thing.
I will be on guard for that, but I am not going to buy into the thought that I’m on the brink of a relapse.
Do you ever have trouble sleeping?