By and large, left to my own devices, I am a night person. I’ve adapted to getting up early, so that I can get on less crowded trains to get into the city to go to work. Getting up super early requires going to bed super early. It took me a long time to get used to, but it means I don’t have to fight my agoraphobia just to go to work, and that makes it worthwhile.
Anytime I am out of work for longer than a month, I start reverting to form. I stay up later and later. For a while I’m still getting up early, which means walking around in a brain fog part of the day due to lack of sleep. I’m also generally a six hours per night sleeper, but if I stay up late enough, and don’t have an alarm set, I can make a full eight hours of it.
That sometimes also leads to brain fog, if I’m honest.
It has taken longer than usual, but this weekend I found myself still awake at midnight, unable to turn off my brain or put down my phone. The sleep has been glorious, however, once I finally doze off.
To add into my bizarre sleep patterns is the insomnia that often accompanies menopause. I’ve had bouts of insomnia off and on my whole life, but this brand of it is different. Normal insomnia for me is two or three nights of laying in bed, tossing and turning and eventually getting up because sleep isn’t happening. Eventually, I get exhausted enough to sleep.
This is more like my body deciding that two or three hours of sleep is plenty, time to get up and get moving, even if it is two in the morning.
This weekend, aside from the staying up late, I find myself napping late in the day. I’ll be sitting on the couch with my crochet and some documentary and just…doze off for an hour or so. Which might contribute to my late nights. It’s usually sometime between five and seven pm when I fall asleep.
Another new development in the sleep department during this extended at home period is the re-emergence of my sleep walking. I get up and do stuff, then go back to bed and in the morning I find evidence of my activity with no memory of doing it. Like, warming up left overs, then leaving them in the microwave or opening a bottle of wine and pouring a glass, then leaving it on the kitchen counter without drinking any of it.
That last bit I attribute to the stress of the current situation, more so than anything else. I have done it in years, ever since I left that last super stressful job and moved into jobs that I have loved. But now, there’s so much stress around finding a job and managing to pay the bills and this whole pandemic situation, I think the combination has just overwhelmed my poor brain.
I’m torn between letting myself revert to a sleep cycle that is most natural to me and forcing myself to go back to “normal” or what the world considers normal anyway. Part of me wonders how much more productive I would be if I let myself do what comes naturally. How much more ME would I be?
Maybe that’s an experiment for this strange time we find ourselves in?
Either way, I hope you and yours are safe and healthy and staying home like you should. Happy Monday, Readers (it is Monday, right?). Take care of each other!
Cover Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash