Monday, 17 October 2005

I wish I was in bed

I've never been a very good sleeper (despite what my dad might say about all those Saturday mornings when I was supposed to be mowing the lawn...) I've always had a great deal of trouble getting to sleep and tend to wake up a few times during the night, don't often feel totally refreshed in the morning, and have felt at a loss as to what to do about it for years.

C, on the other hand, falls asleep instantly (including on any kind of public transport - planes, trains, buses, you name it) and sleeps well. Since we have been together I have become less and less enamoured with my inability to get a good night's rest, particularly when I compare my tossing and turning with her restful and refreshing slumber.

C, being the loving and wonderful human being that she is, brought me a copy of the Good Sleep Guide on a recent trip home and I've been flicking through it and pondering finally doing something about my insomnia.

The book recommends a form of treatment that you can try at home and which involves a significant amount of sleep deprivation. Getting less sleep, that's exactly what I need, or maybe it is. The basic gist of the treatment is to figure out roughly how much sleep you actually get each night (I'm currently getting about 5.5 to 6 hours - or I was until recently) and then you only get into bed for that exact time period. Normally I'd go to bed and toss and turn for a good while and then fall asleep only to wake later and go through the whole thing again. It's actually not as bad as it sounds, but it could certainly be a lot better.

The point here is that out of the 8 or so hours I'm physically in bed I'm only asleep for 5.5 to 6. The treatment means that I am only allowed to be physically in bed for 5.5 to 6 hours each night (for a couple weeks). The upshot is that I'm staying up till around 1am and dragging my sorry ass out of bed at 7am. Combine the less time spent in bed with the aforementioned tossing and turning and you have one very tired expatriate.

It's been two nights so far and I'm already a total wreck. It's almost midnight (of the third night) and I'm already dreading work tomorrow.

The program is designed to basically make me so exhausted that as soon as I get into bed I pass out and sleep right through till I'm rudely awakened by my alarm clock. At this rate I'll be better in no time.

I a couple of weeks I'm allowed to increase my nightly allotment of mattress time by half an hour, then another half a week or two later and so on until I reach my "natural sleep requirement" or something.

Anyway, lots of late nights to surf the net and I apologise in advance for the crap I'm bound to post as my waking life spins more and more out of control. Don't blame my blame my sleep doctor.

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