I wake up every one or two hours, pretty consistently. I hate it. I often think I took sleep for granted when I was younger. It came every night, I woke every morning. Now it’s waking during dreams (decent, horrid or nightmares), on average, every 90 minutes.
I don’t like to say I’m an insomniac. I think this is an overused word when it comes to sleep disturbance. A friend of mine told me that I have “sleep maintaining insomnia” though I’ve never had a doctor formally diagnose me with any type. I do sleep. I can sleep. I sleep often. It’s just not when or how I wish it was. If I sleep around sunrise, I’ve learned I can get almost six hours of uninterrupted sleep. It’s just not a convenient time for me. My fiance leaves for work at around 2:30am most mornings. Sleeping at 6:00am means that I am sleeping alone most days. When he is off from work, I can still sleep those hours even if he is sleeping next to me so he is not what is waking me through the night.
I have tried stopping the coffee earlier, drinking less caffeine… These things seem to have no effect. I try to go to sleep at the same time every night. I have my rituals (make the bed, brush the teeth, pee, etc.) but it only means I can FALL asleep. I know when I have been stressed, I wake more. I know when I am depressed, I wake more. I know if I have had an emotionally draining day, I wake less.
I have tried melatonin and medications and sleepytime teas. I have tried meditating. I have tried so many suggestions that I have just accepted that I will hate this. I don’t know why it happens. I do know that time of day or night does play into it, so sometimes I do still wait til sunrise to sleep if I have woken too often, or from a nightmare.
So many offer advice and I often find myself saying, “No, that doesn’t work either,” but I appreciate their efforts. If you sleep like this as well, the only advice I have for you is when you find something that works, even if it means sleeping at what most people consider odd times, go for it.
Life is about choices. Make choices that work for you, even when it comes to something as simple as sleep. Your life is yours and if you can feel more rested by sleeping in four hours shifts, why not? Some may think it’s weird I pass out at sunrise sometimes, and that’s okay. Their opinions on sleep patterns aren’t my problem, nor yours. Stay strong, sleep well.