Sleepless in Switzerland
Almost every day, during my somewhat stalkerlike troll of internet blogs and websites, I read about the importance of sleep (like this article here). And how you really, really need to get enough sleep in order to 1) be a bad*ss crossfitter, 2) be a somewhat functional human being in your work and social life. People rave about the benefits of 8-9 hours of sleep. I hate them. All of them. I don’t discriminate – if you sleep more than 7 hours a night – I am thinking bad thoughts about you right now.
Why? Well, I’m an insomniac. Have been for years! I rarely sleep more than 4 hours a night and when I do sleep, it is not a deep or restful sleep. Example: last night I went to bed at 11:00 – I woke up at 12, 3 and got up at 5. This is great for catching up on my Twitter feed and favorite blogs – not so good for activities which require me to leave the house. And certainly not good for my crossfit performance. (And it makes me a cranky b*tch. – ask anyone..or G..he’ll tell you).
The internet proposes a lot of solutions: dark,cool room (✓ check!), don’t use your ipad in bed (✓ check! and argh!!), don’t eat late (this I do do because I don’t get home from the gym until 9ish), try not to watch tv before bed (✓ check…some of the time). I have tried them all to minimal or no success. I’ve also tried some sleeping pills, over the counter and prescription. I haven’t tried the really strong ones as I worry about getting addicted to the little buggers and ending up selling my body for change on the mean streets of Geneva…I’m kidding, Geneva doesn’t have any mean streets.
None of it has really worked. I still don’t sleep and I’m still tired all.the.time. So yesterday I had an appointment at a sleep clinic. They confirmed A – yes, I have insomnia and B – sleep is really important. Essentially the appointment breaks down like this – they ask you a million questions about your sleep patterns (my really restless feet were of particular interest as this sometimes causes people to wake up – it doesn’t wake me up but it drives G crazy!) and then they do some basic tests to make sure you don’t have any neurological issues – test your reflexes, ability to track light and then they scrape a wooden stick along the soles of your feet – there is a reason for this, but frankly it just seems mean.
So far, although some might disagree (jerks!), my brain is in pretty good order so the next step is that I will go in a few weeks and sleep at the clinic. They will hook me up with a sexy helmet with wires and monitor my sleep patterns. This is probably going to be as awkward as it sounds. Do you think it would be weird if I took a stuffed animal? Probably. In the meantime, I need to keep a sleep diary and try to change some of the bad habits that have slipped back in. I’m also supposed to get out of bed if I wake up during the night. Apparently this is so that I will stop associating my bedroom with being awake, uncomfortable and thinking about work. I wanted to try this last night, but it was really cold in our room and I didn’t want to leave the comfort of my blankees so I ended up staying in bed. On the up side, I did fall back asleep the first 2 times I woke up. I will try again tonight. My new plan is to have back up blankees and warm clothes stashed around the house. Yeah, I don’t see this getting weird at all.
I’m not really sure what happens after they monitor my sleep patterns but I will keep you posted.
What about you, have you ever had trouble sleeping? If so, what did you do to solve it?