It’s Called ‘Middle Insomnia’

It’s what keeps me awake in the wee hours of the mornings.

That’s the bad news.

But…

I can finally admit I have a problem.

I have a label for it now.

I have gathered some research about this issue.

Now I can start to deal with it.

And THAT is the good news.

I have never been the greatest sleeper.

My mum tells me I didn’t need much rest when I was younger – always on the go, looking for the next adventure, full of energy.

Through my childhood, teen, and young adult years I suffered from nightmares – pretty bad ones sometimes – much prayer and sharing a bedroom with my Joshua seems to have really helped with that.

Having wee ones to care for kept me up alot of nights and I turned into a very light sleeper – this one I don’t mind at all – really. There’s something magical about holding a baby in the early hours (yes, exhausting as well).

And finishing up university while raising children and being in ministry – this made for many sleep-less nights for a couple of years.

One constant through all my years of sleep cycles – I never had trouble FALLING asleep (except during my colic stint as a baby – my poor mum!).

It’s the STAYING asleep that has me baffled just now.

Over the past few years I’ve noticed it’s getting worse – like it used to only happen once in a while, then a little more often, then once a week, then twice a week, then most nights…

So here I am.

Middle Insomnia.

OK… good to know… now I have to start to deal with it.

Turns out many things can cause Middle Insomnia – stress, anxiety, eating habits, lack of exercise, too much caffeine, chaotic schedule…

How many of these boxes can I check off at once?

Ya, I have some work to do.

I’m taking a good, hard look at my life and re-evaluating.

Another area of Crazy Change.

Here’s where I’m starting, after doing some research…

I’ve been on this road for about a week now, and this week was better (still woke up 3 of those nights, but better).

  • Decrease stress! How?  Being more organized in some areas, letting go of perfectionist tendencies, trusting more, moving ahead with confidence and kicking low self-esteem to the curb, enjoying life, practising contentment, no more comparing, LIVING IN THE MOMENTS.
  • Beyond that… No caffeine (including chocolate!) after 1 or 2pm. I have been working on decreasing my chocolate intake, and bought a dark chocolate bar the other day to divide into a week’s worth – then gave the bar to Josh to divide out for me every day – ya, hard! And hard to admit and be accountable to him that way… but he was absolutely fine with it and wants to help me out.
  • Exercise – this should be way easier with the warmer weather – a walk, bike ride, swim when the local lakes warm up… yes!
  • No overeating and no snacks after dinner except a bowl of cereal or piece of toast if needed.
  • Regular bedtime and night time routine – this is the hardest one for me since our lives seem to be so chaotic sometimes.
  • Ministry commitments down to one night out per week. We have other family commitments like sports to keep up with as well.
  • No emotional chats close to bedtime.
  • I’ll be trying to go to bed same time as boys (about 9:30) so I can read for a while and relax into sleep.
  • Maybe an herbal tea after dinner – this would help alot if I drink it early enough – so I don’t wake up for a bathroom break in the night!
  • If I wake up in the middle of the night, don’t panic – journal, read or blog – then go back to sleep after an hour or two.  Apparently our ancestors used to sleep in two shifts (especially in the winter) – so this makes me feel a little more relaxed and normal about my wakefulness in the night.

My goal is to get at least 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep per night – this seems to be the magic number for me. On holidays, I seem to sleep a little more.

I don’t mind getting up at 6am to read, blog, or enjoy some quiet before the day begins for me at about 7:00 or 7:30.

Do you ever have sleep troubles? I discovered many of us do!  At least 40% of us.

How do you deal with the issue?

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5 comments

  1. I drink chamomile tea about an hour before bed. That way, I’m relaxing and I still have time for the loo right before sleep. I usually read a little in bed too. Regular schedule REALLY helps. If I get off schedule, I don’t sleep well. I’m happy to hear you’ve discovered what it is, but I was looking forward to leaving you a middle insomnia chores list next time you visit!

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    • Sorry to burst your bubble on the chores list, Mum, but I’d be happy to complete the list when I’m all alert and chipper after having a wonderful night’s sleep! We’ll all be happier that way… Trust me…

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  2. Love your blogs. Have you considered a sleep study? Also consider protein before bed instead of carbs. Almond butter or cashew butter. I’ve had a lot of the same symptoms that caused sleep issues and have found changes to my diet has helped a great deal. Hope this helps. Hugs.

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    • Thanks Brenda… I’ll remember the protein vs. carbs thing. This week was much better, even just with trying to do a few things differently and keep a regular schedule at bedtime. Here’s hoping!

      Like

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