For the first time in a while, I woke this morning feeling rested. I realised that it had been some since I’d had a solid night’s sleep without getting up for anything. And it felt good!
I’ve always been someone who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Sitting in the passenger seat of a car for more than 20 minutes is all it takes for me to doze off (I’m really not a great driving companion). And I think that in all my travels I’ve been awake for take-off maybe twice. The second the plane starts taxiing, I’m asleep. Caffeine doesn’t affect me and I can sleep in bright light and through loud noise.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes, one of the most difficult things to deal with was the need to wake at a certain time (much earlier than I was used to) so I could have breakfast and take my first insulin shot for the day. I can still remember the relief I felt when I started using a pump and could go back to sleeping away half the day if so desired (as it often was).
I worried about how I would cope with the promised sleep deprivation that a baby would bring, but pure luck delivered us a baby who slept through the night from an early age and who, even now, sleeps in on weekends and over holidays and knows to leave the grown-ups alone if she rises first.
But lately, sleep hasn’t been coming easy. Between the heat (and resulting hypos), getting used to sleeping in a new house and waking due to pain in my right eye following my second cataract surgery, I haven’t really had many nights of restful slumber. Plus, it doesn’t help that the allure of ‘just one more episode’ of Breaking Bad is reducing the number of hours spent in bed.
The nights disrupted by diabetes result in days disturbed by diabetes. I find myself yawning and finding excuses for more coffee to try to keep me alert. And I think about sleep – and then stress because I’m tired and not sleeping properly. I feel sluggish and slow and find it difficult to stay on task. And I spend most of the day banging on about how tired I am because I didn’t get enough sleep.
Which, apparently, is the problem.
I read today that just thinking about sleep positively can impact on performance. This study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology says that complaining about not getting enough sleep is the reason that performance suffers – not the actual lack of shut eye. There’s a placebo effect for you!
I’m not sure if that’s true, but given the number of nights diabetes does reduce the hours of sleep I get, perhaps some positive thinking is in order. Diabetes unfortunately means that there are nights of broken sleep. Maybe instead of complaining about it, I just accept it and think about the time I was actually dreaming and how good that was. Or look forward to the sleep that’s coming up.
Also, maybe a limit on the number of Breaking Bad episodes would help too. Just saying.