sorry for the lack of posting over this past week. my personal life is a little all over right now and its been making it difficult for inspiration or desire to write… let alone do anything but watch netflix.
however, i made a promise to myself i would in fact write today so here i am!
today i wanted to focus on something that effects so many people and can really have a huge impact on your life. sleep.
as a shift worker, i lack in the sleep department. having health issues, this only exacerbates so many of the issues that are going to come natural that has odd working hours. add life into the mix. well, sleep becomes a thing of the past at times.
for myself personally, i find my thyroid impacts my sleep, a lot. when my levels are off, my body more or less feels like its running on adrenaline and needless to say sleep sort of isn’t even an option. there is nothing worse than feeling so tired you want to die but staring aimlessly up at the ceiling.
the second issue…. shift work. working in the aviation industry i am a certified zombie a lot of days. i often have enough energy to use my brain for work, but the rest of the day, is more or less a write off. some days I start at three in the afternoon, the next day i’m at work for six or seven in the morning. and not being able to sleep the night before you need to get up at four am is a super shitty thing.
most people don’t get ‘it’. they don’t understand how i can function, and to be frank, neither do i sometimes. and the amount of caffeine i need to function on a regular basis has made me really prioritize my sleep issues.
sleep is so important in every aspect of your life, ESPECIALLY for your health. your body needs sleep to regenerate. your brain needs sleep for rest and so you can think clearly. after working out, your muscles need sleep to rebuild and recover.
without this most fundamental necessity in your life, its going to suffer in every way. i personally become a moody, emotional bitch when i haven’t slept. i give new meaning to the word bitch face. i am the bitch face. i drink gallons of coffee and energy drinks to try and compensate and my skin radiates sadness.
yes my skin suffers. and as i’ve made clear my skin is already the bane of my existence. nothing makes me more depressed then when i put on a pound of foundation and concealer and use higher on my eyes and i still look like i’ve stayed up for six weeks with quintuplets. just to be clear i don’t have children… shout out to all the parents out there who just find a way to deal.
lately another huge factor that’s destroying my sleep schedule is anxiety. i basically work on an anxiety curve i get to an optimum sleepless anxiety level where i no longer am able to sleep at all. then i hit rock bottom and i almost go into a depressed state where all i do is sleep. my goal is to never reach that, but you can’t control the weather, and you can’t control when life is going to shit all over you.
lately, things in my personal life have been extraordinarily stressful. plus i over think EVERYTHING. overthinking leads to four am deep thought sessions about how i could have stopped this, or prevented that, or changed something else. even when things aren’t my fault i just want to fix everything and make everyone happy, or help people, etc, and sometimes this makes it so i cannot sleep.
now, unfortunately there is no easy fix for this sleep dilemma i live through. i love my job and i refuse to make sacrifices in that department. i cannot control my health. i cannot control my anxiety even though i try my best to just ignore the thoughts in my head during the witching hour.
i do have a couple tricks up my sleeve though to help. i generally use medication to sleep as my last resort. i have and will probably use it in the future… but generally using meds to aid in sleep guarantees a shitty sleep and a worse morning after.
to start, when you’re sleeping like garbage booze is not your friend. alcohol is fun, it has its relaxing aspectss, but ultimately if your sleep is suffering so much so that your health and wellbeing are being affected, don’t drink. just don’t. you can pick it back up when you’ve got a couple nights of zzz’s under your belt. alcohol may put you to sleep initially but as you sober up it messes with your rem patterns and you’ll feel like crap the next day.
my next suggestion is something that i was actually given by a facebook friend a month or two ago when i reached out to the facebook sphere to see what tips and tricks other people used to help fall asleep and i LOVE it. buy a diffuser. any type, any brand, one that you smell and makes you think damn this is relaxing as fuck.
the one i bought was some random brand from winners. its a melon cucumber smell and honestly since i’ve started keeping it on my bedside table i’ve noticed a change in my sleep. the smell triggers a relaxing in me that with high anxiety and sleeping issues has been a major game changer.
i’m actually so impressed with how much the diffuser has aided in my sleep recently that i am going to invest in one of the electric diffusers so i can have a variety of oils to diffuse.
the next two tricks are melatonin and noise machines. melatonin and noise machines are for the super desperate nights where my brain will not shut off. some nights it hits around one am and my mind will not give me any rest or relief. melatonin is the great natural technique for assisting your body into sleepy time mode. the noise machine generally helps distract my thoughts until the melatonin can really click in and work its au naturale magic.
when all else fails, sometimes you may have to accept dealing with the issues in your life that are causing you stress. if you tackle the bigger issues head on, your sleep will be able to find its rhythm once again. you also need to remember you’re human. some nights will be restless or without sleep and there isn’t anything wrong with that.
if you are finding consistent issues with your sleep, go to a doctor. just the other day i’m pretty sure they drained a quart of blood from my arm because i haven’t been sleeping well and i haven’t been getting to bed either. i’m also finding i go to bed freezing and am waking up in the middle of the night on fire. i’m in my 20s, i have a few more years until that should be a factor.
the original tests showed nothing with my thyroid so i voiced my concern and now my doctor is testing everything from cortisol levels to my b12s. if you’re not sleeping its not healthy. maybe you have sleep apnea. maybe its something else all together. take it upon yourself to ensure that you are operating at your optimum.