This is going to be a multi-part post. You’ll see Part II later this week.
Sleep is a crucial part of my life, said pretty much everyone (I hope…) This post after a long quiet period of non-posting feels fitting, haha. Yeah, let’s subtly allude to the fact that I haven’t posted in, oh, almost a month.
Sleep and I have had a tumultuous relationship:
I have vivid memories of not wanting to go to sleep when I was a kid. I remember scribbling on a post-it and feeling frustrated that I wasn’t allowed to be up late. Once, I woke up really late when everyone was fast asleep, snuck into my brother’s room and rubbed Vaseline all over his face and ears and went back to bed. I’m really not sure why, and this likely contributes to the school of thought that kids under 6 have zero independent thought (I can’t find this on the Internet; for now just take it with a grain of salt until you find something). Nope, he didn’t wake up. No one noticed the next morning. Wait, did you Mom? I think I was 6 or 7.
Every night before bedtime between the ages of 8 and 12-ish, I would sneak a book under the covers to read by my nightlight. I’d read until late, and mornings were a drag. School, by extension, was also a drag. Were it up to me, all of my subjects would have been “let Sara read alone quietly all day”, which would have included the hour-long bus ride home.
Fast forward to ages 17-22: I spent 5 years of my life feeling like garbage because I didn’t realize how many things in my life were pulling on me and slowing me down. It’s not that I didn’t want to sleep or didn’t know to sleep enough, it’s that I didn’t know I had some deep-seeded issues (not discussed in this post) that made me want to sleep all of the time, and in turn, impacted my health.
I don’t want to get too hokey and go into the whole adrenal fatigue syndrome schpiel, because I will if given the opportunity. Let’s just say that I could have taken better care of myself before I got to that point.
It all started when I was in grade 12 and got mono. Go me for getting out of my last semester of high school exams! I knew I was sick, but didn’t slow down. I wish I had. It wasn’t the worst case of mono, but I was tired and had a sore throat for a solid month I felt like a walking zombie, and still managed to pull a couple all-nighters. Fun, right?
Age 19 and I’m still tired all the time. I attributed my coffee consumption to getting through university. I couldn’t get through the day unless I had slept 10 hours a night, and napped for another 3 during the day. My second wind came at the wrong time: 10 or 11 PM.
By age 22, I started to get sleep under control with the help of a naturopath. I wasn’t eating badly, and I was exercising semi-regularly. So what gives?
Sleep and I had a long talk with the naturopath about those 5 years. We felt closure and the right steps to move forward. We moved forward. We became regular and timed, like sunrise and sunset. I felt like sleep knew its place in the world, and didn’t interfere with my life anymore. I had conquered. Sleep made me feel beautiful when I caught it by its tail and dragged it into bed with me…mostly I wasn’t a nasty version of myself.
Aside: I don’t advocate for naturopaths, but my situation was that my doctor couldn’t find anything physically wrong with me. Some people call it the effects of living on Earth, and that’s fine, but this was my personal way of trying to overcome my constant fatigue.
I’ll write about The Conquering in Part II.