If you follow me on Facebook you will know that I’ve been having a hard time getting back into my normal sleep routine. Insomnia has slowly taken me into its grip ever since we got back from Vancouver 10 days ago. An example: last Saturday night I finally drifted into sleep at 2 a.m. when a hot flash woke me up again and I was unable to go back to sleep after that. Not good when I am about to start a new job on Monday! I refrained from napping during Sunday and went to bed at 9 p.m., only to wake up again just after midnight. And then I couldn’t go back to sleep. I mean, really? Three hours of sleep after a night of not sleeping at all?? I eventually went downstairs and made myself some chamomile tea and got a cooling pad for my eyes and after drinking the tea I did some deep breathing and finally drifted back into a restless slumber. Thankfully I didn’t have to start my new job until 10 a.m. and was able to ease into the morning.
So what is causing this? The odd episode of insomnia aside I have always been a good sleeper up until earlier this year when I realised that I was suffering from sleep apnea and started wearing a CPAP. This helped for a while but I never entirely took to it and after loosing about 20 lbs I was thankfully able to sleep without it again. But these last few nights, even though I haven’t regained that weight, I feel like this bone deep tiredness is making me obstruct again, although not as severe as before. But it’s not just that. My biggest sleep challenge is a combination of hot flashes and my racing mind that just won’t rest even though my body desperately wants it to.
My menopause started a couple of years ago and the symptoms have been sporadic with hot flashes coming and going every few months. I am gradually moving into a more permanent state of menopause as the hot flashes have become more frequent and severe. Mind you, they are still not as bad as what some of my friends are reporting but strong enough to make me sweat more, especially at night. Add to that the stresses of a new job and moving house and I guess you end up with the perfect cocktail for insomnia. And let me tell you, not getting enough sleep over a longer period of time is debilitating. As anyone suffering from this knows. And I am almost baffled at how quickly things have changed. One moment I am having an amazing summer of healthy eating and exercising and feeling great, and next thing I know is I am feeling utterly exhausted and stressed. Ugh.
My eating is suffering as a result of all this. Planning and cooking my meals has never been my strong point and with being back on a 9-5 schedule I find myself returning to the old routine of wanting my food quickly and without hassle. Which mostly means carbs in the form of sandwiches and easy pasta meals. Plus my sugar cravings are at an all time high, too. And honestly, I am too damn tired to do anything about it. I can just about focus on functioning in my new job and the little energy I have left is poured into planning and preparing for the move. There is nothing left of me after that.
As I am writing this a question is popping into my mind: have I forgotten everything I have ever learned about stress management and self care? Well, let me sleep on that for a bit. It is 5 a.m. and I’ve been up for the last two hours. Will now try and get a couple more hours of sleep. And then I’ll see what tomorrow brings.
Oh, and just so you know: I am enjoying the new job! There is a lot to learn but it’s totally up my alley as they say and I really like my manager and the people I am working with. I can actually see myself settle into a nice routine between the job and the smaller apartment we are moving to. Just need to get there! Yawn ….