Thank you to the all the Hairpinners who gave me advice a few weeks back regarding my Chronic Sleep Problems. I had a long talk with my boyfriend and we made a deal: for the last two weeks, I've been trying all these techniques you guys gave me (thank you so much for the tip about asmr, RNL!), and he's agreed not to make judgments/let me do my thing. My sleep is way less sloppy now! It's still not great, but at least I've been able to get up at one set time (a bit late in the day, still), and I figure consistency's key. You guys gave me hope!
Oh, I totally need this for a movie! It was some sort of horror movie that I wasn't meant to see, but I watched it hiding behind our living room couch. It's about a serial killer who lures children into his ice cream truck (!) and then cuts their hands off so he can implant them on his daughter (!!!!!) because she has some disease. With the new hands, she is finally able to play piano. But the hands wear off after a while (?), and he has to kill again . . .
@dj pomegranate Possibly the most thoughtful thing I have ever heard said about a NYTimes style piece.
@SarcasticFringehead thank you for this! i think this is a good reminder. i always strive to be a courteous girlfriend, but right now, i know that going to bed at the same time as my boyfriend would mean spending hours staring straight up at the ceiling. which has never worked for regulating my sleep in the past.
i get so nervous about disrupting his sleep that somewhere along the line, i began to think his sleep > my sleep, instead of that he and i both have a right to sleep the way we like. (and i did remind him that some of this is just regular old two-people-joining-their-lives-together stuff.)
@fabel yes! yes, sleep-wise, i am basically your ex-boyfriend. i have gone through very similar fucked-about schedules, and have frustrated my supportive partner. i think he is up for the headmaster role here, but any time we've tried anything even remotely close to some sort of "monitoring" or "checking in" thing i inevitably freak out, because it feels like he's my _dad_ and i hate it/the dynamic.
thank you for writing, though! weird as it is, even though your ex's problem didn't get "solved," i feel better knowing i'm not the only Sleep Odd Couple out there.
i'm also taking note of the phrase "sleep hygiene." that's amazing.
@Cat named Virtute i totally do this, as well! the This American Life trick has gotten me through many a long, sleepless night. i find that a lot of the more anxious nights, it really does help to hear ira's calm little voice.
@Mabissa thanks for all your suggestions!
i have definitely talked to my psychiatrist about this before, but after we worked out my meds, we didn't really address it again in detail. i have to admit that i was also just embarrassed to say what a problem it continued to be.
other people i see for mental health things work on this with me, too, but a lot of times it gets crowded out by other, flashier problems so it goes on the backburner.
to that end, i actually did keep the kind of log you advise, really for almost a year, i think. it was pretty accurate, but in the end it didn't change much . . . ? i have ocd, and i think in the end it felt like a compulsion to keep the diary (though i'm wondering now if anything repetitive can sort of feel that way to me, whether good or bad--breakthrough!).
the one solid takeaway i got from that sleep log is that my "natural" sleep time is around 1:30 a.m. that is when i am sleepiest. if i get a second wind past that, i'm usually screwed. so i guess i should focus most on the hour, hour and a half before that for tweaking.
@like a rabid squirrel
i have a caffeine deadline, too, but it's not so early--but i'll try moving it up! it can't hurt.
and this fl.ux plug-in thing sounds like a great idea!! i really want to try it, too. i know for a fact being on my comp late at night makes me feel too "on" for some reason.
@just reading in a boat no big deal
Un-tl;dr : Like most people, I have a problem that has been with me for years and that I would really like to fix (or--dreaming big here--conquer!). I'm in my mid-20s and for the last 10 years, I haven't really been able to Get Sleep Right.
(I have had "wrong" sleep in all its permutations, oversleeping, undersleeping, staying up to avoid life, sleeping in to avoid life, working to exhaustion and needing lots of uninterrupted sleep to make up for it, having too much free time to worry and thus never falling asleep. In the end, I gave up and settled into an uneasy balance of accepting that I would always be an Irregular Person and also hating that same fact.)
But I would like things to change! For many reasons. One of the major factors here is that disordered sleep can easily slip into hypomania for me, which means more disordered sleep later and the cycle repeats. Also, my boyfriend and I have recently moved in together. Staying over at someone's place three times a week is no match for living with them as far as showing how funny their sleep really is. Anyway, it has become a point of stress for me, and while Boyfriend wants to help, he's so close to the situation that I can't seem to let him.
The questions: Has any Hairpinner ever dealt with this? "Off" sleep for mental health or any other reasons? Very divergent sleep schedules from one's significant others that were somehow righted? All week I have been daydreaming about having a Sleep Buddy-type person who might be going through this same problem, and that I can talk to.
Hairpinners, will one (or more, or some) of you be a kind soul and help me learn to Sleep Right?
whatever the opposite of tl;dr is, will follow below: