Shut-Eye | Monday Mental Health Memo

Sleep is important; I know you, reading this, are more than aware of this fact. I’ve been aware myself for many years. Everyone, everywhere, all over the world knows of the importance of sleep; yet our society today is continually building towards a world without darkness, but instead lit by the dim orange glow of our lamps and the blue flashes from our tele sets. The rush and the panic of this crazy world around us is keeping us up; even if we don’t want to admit it, we need an early night.

I bet some of you reading this, right now, should have fallen asleep over an hour ago, and knowing that fact doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. But we can’t; we can’t catch our forty winks.

Insomnia is a word you’ve probably heard before. Some from a doctor, or medical professional, or maybe someone at school or work, just complaining of their troubles trying to get some sleep the night before. It’s scary too; watching time slip away, checking your phone every hour and counting how many hours of your life you’ve lost, or thinking about how hard the next day is going to be without a good nights rest. I’ve been there; it’s not fun, we all know.

So, there’s two things we know: Sleep is important, and not sleeping is shit.

I’m not going to pretend to be great at sleeping, either. I have had some awful experiences with insomnia, to the point of being awake for days at a time. You’d think the body would shut down, but what happens is actually worse.

Many across the world spend thousands of their local currency a year on tablets or therapies that promise to put an end to your drought of dreams; others practice mediation, or perhaps some routine or ritual that helps them nod off. I can’t say that I’ve particularly found much luck in the world of sleep. But I do know a thing or two.

I’ve know many to find relaxation therapy before bed to be successful; even had luck with it once or twice myself. Another few have cut out substances that stimulate the brain, like caffeine or nicotine long before bed or even all together, so they can start to catch up on the hours they missed. Most would say the key is to relax, generally speaking; which is the worst thing you ever want to hear when you haven’t slept for four days and your GP has kept your appointment back by 45 minuets.

The most important thing that, I can say, has helped me most – not perhaps so much to get to sleep, but when dealing with my own insomnia – is remembering that we’re all so different. We all need to get a good amount of sleep, water, food and oxygen sure, but our bodies work in such different ways; we all have such different lives. We carry all of that weight to bed with us; is it any wonder we can’t keep our eyes from rolling around inside our skulls.

And we are not so different from the man that first walked with his back tall, and his fist clenched; that couldn’t talk at all. Yet look at the world we live in. Our brains need sleep, just to navigate the world around us, yet we starve it whilst scrolling through Instagram on the toilet.

We need to give ourselves a little more credit; understand that where we are is a strange place for a smart animal to be, and maybe once we’ve realised how little all our worries are, in the grand scheme of things, then we might be able to get to bed on time. Goodnight everybody.

 

I wish that I
Could rest my head
Get some shut-eye
Inside this bed

But I don’t fret
Because I know
This world is all
Get up and go

But that’s not me
I’ll take my time
‘Cause in my dreams
Man, I can fly

 

Here is some helpful links, if you or someone you know if suffering from Insomnia (DO NOT BE READING ALL THIS AT 3AM, AND END UP CONFINSING YOURSELF THROUGH READING NHS WEBSITES THAT YOU HAVE SOME RARE DISEASE):

Insomnia – NHS
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/

How to cope with sleep problems – MIND
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/#.W7vdrE2osaI

 

 

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5 comments

  1. I hope I’m not alone in not being able to fall aleep, or back to sleep in bed. BUT as soon as I start watching my favourite TV drama that I have been looking forward to, or worse at the cinema, theatre or concert hall my head starts to droop…

    Liked by 1 person

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