One, because it takes me forever to actually get to sleep. Two, I generally don’t sleep very well. I’ve never been a good sleeper. Getting to sleep has been one of the hardest things I’ve tried to fix my whole life. When I say I’ve tried everything, I truly mean it. I’ve tried not using electronic devices, reading, melatonin, gravel, audiobooks…the list goes on. If you name it, I’ve probably tried it.
It’s always been like this though, ever since I can remember I’ve always been shitty at getting to sleep. I would have a long day of sports or school, dead tired, and as soon as my head hit the pillow it’s like the mariachi band in my brain got up and started their second set.
For most people (i’d hope) it’s probably easy to get to sleep. Take my dad for instance, he can literally put his head down on any flat object…actually it doesn’t even have to be flat, it could be anything…The point is he puts his head on his pillow and he’s already snoring.
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE AND HOLY SHIT I AM JEALOUS!
I never thought I would be jealous of something like that but it’s true! I am beyond jealous of people who can just go to sleep and shut off their brain. I’ve battled with this since I was like in grade 9. But as I said before, it doesn’t get better no matter what I do.
Side note – for the people who don’t know what I’m talking about it’s pretty much when I go to bed my brain starts to analyze everything I’ve ever done, starting with the day I just lived and working my way back through random cringe worthy moments in my life. Thinking about how stupid I was or what people must have thought of me.
“Just stop thinking, it’s all in your head”
I’m sure more than a couple of you just thought that and all I have to say to that is, no it’s not! Well….yes it is, but it’s not that easy! People make anxiety and over thinking seem like something you can turn off with the flick of a switch but that’s not how it works. It’s not black and white, it’s not binary, it’s not on and off, so stop making it seem like that. It pisses off and undermines the people who truly do experience this and it is not helpful at all.
We can’t shut off our brains…you don’t think we’ve thought of that? One of my best buddies made a comment one day about how every time I bunk at one of my friends places I always fall asleep with headphones in.
“Have you ever noticed that he always wears headphones when he sleeps? Like what is he doing with them?”
I laughed and casually shrugged it off. But seriously if we could shut off our brains I would not be up at 4:56am on a sunday writing this. The truth is my iPhone fucked up during a software update and it’s out of commission until I restore it. And since I usually fall asleep to music, random YouTube videos, or podcasts I was all like “Hey, I can go one night without that stuff” …
HA! No I can’t. I could not turn my brain off! Analyzing stupid things that people aren’t thinking, regretting what I’ve said to women in the past, regretting what I’ll probably say to women in the future, creating scenarios in my head that will NEVER happen and then getting upset about them, and of course analyzing why I am up thinking about this stuff in the first place.
It bothers me that I have to preoccupy my brain in order for me to fall asleep. It bothers me that I can’t just put my head on my pillow and start dreaming instantaneously. However, you learn to deal with it, make it your own, right? I can’t control how my brain thinks sometimes or it’s thoughts because they’re irrational thoughts. It doesn’t make sense that I’m thinking them but that very description is the reason I’m thinking them. Did I lose you with that one?
Part of anxiety is cooping with irrational thoughts that engulf you and make you stress. People deal with it differently but my thoughts come at night in these giant waves. So how do I deal with them? Well, just like every other personal problem, and we all them, I try to make it my own. How can I turn a (perceived) negative into a positive.
I started by listening to audiobooks, as I said before, and then moved onto music, podcasts, finally landing onto YouTube videos. One day I thought of how much time I wasted lying in bed attempting to fall asleep when I could be doing more beneficial activities with my time. So I started watching and listening to lectures, top 10 lists, random fact videos so that I could learn some cool facts, stop my brain from thinking and fall asleep. No, I’m not talking about crazy intense education videos but more of interesting facts that are neat to know at a trivia night or dinner party.
Facts like, “The most popular fruit in the world is a Mango” (I bet you thought it was the Banana or Orange).
Long story short, I am not ashamed of my sleep issues nor my anxiety. Does it bug me? Oh hell of course it does. Does it mean I get a shitty nights sleep most of the time? 100%. But, it doesn’t own me, it doesn’t control me.
I won’t let it control me.
Remember, when life gives you lemons, throw them away because mango’s are more popular.
Sweet dreams, everyone.