Actually it felt more like I was awake from 2013 to 2019.
It may have been longer.
Sleeplessness is a great leveller. It’ll level anyone and anything that gets in its path.
Once upon a time, there was a lady who was a great sleeper.
She could sleep and sleep and sleep.
Life was blissful.
But then one fine day (it was actually two different fine days) along came a couple of real, live, and sometimes needy children who were duty bound to stay awake for the first 3 years of their life. Those same children, by the way, turned into teenagers and could sleep and sleep as if they were training for the Sleep Olympics.
Fast forward a few years and everyone had left home, including my husband (that’s a whole other story).
I was thrilled. I thought my sleeping life was about to get a whole lot better. Mr Sandman and I were going to get pretty intimate if ya know what I mean ?
Menopause had other ideas.
Difficulty sleeping can be one of the more challenging symptoms of menopause.
No matter what I tried, I simply COULD NOT get a good night’s sleep… it was wearing me down, destroying any hope I had left of living that normal life I’d planned out in my head. You know the one… cute little cottage, white picket fence, good looking neighbour, pool, open top car, wash-board abs and a tan (on either me or the neighbour, preferably both of us).
The reality was a smidgey bit different.
Some nights I’d get into bed exhausted only to have my brain snap into high gear and there I am wide awake staring at the ceiling… that would have been a great time to have some company if I wasn’t cranky and p*ssed off but no sleep = no meeting anyone because you hate humanity which unfortunately = no hanky panky.
Other nights I’d go off to sleep quickly only to wake up over and over again, sometimes 10 or more times a night… and that’s on a good night.
The constant feeling of tiredness was really getting me down… I’d even daydream about going to bed 20 minutes after getting up. I still do that now.
I could have written a book called “Fifty Shades of Dark Circles (under my eyes)”…
It’s so effing frustrating when it feels like you’ll never be able to sleep well again.
And you’re hating every moment of that stage of your life.
It feels like your life stopped one day around the beginning of menopause… although you have no way of knowing what actual day it was… which is even more irritating when you’re the planning and scheduling type.
During those times I’d have days where I’m like “YES, I’ve got this… I look great” and other days where it felt like the only thing I’m fit for is hiding in the bedroom with the drapes drawn, binge-watching Netflix just to shut my over-tired brain down with a handy supply of Lindt chocolate for company (…maybe that’s just me).
If you’re like most women who’ve been living with a lack of sleep it can be so frustrating.
You’ve gotten to the point in life where you’re ready for the next stage only to have trouble coping due to constantly trying to stay asleep for more than two hours at a time… you’re exhausted.
It’s really hard to understand why for years you’ve been a world-class sleeper and suddenly it’s like sleep is no longer on the menu.
Perhaps you’re an emotional wreck through fatigue and exhaustion (or teenagers).
One of my supposed friends said to me: “you won’t die from lack of sleep”.
My response was: “what a pity” whilst silently wishing some kind of minor accident upon her.
I was so pissed off I felt like smoking a cigarette (AND I’d given up smoking in my early 20s… except for that short 6 week period of sneaking smokes when everyone was out of the house… that actually doesn’t count. I was in the middle of moving AND peri-menopause! It definitely doesn’t count. Right? Right).
Not being able to sleep tends to make most people irritable!
But you know who doesn’t make people irritable? Michelle Gordon, that’s who. She’s got this great little program for women just like you and me.
It’s way better than this advice I read once:
“Build a very tight sleep structure and sleep environment by paying attention to your sleep environment. **I don’t know about you but that sentence isn’t quite right?
- Make your room dark, quiet and safe.
- Keep your room as cool as you can.
- Skip alcohol and tobacco.
- Keep a cloth in a bucket of ice near your bed so you can cool yourself quickly”
For starters, what does a “very tight sleep structure” even mean?
I get 1, 2 & 3 but 4!!! But what’s going on with 4? That’s just crazy talk… I’d be worrying about keeping the ice cold all night and then if I couldn’t do that I’d worry about having to go back and forth to the freezer for more ice.
My friend Dr Michelle Gordon doesn’t say crazy stuff involving ice buckets. It’s all useful information about menopause delivered and researched by her. She breaks what she’s found out down into manageable pieces for those of us who can’t concentrate to save ourselves.
Do yourself a favour and check it out.
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