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Sleep Cycles

How long do you suppose it takes to catch up on sleep deprivation? I’m asking because my sleep pattern just hasn’t returned to what it was pre-pandemic. I am someone who never needed an alarm, I would wake up between 6 and 6:30 without fail every day. It was super convenient and I’m a morning person so getting up early worked pretty well for me.

These days? I blow right past 6 and regularly wake up after 8! I feel like I’ve wasted the whole morning when that happens and yet I haven’t done anything to change the cycle. I know it’s partly that I can get away with it since I’m still not working my previous schedule – I’m still working from him a bit although I am going in much more than I was. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s partly because of the sleep I missed when Dale was in the hospital. Or maybe it’s just avoiding the start of the day when the day holds things that aren’t always great . . . the pandemic, the news, the chores . . .

How have you been sleeping since the world changed back in March?

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. I think most of us are experiencing some amount of sleep disorganization during this time. Partly, our brains have more to process at night because things that used to be automatic require more planning. Grocery store? Talking to friends? Seeing loved ones is even more complicated. I will say that as soon as I started going for a walk every morning mine went back to normal most days. Hang in there.

  2. My sleep pattern is all over the place! In March& April, I was been going to bed early and waking up early. Now I’m going to bed a bit later. Unfortunately I’ll sometimes wake too early. This is especially true if I have to leave my hometown cocoon.

  3. I’m no longer using an alarm since I don’t need to get up and drive into work, but I find I’m pretty much up by 6 or before (my alarm pre-pandemic was set for 5:30). However, there are more nights than not when I am awake for an hour (or 2 or 3) during the middle of the night. And to be honest, that was happening pre-pandemic too. Not sure what the cause – probably a couple of reasons – bad news, pandemic, a country in shambles, aging, hormones, etc., etc. The bright side is that if I’m really, really tired during the day I can take a nap!

  4. Oh, my sleep pattern is all messed up now. I actually force myself to get up early these days (with an alarm) because it just feels better. But holy cow. I have all kinds of sleep issues I never had before — most annoying is waking up at 2am and never really getting back to sleep. So. If you figure out the trick to getting your sleep pattern back on track, please let me know! XO

  5. Since I’ve still been going to work every day it’s been a bonus for me not to get up super early for class and sleep in ’til 6 – 6:30 every morning. I feel for you Carole (and others) messed up sleep is a bear!

  6. My sleep pattern has been messed up in lots of ways, from not being able to fall asleep, to waking up at 2 am, and sleeping too much. It affected my ability to function during the day (and if I’m honest, I was a bit b**chy) so I decided to do some things. I walk at least three miles every day, no caffeine after noon, and have used some meditations meant for sleep. Audible has several free ones, and the Calm, Headspace, and 10% Happier apps all have specific sleep-related meditations. A friend gave me the 10% Happier app for my birthday and I’ve been really happy with it. I also tried 2.5mg of melatonin before bedtime, but that didn’t seem to do anything for me. I hope you figure out some things that work for you!

  7. I usually sleep OK… a lot less during the week and a little “catch up” sleeping in on weekends. During the time that I was at home during All This, I was sleeping REAL good. Lately, though, especially the past week or so? NOT GOOD AT ALL! My Fitbit tracks my sleep and I was awakened and subsequently AWAKE for such a long period on Saturday night that it actually recorded it as two separate things… like a nap and then sleep. Ugh. I know I’m anxious about a few things that will hopefully resolve very soon, and maybe that will help. Prior to this, I was pretty consistent in my % of sleep (light, deep, REM) no matter how short or long the time. The thing I hate most is waking in the middle of the night and having a hard time falling back to sleep.

    P.S. I’m no expert, but I would guess that you were EXTREMELY stressed about Dale — PTSD level — and maybe not quite over that.

    P.P.S. No kidding, I just got an email at work from a Realtor client (a regular, helpful thing he sends out)… and it was all about sleep! I’m sending you the graphic by email… it’s nothing you don’t know, but sometimes it helps to see information presented in different ways.

    P.P.P.S. I hope you find something that helps. xo

  8. I used to only sleep 3, maybe 4 hours a night and once every 4 – 6 weeks I’d go comatose and sleep 12 – 14 hours if left alone to do so. The doctor put me on a few meds recently (not for sleep issues) and since then, I’m averaging 6 hours a night. It’s fantastic! I still for the life of me cannot fall asleep before 1 a.m. though.

  9. I am sleeping a lot less. Up more frequently in the night, struggles to fall asleep, and up way early. It kind of sucks.

  10. Life has been so formless. I’ve been falling asleep too late, waking up too early, and feeling zombie-ish all day.

  11. I have definitely been sleeping more since the pandemic started, partly on purpose (because I can sleep in a little due to no longer having a commute) and partly because I guess my body needs it. I think it’s probably a reaction to stress, and given that you’ve had more than your share to deal with, it probably doesn’t hurt that you’re sleeping in. I know that feeling very well of feeling like you’re missing out on the day, but I suspect you probably need the extra sleep, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

  12. I am sleeping a lot less than I need. I generally sleep only 4-6 hours a night these days. I am able to go to sleep, but I wake up quite early, like 3-4am. I am a much happier person when I get about 7 hours a night, but I don’t know what to do about it other than exercise. When I exercise, either weights and aerobics or work a lot around the house, I sleep better. I hope you find what works for you, Carole. It’s no fun to have sleep issues.

  13. When home l stayed up til 12a, 1a or 2a and would arise from 8-10a. Now that l’ve returned to work w the alarm going off at 5a and off to bed by 10p l’ve had horrible, interrupted sleeps! My hips have been bothering me too, like nerve pain so that wakes me up. I finally made my standing desk a sitdown one for p/o the day so l hope that helps. I maybe processing how relaxed co-workers and Mgt are about using face masks, lack of distancing etc

  14. Just a thought, but we did “spring forward” the clocks. That would account for one of the hours.

  15. I’m working from home and we have to keep our same hours so the alarm gets me up every morning. Most days I’m already awake. My fitbit tells me how lousy I do sleep, I tend to toss and turn. When I do wake up, I do look at the time and then check it against the fitbit info. I do sleep in on weekends but sometimes I just lay in bed because I can and just don’t want to get up till at least 7:30 or 8.

  16. What a great question, Carole and what a wealth of replies and information in the comments! Vicki’s reply rings truest. Even with the pandemic, you’d be experiencing PTSD and I can only imagine that the 8 weeks prior to that … well! I think you should give yourself at least another month or so (if you can?) to see how your body and mind heal.

    My experience from March/early April was that I wasn’t sleeping much at all. I’d stay up late to catch up on news and then I couldn’t sleep. and I get up around 5am like clockwork. every few days I’d take an afternoon nap and feel much better. I got the hang of the news thing about six weeks in but stayed up later than my norm to share my outfit on Instagram and 5 Joys (and a day of crochet!) … I wasn’t sorry to give that up in June, but the practice of sitting with the crochet and the daily joys is one that helped me sleep. I’m now kind of back to my normal schedule. Another thing that has changed for me since March is that I spend a lot more time exercising. I’m sure that’s helping me sleep, too.

    Corona dreams, though … maybe a whole other post??!!

  17. So, the sleep thing.
    For the last few years (basically once menopause hit, I’ve had trouble with sleeping. Waking at 2 or 3 am and never getting back to sleep. Some nights never even being able to fall asleep. I tried all the recommendations – limiting caffeine and alcohol, no napping, meditation, prayer, same bedtime every night, exercise every day, melatonin, etc. None of it really made much of a difference. Then, just before we went into lockdown, hubby received some not great news regarding his health. A few days later the Covid restrictions hit, and that sent me into a tailspin.
    I was getting so little sleep that I felt strung out.
    Just recently, my primary care doctor, after trying all of the above techniques and with much discussion between us, recommended a mild antidepressant, taken before bed. In the two weeks that I have been taking it, it has been lifesaver for me! Suddenly I am sleeping more soundly. If I do wake up for some reason, I am able to fall back asleep fairly easily. I wake feeling rested.
    I feel as if the fog has lifted and my whole demeanor has changed. I have more energy during the day, don’t want to nap and I feel more like my “normal” self again. I have always resisted medications, but this has been a revelation for me.
    I sincerely hope that you are able to find something that works as well for you, whatever it may be.

  18. Waking up at 2:00 seems to be a common theme among us. It’s hard to get the brain to relax and let go again for a restful sleep. I hope you find something that will help you with your sleeplessness. There are so many great suggestions in your comments!

  19. Since the only thing that has change as far as my work schedule is that I’m not going into the office. I’ve kept my normal getting up/going to bed routine. Fortunately, I don’t have trouble sleeping and I have a routine of some reading then some British TV before lights out. I think you’ll get back to where you were-just need a little time. I return to the office on July 6th, so I’m going to have to remember things like make up and pants.

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