Tiredness has a lot to answer for I reckon. Without us even realising it. Living in a state of general tiredness makes everything harder.
And this isn’t “I’ve-only-had-2-hours-sleep-for-four-days” tiredness. This is “I’ve-been-sleeping-badly-for-ten-years” tiredness. The slow burning, long build-up tiredness that we don’t even realise is there.
When I was boozing (most of my adult life) I slept like crap. Always. I used to call it ‘alcohol insomnia’. I often woke at around 3am with a bursting bladder, sick guts, and pounding head … and in the last few years of my drinking add to that list of woes an overwhelming feeling of guilt and misery.
Even on the nights I did manage to sleep through it wasn’t good quality sleep because alcohol messes with your sleep patterns, like majorly. Read this article if you want all the science-y stuff about why that is. It’ll shock you.
Now I’m sober – well I sleep great! I sleep the blissful sleep of a sober person every night pretty much. Regularly I wake up and am like ‘Whoa! Another eight hours just like that!’
I’m sure this tiredness is a big part of why we feel so awful when we are locked into a boozy lifestyle. Regularly newly sober people in the Members Feed here at Living Sober (our lovely community area) are complaining of feeling soooooo tired when they first take the alcohol away – and I’m pretty sure that’s because their body is catching up!! And in their non-boozed state they really start to realise how tired they’ve been. After a good few weeks of not drinking they start to catch up on sleep and slowly feel so much better for it.
That’s why a big part of the early stages of sobriety is just getting through. ‘Hang on’ we say to newbies… ‘Hang on, you’ll find all this stuff easier to deal with when you’re better rested’. It takes a long time to properly catch up on long-term sleep deprivation.
I think it’s WAY easier to deal with difficult stuff when we’re not so tired. EVERYTHING is easier to manage when we’re well rested. Arianna Huffington – founder of the Huffington Post website and general all-round awesome woman – calls herself a ‘sleep evangelist’ and advocates for all of her employees to be better rested. She says “There’s practically no aspect of life that’s not improved by sleep and, accordingly, diminished by lack of sleep”. You can read more by her on this topic here and here.
It’s really obvious to me now that when I’m tired my mood is affected. When I’m tired I am far more likely to fall into negative thought patterns. When I’m tired I can get very ‘woe is me’. Often I forget to equate that to my tiredness.
I’ve been a bit like that this past week. A low-level malaise was creeping over my thoughts. Nothing earth-shattering but it was there. I wasn’t my most light and joyous self.
For the past three nights in a row I have slept like a dead person. 8 1/2 – 9 hours each night. I’ve been eating sleep. Obviously my body has needed it. I’ve hardly been able to keep my eyes open in front on the tele!
And today I am starting to feel well rested again and more cheery.
Like I said, tiredness has a lot to answer for.
Love, Mrs D xxx
A quick note: If you are new here at Living Sober make sure you go take a look inside our Community Area. You need to register to get in there but it’s very easy, free, and you can be anonymous! Just input your email address, choose a username and join. You’ll then get an email with a link to click on to confirm your account and then you’re in! (If you don’t receive the confirmation email check your spam folder). It’s worth registering as a member because inside the Community Area is where all of the real-time interactions are going on. It’s a very special, kind and non-judgemental space. Hope to see you there!