2 AM in VA

You close your eyes; pull the covers over your body as a huge smile of accomplishment grows on your face. It’s only 9:30 PM and you swore to yourself that tonight, you’d definitely get those 8 hours of beauty sleep in. Your skin could sure use it. You inhale a deep proud breath of achievement, and close your eyes.

“But wait a minute, when was that report due for class?” You ask yourself.

“Dammit, what time was that meeting on Tuesday?” You ponder.

“I think I have an appointment with Dr. Stevenson on Thursday, wait no it was definitely Wednesday!” You continue.

“Let me just check my phone’s calendar just for a minute, I’ll only be on for a minute.” You promise yourself.

“Then off to bed I go!” 5 hours go by, and there you are, on a gossip site wondering how anyone with half a brain could believe that Kim K’s butt is real. Does that sound familiar?  I know for myself, millions of adults and teens this is a constant battle.

“What’s wrong with me?” you ask. “Am I a procrastinating weirdo?” Well maybe, but that’s a question for your mom. Statistically though, according to sleepeducation.org, you’re not so uncommon. About 30% to 35% of adults have brief symptoms of insomnia. 15 to 20% have a short-term insomnia disorder, which lasts for about three months. And 10% have chronic insomnia, which occurs at least three times a week, per week, for up to three months.  See you’re not so weird after all.

“It’s okay. I don’t need much sleep, I’ll just keep scrolling through these gossip columns, and try to find an angle that Kim K’s butt might look real.” You say? Sure you might think you’re ok with only an hour or two of sleep, but statistically, (Oh, don’t you just love statistics?) chronic insomnia can have a huge negative impact on your health. Some of the most common symptoms include fatigue, inability to focus, daytime sleepiness, low motivation, and increased error or accidents. Insomnia could also lead to health issues like heart disease, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, and much more.

Still not worried? Okay, well, sleep specialists say that sleep deprived men and women report lower libido and less interest in sex and increased tension.

Oh, I got your attention now, huh?

Truth is, we all have days where sleep does not come easy. We lay in bed and null over our insecurity, stresses, lack of achievements, and worries about the future, etc. But the fact of the matter is, we can deal with life in the morning.  Worrying yourself out of sleep won’t fix any problems, but will add plenty to them. You can try many natural techniques to improve insomnia like doing gentle yoga or meditation. Research has shown that listening to calming, soft music before bed could improve sleep quality. Other treatments include light sleep therapy or cognitive therapy. There are also sleeping aids that can easily be found over the counter. If you choose that route, be sure to check for any side affects. Whatever it takes, just make sure you put that phone down, turn off that TV and close that laptop.  No matter what you do, just make sure you get some sleep!

 

P.S.: “Don’t fight with the pillow, but lay down your head, and kick worriment out of bed.” 

-Edmund Vance Cooke

 

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