Insomnia can lead to a whole host of issues, affecting your quality of life. But with a paradigm shift, it doesn’t have to.
Insomnia is a lifelong battle for many. Depending on the stresses in your life and overall health, it may come and go. For some of us, we have to deal with chronic insomnia that is relentless. You read all the time about how sleep affects your health, mood, and every other thing that matters to you.
If You Have Insomnia You Likely Already Tried:
· The sleep tests, every one of them
· Changed beds or tried a feather bed top, memory foam etc
· Used Nyquil, Ambien along with a whole other host of meds
· Tried essential oils, baths before bed etc
· Waking up early hoping to fall asleep early
· Not eating late
· Hitting the gym at night to tire yourself out
· Sex near bedtime
· No phones, no lights, dark room
· Ambient noises like fans, sounds of rain etc
There is about 100 other tips and tricks, and they work for some, but none of them work for many too. I have been stuck in the none of them work group since I was 9 years old. That was around the time my brain just lit up and I could never turn it off at night. That is how it is still today.
The Good Things About Insomnia If You Embrace Them
· You find yourself with more time than others and time is the most valuable thing to us. I do a lot of my writing at 1–2am (like this article, while listening to something like Eric Prydz) so while everyone else is sleeping, I can put in mad work. For those that get very tired at night, this isn’t an option.
· While you’re trying to read yourself to sleep, and it doesn’t work, you end up reading a lot more, way more than avid readers. There have been nights where I have read a whole book! If you’re reading 4–5 books a month, imagine the knowledge you gain over a year!
· If you deal with it long enough, you’re pretty much operational 24 hours a day. So when you have kids and the baby wants to be fed at 1am, well guess who is used to doing stuff at 1am! Want to go to that yoga or Soul Cycle class at 6am? Sweet, I am already awake, let’s go! It just a matter of accepting your issue and conditioning yourself to make the most of it.
Managing The Bad Things About Insomnia
· If you work for yourself it is much easier to manage your schedule. When you work for others, you may not find much quarter from your boss if you tell them about your insomnia issues. You must be aware of the times of day of when you are in the zone. Normal people get sleepy around 3pm and slack, but you may be fully energized. Understand your daily rhythms and get as much work done as you can during the good times.
· I rarely ever say good morning to people because its rarely ever a good morning. I am tired and trying to get a grip on my hectic day while having my head in the clouds from the lack of sleep some days. That crankiness is going to hold you back in both your personal and professional lives. Never leave the house without a shower, try going for a jog, lift weights or do some yoga before you get to the office. DO SOMETHING to change your attitude before you step into work.
· To go with the bullet above, don’t walk in the house after work even more cranky, this will put a strain on your relationships quick. This is all about acknowledging your issue and just dealing with it, don’t make it other people’s problems.
· Sleep affects your health greatly. Knowing you’re already at a disadvantage, you don’t get much room for error when it comes to diet and exercise. If you feel like crap from not sleeping, that can of Coke and slice of cheesecake will only compound the issue.
· Managing stress is a lot of people’s problem. Take it out on the gym or end your day doing or thinking about things that makes you happy. If you go to sleep stressing about money, bills, a school exam the next day or whatever it is, you’re never going to go to sleep. Think about the good things in life. Even those in a bad spot in life still have some happy things to think about.
After 20+ years of dealing with building startups + no sleep I have learned to turn this disadvantage into an advantage for the most part. Maintaining a high quality of life while dealing with insomnia is possible. You just have to play the game right.
Do try to sleep as much as you can, eat healthy, acknowledge your problem and don’t burden others with it. Once you do all that, you will make a few strides forward down the path of living a better life.