fragmented sleep, fragmented life

Usually, I fall asleep quick. Sometimes a minute or two, sometimes it takes up to fifteen minutes, but it never feels like very long fifteen minutes. I’ll go out like a light, most nights.

And I dream, and then I wake up. Usually a stressful dream. I’ll need to catch my breath, calm down a bit. I’ll check the time and maybe twenty minutes have passed since I went to sleep.

The cycle repeats itself several times per night — until I get a few hours of non-clock time. I don’t feel I obsess about the clock, I just want to know if I should stay in bed, or maybe get up and have some tea. Does it — timewise — make sense to try and get some more sleep? Most of the time it does. So I stay in bed, eyes closed, unsure of how much sleep I get in that time.

My fitbit tracks some of this info, and only rarely does it catch my ‘awoken’ moments. I think it has something to do with not staying awake for very long. I’ll wake up and fall back asleep quickly. This may seem like something unimportant and not of much influence. But it does matter to me, and it influences me greatly. Those moments — brief and rude — rip me out of my dream, out of my sleep. They break into that important time where my brain might finally get some rest.

I don’t have this every night, most nights. Some nights worse than others. The amount of times seem to correlate to the number of sleep-attacks I then get during the day. The more I wake up during the night, the more times I zone out during the day and don’t know what I did.

Even on a good day I have several attacks of extra-sleepiness. I feel drowsy all day to begin with, and these attacks can come on so violently, so surprisingly. They rip bits and pieces out of the waking hours of my day. They destroy all possibility of seeing something through, of finishing whatever I started that day. I could try and plan around these attacks, and I did try. But when it comes down to it, I can’t really plan around it. I need all my energy and my fighting just to get through the day and do the bare necessities, like eating, walking the dog, buying groceries, personal hygiene. And just for the record, I don’t wear make-up and I don’t even brush my hair daily.

I fill the rest of my time with staring at the wall — or at least, I think I do, I usually have no or little memory of roughly 2 to 3 hours of my day. In between I’ll chat with some friends online — because how else do I keep up my social contacts? — and maybe do laundry or clear out the dishwasher.

My brain has reduced my life to bits and pieces, to a shell of its former self. It all sounds rather depressing. Good thing I don’t have the energy left to feel depressed about it.