Sleep? Who needs it, anyway?


Are you getting enough?

Because I’m certainly not.

The NHS recommends the average person should have around 8 hours of sleep each night, with some people needing more and others a little less. I’ve always been in the ‘less’ category, just like my dad.

Even as a child, I never needed much sleep and it hasn’t improved with age either.

On average, I get about 5 or 6 hours sleep a night. Which leaves me with headaches, pain in or around my eyes, stomach tension and, as if I’m not a grumpy cow already, severe irritability.

How, if at all, does lack of sleep affect you?

Last week I worked a full 5-day week for the first time in a while and I know it was because I was staying with my boyfriend, going to bed early and sleeping through the night. Whereas in the house I’m renting I have one housemate who works until 11pm, comes home and has sex, showers, cooks – all until 2 or 3am. Last night was no exception. I also have a neighbour who is constantly shouting, watching tv loudly or, also, having sex until 1, 2 or even 3am as well.

It’s infuriating. I understand that we have different time schedules but it doesn’t excuse ignorance. I’ve already asked my neighbour twice to keep his noise down after 11pm because he keeps me awake.

Last night the noise continued until 4am, despite me banging on the wall and knocking on the door for them to keep it down. Of course, they weren’t interested.

I had the day off work yesterday because I wasn’t well, but not being able to sleep only increased the level of pain I’ve been in today, meaning I called in sick again, given me a shocking headache and made me really, really grumpy. I’m not happy with my situation at the moment. It’s heightening my anxiety, depression and general unhappiness.

“Why don’t you try yoga?”

“Why don’t you go for a run?”

“Why don’t you…?”

I know, I know. I’ve heard it all before.

Just because I’m not plastering it all over Instagram it doesn’t mean I don’t actually try these things. I’ve tried yoga. I’m just not very good at it. I try and meditate every evening. Even during the day sometimes. I have these breathing exercises that I follow. I can’t run because I have weak knees, but I work out at home most days. Even if it’s just 15 minutes. I walk as much as I can. I try. I’m just not a super fit-instagram-vegan model that gets everything right.

So, how can I sleep better?

I have noise cancelling headphones, but they really work. AND they are huge, which makes sleeping with them on very uncomfortable.

Using ear plugs or in-ear headphones gives me ear aches.

I have lavender oils, chamomile tea, sleep tea… none of it really helps. At least my room smells lovely though.

I have piano music, ocean sounds, white noise… it’s lovely, but it’s not helpful when I’m trying to sleep.

So, what the hell is wrong with me?!

Are any of you struggling to sleep? If yes, what do you do that helps? Let me know!

2 thoughts on “Sleep? Who needs it, anyway?

Add yours

  1. It’s awful not getting enough sleep. When my kids were little they were terrible sleepers and I just felt like death all the time. I hope you manage to find something that helps. No practical advice I’m afraid but lots of sympathy.

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