Why does sleepiness elude me?
November 20, 2011 4:39 AM Subscribe
As I head into the darkness of winter in Northern England, I'm starting to notice the same pattern I suffered from last year...sleeping even less than I normally do (4-6 hours instead of 6-7). I'm not even sleepy or remotely tired until 2, 3, sometimes even 4 am, when I force myself to fall asleep. I wake up at 8 or 9 (sometimes earlier). What could be happening here, physiologically or otherwise? If it's related to the lack of sun/light, how does that even work?
For the last 15 years or so, I've been both a night person and a morning person. I generally am under a lot of stress, but haven't been as much for the last 6 months. The anxiety I suffered horribly from in my 20s is gone (in my 30s now). I'm a positive, energetic and creative person, pretty much all the time. I exercise regularly, in the morning. I eat breakfast daily, and do not eat gluten. I limit my caffeine and sugar intake as much as possible – only 1 cup of caffeine in the morning, if that. Sugar-free desserts or sugar-free sweeteners...I don't have much of a sweet tooth anyway. I seem to be immune to sleeping aids of all sorts, which just make me wired and give me weird body ache pains like my limbs are filled with shifting sand. I think I should also add that I rarely get sad or depressed and tend to only ever cry over extremely frustrating things, like math or social injustice. Oh, I take multi-vitamins and Vitamin D.
In the past, I've been thrilled to have so much extra time, especially at night when I can explore the internet, learn things, or be creative and have endless me-time. Lately though, it's annoying. I look tired and people comment on it frequently. If I stay over at people's homes or have guests, I'm laying awake for hours just thinking when I could be sleeping (truth is, I enjoy thinking more than I enjoy sleeping...except when I'm crazy tired, which I only very rarely seem to get). Also, when I wake up (usually because I have to pee) I am AWAKE, done sleeping, usually wildly hungry and energetic. The thought of trying to sleep more seems ridiculous and impossible.
I'm wondering if there's a type of mania or that is the up-type, all the time? If so, I've probably had it for as long as I can remember. Is that possible, or what else could be going on here? How do I get back to a socially acceptable routine, with perhaps a lower baseline energy and mood? Especially as my awakeness and energy levels seem to increase with the waning daylight hours. I would LOVE to be the type of person that starts getting sleepy around 10, falls asleep by 11, and wakes up at 6. Can I possibly get there?