This past weekend was daylight savings time. Or the end of daylight savings time. I don’t really know, the whole thing kind of confuses me as it is a product of a bygone era, but the important point is that this past weekend clocks fell back an hour meaning that the world, in theory, should have gotten an extra hour of sleep. Unless depression or anxiety give you bouts of insomnia, then it was just another hour to sit and stare at the walls or the tv or whatever else you try distracting yourself with when sleep won’t come. And instead you are left asking, oh where did my sleep go?
As a starting point, I want to acknowledge that part of my horrible sleep schedule is my own fault. My demons have me so used to insomnia that sometimes I make poor decisions with regards to sleep, an effort to preemptively tire myself out before my head hits the pillow. Because the worst is when you just find yourself sitting in bed while anxiety churns your mind into a frenzy even if your body is tired. Or else depression has you somehow more tired than you’ve ever been but still unable to sleep for some odd reason that can be explained by the many contradictions of depression and other mental illnesses.
I don’t know where my sleep goes when it doesn’t come to me at night. I would like to imagine that it is off having some fantastical adventure, some good reason for not giving me the rest I need. Because the feeling of lying in bed and staring at the wall, even when you’ve made every right decision when it comes to your sleep schedule, is frustrating as hell. And sometimes all one can do is imagine where you sleep is instead of in bed with you.
Yet like all the other symptoms of depression, being aware of how your body handles sleep (or insomnia) is an important first step towards managing it. While I still have some nights that I struggle with insomnia, I am fortunate that between therapy, medication, and changes in lifestyle, I am thankfully sleeping better. Usually.
Except for when daylight savings time starts. Or ends. Or whatever the hell happened Sunday.