I don’t sleep well. I never have. As a child there were a few things that would consistently wake me up every single night. My parents witching hour fights were enough to wake the dead, nevermind the whole household. They would not argue infront of us. Nope. They would wait for us to be tucked away in our beds and then they’d hurl their fusterations at each other. Yup. I’m awake.
The neighbors had 5 hunting dogs that they kept eternally chained up in their back yard. These dogs howled on the top of their lungs every time a leaf fell. A chorus of 5 hound dogs barking at full blast just isn’t something one can sleep through.
My older brother had this weird habit of setting up his alarm clock to go off hours before he needed to get up. It’d screech and he would hit the snooze button. Again. And again. And again.
For years I walked around with dark circles under my eyes. I went to bed late. I was woken up a dozen times in the middle of the night. Then I’d have to get up early. Rinse. Repeat.
My mom took pity on me and gave me something to help. To this day I still use the white noise machine she gave me. It’s constant static noise reminds me of some one quietly vacuuming. It drones out all other noise. So now when I fall asleep, I can stay asleep.
So one problem was solved, but I was still an insomniac and the mere act of drifting off to the land of nod was harder for me than acing final exams.
When I was old enough to purchase my own pharmaceuticals, I turned to benadryl, melatonin, ambien, sleepy time tea, tylenol pm, anything and everything to try and catch a few winks.
Now I’m an adult. I have my sleep ritual and can sleep if I prepare myself. The room must be dark. My quilt must be thick. I need 5 – 6 pillows. I can’t turn the lights out til my eye lids are droopy. The white noise machine has got to be set on high. I think you get the point.
Now I have become aware of a major thing. Sleep hygeine is indeed an actual thing. Proper sleep hygeine and good habits tie closely in to mental health. Now I realize how important a proper night’s rest is to your mental health.
So even though my baby is now 11 years old, it’s all about bedtime in my house.