I was a die-hard night owl. I mean a real bonafide night owl. Exhausted most of the day (usually due to a really poor night’s sleep) and zing! when I should be slowing down for the day, I’d suddenly come to life!
Rinse and repeat.
Deciding to come of amitriptyline was a very difficult decision for me. Sleep had alluded me my entire life and now I was on a miracle medicine which meant I slept.
Why on earth come off it?
I have asked myself that many times…especially since sleep is still not my forte.
However, taking away the chemical aid has allowed me to investigate the reason for not sleeping, and I think…drum roll please…the reason is my circadian rhythms don’t know whether they are coming or going.
Through my sleep app I know my stages of sleep are fairly abnormal and don’t cycle through the stages in a regular uniform way.
I’ve also noticed that over the years I have been tired when I should have been alert and alert when I should have been tired.
Over the past few months, I have been focusing on getting some semblance of a normal circadian rhythm in my day. Hence the early morning walks, ensuring I get both light and exercise. And the blue light emitting lamp I bathe in each morning for thirty minutes.
I could go on…
But I won’t.
What I will say is that since attempting to force my body into a normal rhythm, I am noticing some interesting changes and realities.
I am very definitely a morning lark now.
I wake, naturally, with the sun, sometime between four and five. I am almost always out of bed by five, even at the weekends.
This has had some interesting repercussions.
For starters, instead of bleary eyed and grunting my way through the morning with a constant supply of fresh coffee being pumped into my veins, I am at my most productive!
Not me, that’s for sure!
I now eat breakfast at, y’know, breakfast time. I don’t try, I have to, because I’m so hungry.
This means I eat lunch.
Going to the gym at 4pm, three times a week, has showed me a significant drop in performance if I skip lunch.
Intellectually I’ve always known these things to be so, but in actuality? as they have applied to my own life? my own situation? Not so much.
Because I eat three times a day, snacking is rarely needed and I’ve noticed that when I do snack it is often associated with hormonal surges. In general, night-time snacking simply isn’t needed anymore, because I am eating all my calories during the day.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that afternoons are my least productive times. It’s not so much that I’m tired, I’m just not as naturally energetic, especially physically.
So I’m learning to schedule independent school in the afternoon, whilst I take it easier, focusing on simple mundane tasks which don’t require much out of me.
Interestingly, this has led to me taking up art again.
I love anything creative and always have some project or another on the go. I’ve just learnt how to draw digitally using Procreate, which has been amazing and has allowed me to create my own drawings for my Mesopotamian Curriculum I am creating at the moment.
However, I’d love to teach myself how to paint in watercolour. I love how watercolour looks and I’d love to learn how to create cute characters based on my children for the fiction element of the curriculum.
And what better time to do this than each afternoon?
Having made the decision to make afternoons a little easier for me I am looking forward to the small habits I may be able to introduce to make this time even more special and productive but in a slower more meaningful way. Perhaps I shall do some habit stacking?
I feel like my whole life has opened up in the last year. Even though I am still homeschooling full-time and have many needy young adults all requiring time and attention, I have managed to carve out a small amount of time to look after myself and my needs…
Yuck, even to my ears that sounds a little selfish!
And yet, I think I am maybe a better mother, wife and friend because of it.