Divergent Thinking in Resolving Sleep Issues

using divergent thinking to resolve sleep issues

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”

Thomas Edison

Today, I was feeling more frustrated and irritated than usual when during a workshop, I was hit with a sudden crash of energy. I was already feeling tired from the beginning, and tried to liven up. I engaged in chat, turned off my video while hula hooping as I listened in the background, stayed hydrated, consumed both breakfast and lunch, and still I was exhausted. Not just mentally, but physically as well. I could feel myself falling into a sleepy state more than halfway through, and I ended up missing part of the end. (Luckily, we have the recordings to access afterwards, but it still didn’t feel great that I had trouble staying up for the whole event.)

Last night, I fell asleep late. But, I also did get around 8 hours of sleep. Now, I do not know if my body requires more sleep or what (I wasn’t always like this). But, I also know that my body tends to fall asleep at the most inconvenient times. If I turn off the lights early and throw on a sleep mask, I will literally be lying down for the next couple of hours awake, mostly tossing and turning to “get more comfortable”. Yet, I will sometimes randomly experience a dip in energy midday and could easily fall asleep in 5 minutes or less. Soooo… I know it’s possible to fall asleep. And often, I don’t take naps during the day at all. Though, I also started trying to wake up at the same time each day. Not super successfully, as in not immediately getting up upon hearing my alarm. But, much earlier than without an alarm, that’s for sure. Maybe it will take a few weeks to adjust. In the meantime, I set up a sleep log for the month of November.

Other than that, I’ve been thinking of ways to improve or balance my energy levels throughout the day. I already eat at reasonable times (upon waking, and my last meal is typically before 7PM). I drink plenty of water. I typically go for walks throughout the week, or even the gym. I get sunlight (and I even supplemented with vitamin D at one point, so my levels are pretty good right now). I’ve gotten my blood panel results checked (and it’s all good). I experience little to no stress from day to day. I socialize. I have several interests and hobbies. I eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Soooo, I feel like I’m doing everything right!

But you know, Edison does make a point. Even though I think I may have exhausted all the options, I haven’t. This is just what I’ve come up with as ways to problem-solve, and some advice I’ve found online. But, there’s probably a whole list of ideas that I haven’t tried.

One that I’ve been holding off on (even though I set it as a quarterly goal) is to do food allergy testing. I’ve never done this before. I actually wanted to do this to see if my skin is reacting to certain foods. But, now I’m thinking it would be good to see how those foods may be affecting my energy levels as well. I don’t know why I didn’t connect the dots earlier (or maybe I did connect the dots, but I didn’t realize how important this was).

So, that’s the next step! I found a place in my area that seems to accept my insurance. I don’t know if they’re open tomorrow, but I just noted it right now in my planner to try calling them tomorrow morning before the workshop.

I was also wondering if possibly, losing weight may be contributing to my tiredness. I haven’t purposely been trying to lose weight more recently. It kind of naturally starting occurring after ceasing certain treatments. My weight has never fluctuated more than 10 lbs in the span of even a year (prior to treatments), and so I don’t know what that experience is like on a physiological level. If this is a possibility, then maybe the tiredness might persist for another year or so until my weight is at a stable level again. It seems that other people had experienced this before, so I’m wondering if my body is just kind of adjusting to that.

Other possibilities that I haven’t explored quite yet? Hmmm… Sleeping whenever at night, waking up at a set time, and then taking a scheduled nap midday. I haven’t tried that yet. Usually, I just go day-by-day and only nap if I’m feeling like absolute crap. And usually, I’m opposed to naps altogether, as I’d ideally like to get sleep for a reasonable amount of time at night. But, it does seem odd and somewhat interesting to me that I could get a solid amount of sleep the night before, and still somehow run out of fuel by noon. They talk a bit about sleep consolidation in CBT-I, how it is like going to a buffet with an empty stomach (no naps during the day) vs. snacking right before or throughout the day. So if that’s true, why do I get so sleepy in the day after a night of rest? Why is my sleep cycle so off? Seems odd to me…

I’m actually feeling a bit tired right now and think I could fall asleep in less than 30 minutes. But, I’m gonna go through with my night routine and stay up a bit longer, as this book I’m reading on CBT-I suggests. I’m purposely going to avoid checking Discord (set my phone to airplane mode). And, probably color or read. Maybe organize. But definitely, lights off by midnight. They did mention in the book that the adjustment period might take a few weeks, but honestly, I forgot how I had resisted sleepiness in the past, when I would have to get ready for school so early in the morning.

Admittedly, I haven’t been following all the methods of CBT-I to the tee. For example, I started lying in bed before going to sleep. Though, that was because I had fell on my back earlier in the week, and it was quite difficult sitting still on a chair with no real back support. My back is a bit better today, so I’m definitely going to try sitting up again and out of bed until lights are out.

I mean, I don’t really have much of an option here. Either I surrender to the chaos of my body’s internal sleep signals and cycles, or I find a way to get it to work for me. Honestly, the only reason I’m addressing this is because it’s getting in the way of my flow of creativity. I get so tired that it’s hard to focus on executing some of my visions. So, I’ll continue thinking outside the box and trying new ideas to solve my energy and sleep issues until I see the sunrise. 🌅

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