I've never had the healthiest relationship with sleep.
My childhood memories are filled with tossing and turning. One summer night as a ten year old when I vacated my room and tried to build a hammock in front of the fan.
The other half of that, of course, is falling asleep at inappropriate times. One day in high school, I managed to fall asleep in every single one of my classes—including gym. I even fell asleep while resting on a ledge in the cafeteria.
My insomnia hasn't gone away as I've gotten older, either. Through college, I averaged four hours of sleep a night—when I slept at all. When I got married, my sleep schedule was at the mercy of my work schedule. And when I had a 4:30am alarm on Thursdays and Fridays and a 9:00am alarm every other day, my sleep schedule suffered.
But nowhere was it worse than when I worked third shift. We bought blackout curtains for our skylights. I loaded up on Melatonin and fought the part of my brain that told me that I should be awake. Then, on the weekends, I had to skip my regular sleep time for my other job at the church.
It didn't take me long to quit. But my sleep schedule, though more regular, is still an uncontrollable beast.
Regardless of what time I go to bed, my eyelids flutter awake around 7:30. I stay in bed for a couple hours scrolling through Facebook and Reddit. When my dog gets restless enough, he'll bark at us until we take him outside, usually around 9:30 or 10:00.
But falling asleep is the more unreliable part. My wife and I generally get into bed around midnight and one. Sometimes, I fall right asleep. Other nights, I toss and turn well past three, fighting with my pillows and sheets for a comfortable position, or I can't keep myself from my phone.
I sometimes wish that I had some sort of actual condition keeping me from sleep that I could get a treatment for. But unfortunately, they don't make a CPAP mask for "wants to watch one more episode of The Office."
And of course, it's only exacerbated by Daylight Savings Time. What little management I had of my sleep schedule has now found me an hour late for everything. I can't waste as much time before getting my day going, because when I wake up, my clients are already email me asking me for updates to my projects.
But the fact is, I know what's at the heart of the problem: it's me.
If I really wanted to sleep better, I would set my phone where I can't reach it in an insomniac stupor. I would set an earlier morning routine, and get myself out of bed without hours of scouring the internet for the spiciest memes.
As it stands now, though, my lethargy hasn't interfered with my life enough to reach the point where I need to make some drastic changes.
But the day is coming.