I keep waking up at 4:48 AM. Sometimes a few minutes earlier or later. I hate it. But I know I’m not alone. I’ve talked with a handful of breast cancer bloggers this week and discovered we all use blogging as a great way to deal with being awake at night.
Sometimes I can clearly identify what is keeping me awake: a doctor’s appointment or test on the horizon. Sometimes even good events: my excitement a few weeks ago about being interviewed as a young cancer patient on Fresh Air with Terry Gross (she is my #1 role model/heroine.) But, often I’m just up for reasons I can’t figure out and I don’t particularly feel like scavenging the back of my mind to find the answer.
When I’m up, I get out of bed, go to my laptop, and work. Lately it’s the only thing that distracts me – even when I lay in bed reading, my anxious thoughts take over the words on the page. But, there must be a more peaceful middle ground in the hush of my night between tossing and turning and slamming into work mode.
People with weakened immune systems seem to need sleep the most, but the very nature of us being sick is often what grates on our minds keeping us awake. A recently published article in the Archives of Internal Medical shows that people getting fewer than seven hours of less have less resistance to cold viruses than people getting eight hours or more.
One thing that I know helps me is I never describe my being awake as insomnia. (Though I can see how for people with a serious sleep disorder it is a useful term that helps you get appropriate treatment.)
Do you ever have a hard time sleeping? Is it better or worse at certain times? What do you do when you are awake at night? How does it affect your life?