Sleep Pattern Erratic, Need a Nap during a “short day”

I finish up my day around 12 AM or 1 AM, surfing the net, checking email, or completing other projects. Every night, I try to go to bed by 2 AM.

Most of the time, however, I don’t actually “fall asleep” until 4 AM or 5 AM, which makes for a poor night’s sleep. Between 2 AM and when I fall a sleep I roll around in bed, feel uncomfortable, and my mind runs in many different directions. I also act very impulsive, getting up to go to the bathroom a few times, check my email, or get a drink of water. My body experiences “hypnic jerk”, or sudden minor muscular spasms as I try to sleep. I also find that I feel itchy and my legs throb a bit. Strangely, these sensations only occur during this part of the day, when I’m trying to fall asleep at the “right time”. On the other hand, if I nap during the day, I have no trouble falling asleep whatsoever.

Once I do sleep, my alarm sounds at 11 AM, and I usually turn it off and return to bed. At this point in the morning, I recall very intense dream sequences and don’t feel rested at all.

As a result, I’m too tired to get my day started and don’t actually “get up” for the day until 2 PM.

Once physically out of bed, I go into the TV area and force myself through a routine of sit-ups and push-ups. For most people, this routine would take 15 minutes. For me, however, it takes 3 times as long, because I spend the first 30 minutes staring blankly at the floor, or out the window. I feel like I don’t have the ability to “get up and go” like others do.

After this brief exercise, I shower, and eat a late 3 PM “breakfast”. At this point, I actually start being productive: I go out and run errands, or sit down at my computer and do work.

I generally work for about 3-4 hours, at which point I begin to feel very depressed, tired, and void of any motivation whatsoever.

I end up taking a nap between 6:30 PM and 8 PM, and wake up slightly refreshed in time to cook myself dinner and watch the news. Generally I get a little boost after eating, and spend the subsequent hours watching TV or working some more at my computer.

At about 1 AM I begin to wrap up my day and repeat the same cycle all over again.

The problem is, my days end up being very short and mostly spent sleeping in bed, or attempting to sleep. When I do sleep, it’s all vivid dreaming, which doesn’t rest my mind – quite the opposite – it tires me out even more.

All told, my productive time is 3 PM to 7 PM, then 9 PM to 1 AM, unless I really force myself out of bed in the late morning.

I’ve read that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which interupts sleep patterns and other restful states of the mind. Instead of enjoying various stages of sleep, such as REM sleep, deep sleep, and recuperative sleep; I just experience REM sleep. Although dreaming can be pleasant, it ultimately leaves me exhausted, unfocused, and lethargic.

I’ve tried to think of ways to get a “normal” sleeping pattern back. One idea is to just get up no matter what at 11 AM when my alarm sounds, and ignore the sleepiness that normally sends me back to bed. If I can get myself up and around at 11 AM, I will add another 3-4 hours to my waking day, thus interupting the pattern of sleeping after my alarm sounds. This change would also interupt any REM sleep between 11 and 2 that completely drains my mind of energy.

Another idea is to move my bedtime back to 12 AM instead of 2 AM. Instead of sleeping between 5 and 11, I would sleep between 3 and 9, giving me another 2-3 hours of productivity on the front end of my day.

My thought is that I the best solution is probably a combination of both of these ideas, but not both together at once. Perhaps going to bed earlier is a good place to start. Then, if I wake up early or at my normal time, I have at least allowed myself a fighting chance at a longer day.

I need to get back on track gradually, and undo whatever habits have caused my erratic sleeping pattern.

When I finally do return to some sleeping normalcy, I think my mind and body will feel better and more rested during the daytime. This feeling, in turn, would probably make me feel more positive about myself and my day, so that I don’t feel as if I sleep away my life.

The end result: more productivity, which all people, especially BPDs, need!

Easily bored, no energy, no motivation to do anything

Lately I’ve been very easily bored. I think this is a symptom of depression. At the same time, I have no motivation or interest to do anything to occupy my time.

The feeling of boredom is at its worse when I’m using my computer. As I’ve written in other posts, I make a living marketing websites. I create websites from scratch, and then join affiliate marketing programs that resell products or services. Money is made when a customer visits my website, clicks on a banner, and then makes a purchase at the participating merchant.

Part of my daily routine is checking to see if I’ve made money at any of the merchants, since the stats update every 24 hours. After logging into my email and taking care of all important correspondence, I surf through the various affiliate programs checking my earnings.

I get a little rush if I see that I’ve had an increase in earnings in a given week, or if I see that I’ve been able to garner a higher number of ad impressions or user clicks.

The problem is, this routine of checking my earnings takes all of 15 minutes. After that, I don’t know what to do with myself, because there is nothing else for me to do that gives me such positive rush like checking weekly earning reports.

As a result, unless I can get motivated to work on maintaining my websites, or writing scripts for my servers, I simply stare at the computer screen blankly and do absolutely nothing.

It’s as if the only thing I had to look forward to for the day was 15 minutes of checking income figures.

Sometimes I have projects to do and kill the rest of my day taking care of these tasks, but days that are not structured generally find me bored to teers, but listless at the same time.

If I was more extroverted and energetic, I’d get myself out to the gym (like I used to do) or out of my apartment to the local mall to browse stores.

Instead, I simply take 1-2 hour naps to pass time, eat recreationally, and watch mindless TV.

If I could find a pill that would give me a boost of energy I would take it in a heart beat.

The worst part is, when I retire for the day and head to bed, suddenly my mind seems to “wake up” and is full of running thoughts.

This makes it near impossible to get to sleep. I find that if I can’t get to bed by 4 AM, I have to take a Klonopin to quiet my mind. A small dosage will usually help me off to sleep, but when I wake up the next day, I’m usually tired and lethargic.

I need to find ways to get my energy and positive emotion gears turning. Most importantly, I need to find ways to create a day for myself that provides lots of different things to look forward to, so that I simply don’t sleep my day away out of boredom and depression.

I HATE having Type 1 Diabetes

Did I ever mention how much I hate, how much I loathe, how much I despise having Type 1 Diabetes?

For those who don’t know there are two types of Diabetes Mellitus: Type 1 Juvenile-Onset and Type 2 Adult-Onset. Type 1 is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin. I treat my diabetes with a pump. Others take insulin shots throughout the day. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin. People with Type 2 must follow a careful diet and take oral medicine to help regulate blood sugar levels. No shots are required unless your control deteriorates.

No matter what type you have, IT SUCKS. Diabetes adds tremendous unwanted stress to my day.

Some examples:

1). I have a 1:30 meeting. My blood sugar is 260, running high. That means I’ll need insulin to lower it below 150. My body needs 30 minutes to absorb and process a shot. Unfortunately, my meeting starts before then. Now I have 3 choices: I can be rude and bring food to the meeting, be late or eat afterwards. The tricky part is ensuring I don’t have a low during the meeting if I miss my meal. All I want is eat and go, just like anyone else. Lunchtime becomes a science experiment and needlessly stressful.

2) I decide to relax behind the TV after a long day. I was distracted while taking my dinnertime shot and realize I’ve overdosed on insulin. A sudden low is coming on. When this happens, I feel shaky, dizzy, see stars and look drunk. Psychologically, I feel irritated and absent to my surroundings. My shitty day just got worse. Untreated lows can be life threatening. Yet again, diabetes ruins my relaxation time.

3) My friend and I plan to walk for an hour, then find a Cafe for a meal. 20 minutes into our walk, we bump into coworkers, who invite us to hike through the park. My friend says I should be spontaneous and join them. Unfortunately, I can’t be spontaneous when it comes to unplanned exercise. I already took insulin thinking I would be eating at a cafe, not hiking up a park hill. If I go anyway, I risk an insulin reaction caused by the sudden exercise. Now I must delay all my friends while I eat or refuse to participate entirely. A normal person could happily change their plans, but my diabetes creates a socially awkward moment and unwanted attention.

Diabetes also embarrasses me in the bedroom.

Attractive Girl: What’s that weird bandage near your stomach?

Me: It’s my infusion set… it is a device used to put insulin in my body because I’m diabetic.

Attractive Girl: My grandpa has diabetes, but he doesn’t have that.

Me: Your grandpa probably has Type 2 diabetes. I have Type 1, which requires me to regulate insulin manually.

Attractive Girl: Why don’t you take shots?

Me: That’s why I use the pump. It gives me a constant flow of insulin throughout the day. I can take additional insulin with meals.

( INTIMATE MOMENT RUINED BY SCIENCE LESSON! )

I almost never have a girl in my apartment. When I do, I want it to be special. Inevitably, we must have the “diabetes talk”.

Type 1 diabetes also affects sexual performance. If my blood sugar is too low or too high, I can’t climax. In some cases, I’ve had to stop having sex because I’m going low. I wind up running to the refrigerator for some Gatorade. It would be comical if it wasn’t so sad. Yet again, Diabetes ruins a pleasurable moment.

The regimented lifestyle, constant blood sugar tests and careful diet create constant stress and anxiety.

If I was stranded in the woods without insulin, I would be comatose within 7 days; probably dead within 15. If I happened to be rescued on day 12, the extended period of hyperglycemia could result in permanent disabilities.

What do I want others to say? Every medical and psychological professional tells me the same thing: “You can howl at the moon, but your diabetes is not going to disappear”. I HATE THIS RESPONSE. Tell me something I don’t know!

Yes, I can live normally under certain conditions. I need access to medical care, insulin and pump supplies. I need to eat whenever. I need some semblance of a daily routine. If in a social situation, I might have to dictate plans instead of going with the flow.

Most of all, understand neither poor behavior nor bad habits caused this disease: I got it by SHIT LUCK.

Remember, my pancreas is part DEAD and yours isn’t. That makes all the difference in the world.

Updated for clarity July 30, 2015.