Why Am I Always Tired?

I used to be an insomniac. Maybe not by the official definition, but I always had a hard time falling asleep. I’d be up until 3am some nights, just unable to actually go off to slumberland. At the time, I understood why I was tired. I didn’t sleep. Duh.

But I’ve gotten over that stage of my life (which means true insomniacs are even now no doubt claiming I was never one of them to begin with. Sorry, insomniacs. I feel your pain.) How did I get over it? Mainly by waking up at about the same time each day, and avoiding naps. I’ve discovered it doesn’t matter so much when I go to bed–it’s all about when I wake up. If I sleep in too much, that can really throw off my sleep schedule.

But I digress.

The thing is, even though I’m sleeping more (or, more consistently), I’m still tired. All the time. Not to the point that I’m weak and can’t do anything (I was that way when I was living in Utah), but just a general malaise. And I can no longer point the finger at insomnia. Instead, I think it boils down to two factors.

First, I need to sleep more. Getting to sleep is one thing. Sleeping enough is another. I get 6.5-7 hours of sleep a night, pretty consistently. Sometimes as much as 8. Sometimes as little as 6. I know I need more sleep. And yet there are so many shiny movies to watch, books to read, words to write, games to play, parties to go to, friends to talk with, children to play with . . . Something’s got to go. But as I get older, I’m starting to wonder if doing as much as I do is worth it at the expense of being tired the whole time I’m doing it all, or if it wouldn’t make more sense to do less and sleep more–thereby enjoying what I do more, since I (theoretically) wouldn’t be as tired.

And this leads me to my second conclusion: I’m getting older. Those of you who are younger than me are no doubt nodding and saying, “Yup. He is.” Those of you who are older are shaking your head wryly and thinking, “Just wait, kiddo.” You’re both right. I’m old enough to be feeling the effects, but not old enough to have earned the right to complain about it. Poor me!

Now, I could always do what the rest of the world seems to do when they’re tired: drink some caffeine. But setting aside the fact that I try to avoid putting artificial chemicals into my body when it’s not really necessary (Peeps is a necessity. Mountain Dew, not so much), I’m prone to migraines, which can be brought on by caffeine. So that’s pretty much a no go. I’d rather be exhausted all day than having splitting migraines.

What I ought to do is exercise more. When I go for brisk walks, I wake up. One day, my desire to be awake will override my inherent laziness. That day is not today.

No, in the end, I just feel like complaining and not actually doing anything about it. And looky here–I’ve got a blog! A perfect vehicle for complaining and commiserating. So–let’s hear it. Who else out there could go for mandatory nap time at work?

6 thoughts on “Why Am I Always Tired?”

  1. You and I are on the same wavelength today. Did you see my tweet about wanting a place to nap at lunchtime?

    I miss the comfy chairs and couches at Wizards–I could always take 15 or 20 minutes at some point in the day if I needed to and lie down for a tiny nap. (Sometimes this wasn’t really on my agenda, either–I’d sit down in the comfy chair to edit and end up dozing. :/)

    I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier and get up earlier myself, but for me it’s not just that I’m getting older and have all these things I want to do–though it IS that too–it’s that my allergies/asthma and other chronic health problems also get in the way and I end up feeling like I have chronic fatigue even if I sleep 10 hours a night.

    I just got a Kinect, though, and moving around does help. Now I just need to get up early enough to work out with it in the morning (with a workout game on it) instead of doing it at night, which tends to exacerbate the inability to sleep at the time I want to sleep!

  2. I started taking some fish oil, and it helped with the tiredness. Also, going to bed early and waking up to exercise is good for the body…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Yeah, Stacy–I saw your Tweet right after I posted my blog entry. I could really use a snooze right now. Working late at the library is never a fun thing for me–it throws off my whole weekday rhythm. Good luck with the Kinect–I’ve been really tempted to buy one myself this holiday go round. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

    Hilary–Yeah, I know it’s good for the body, and I’m a firm believer in it each day around 4. Once it gets to be 9, however . . . there’s too many other things I want to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Amen, Bryce, amen. The hardest thing for me is that once my children are finally in bed, I want to do all the things I’ve been wanting to do all day! And reading half an hour doesn’t cut it for me–I need like 2 hours a night with my books. Preferably 3 or 4. Which doesn’t work out so well with everything else I need to do in the evenings.

    Plus there’s that business of kids waking up and having nightmares just when you’ve drifted off (but one of them always sleeps soundly through the night and wakes up at an ungodly hour the next morning). Where is the justice?!

  5. Oh–this also made me chuckle because I have some students writing a paper on sleep deprivation this semester. Here’s their best advice–lay off on the coffee, cigarettes and beer before you go to bed. Because really, Bryce, enough already! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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