Getting sufficient healthy rest remains an ongoing challenge for me. The connection between PTSD and sleep disturbances is well-documented, and most definitely part of my own experience. I’ve at least gotten to a point where being wakeful doesn’t cause me additional separate stress of its own to compound the stress of whatever woke me, or the impending potential stress of the fatigue that results from inadequate rest. Progress.

Last night I was awakened from a deep sound sleep sometime after 2 am. I didn’t bother to check the clock to verify it, my traveling partner told me the time when he woke me (not realizing the noisy new neighbors who woke him hadn’t yet woken me). I was awake, physically comfortable but sleepless, for the rest of the night. “Sleep maintenance insomnia” is what that one is. I feel a moment of irritation when I notice that the article I linked manages to ‘place blame’ for poor sleep almost entirely on the sleeper, pointing out problem scenarios like women trying to get more/better sleep by going to bed ‘too early’ and waking in the wee hours. Yes, good sleep hygiene and good sleep practices are important, and for some of us the thing goes a bit beyond our choice of sleep schedule, lighting, diet, or time management! LOL Nothing in the article directly addresses real-life externals like noisy neighbors, and the effect of being awakened in the wee hours to the irritation of someone else awakened by the noise. (Eventually, the noise would no doubt have awakened me in turn; it sounded rather as if they were tossing shipping crates against the shared wall at several points, or hosting an event in an octagon ring!) My sensitivity to, and concern over, my partner’s ability to get the rest he needs, himself, likely drove my sleeplessness in some small way. It doesn’t actually take much to disrupt my sleep, even now.

Two nights short on sleep so far this week. It isn’t ideal, and I don’t do my best work – or my best anything, really – when I am distracted and numbed by fatigue. I think ahead irritably to the boundary setting, expectation setting conversation that needs to happen later today. My neighbors are young, and on meeting them the other day they seemed well-intended sorts. It’s likely that the inconsiderate amount of noise is nothing more than that – inconsiderate. They may be unaware how noisy they are – although surely less so after my traveling partner was gruff with them during the night. Still, it mustn’t be allowed to pass unnoticed; what we tolerate, we must endure, and I’d honestly rather not have this go on for weeks. My thoughts turn next to the work day ahead. Yeah. Still feeling irritated. Is it going to be that day?

It's too early to be cross already. It is a better choice to begin again.

It’s too early to be cross already. It is a better choice to begin again.

I begin again. Meditation. Deep cleansing breaths. A moment of fresh air out on the patio before dawn, steaming mug of coffee in my hands. Full moon glowing beneath, between, behind the passing clouds for some little while longer before daybreak comes. I think about the patio roses and how lovely they look so far. I contemplate what the patio will look like when the roses are blooming. The studio feels cozy and warm after the morning chill outside. I take time to appreciate the full measure of the quality of my life here; there is so much more to it than a night or two of poor quality sleep. I make a point of lingering over ‘all the things that work’ – it’s a better way to begin my day than fussing about a handful of things that could be improved upon.

Today will be a very good day to take care of this fragile vessel, practicing the practices that support emotional balance, and over-all wellness. I will do my best. 🙂