Sunday, February 27, 2011

Zzzzzzz: Sleep Patterns

So lately, my sleep pattern has been disrupted. More than usual, I mean. Normally, I have difficulty falling asleep and often lay awake at night, and usually have my sleep disturbed by a variety of nightmares. I've been advised before multiple times to get a "sleep consultation" in order to figure out why this is. But I can't find any healthcare providers in my budget who offer one. And boy howdy, I need one more than ever.
See, rather than having difficulty falling asleep, I've now switched to the pattern of having positively no energy, and often end up slumping into bed after I get home from classes, and taking a nap that will last two to three hours, and waking up bone-tired and groggy. But then I don't have any trouble falling back to sleep again at 10:00 or whenever I finish my homework. Then I sleep until my alarm goes off, and the pattern repeats itself. Even on weekends when I don't have work and school, this happens.
I worry it may be a side effect of a burgeoning depression or anxiety. Or something less problematic, but still worrisome.
If I weren't someone who regularly watched TV on Thursday nights to catch The Big Bang Theory, I would think that this was unique to autistic people. But half an hour of TV watching with commercials included is more than enough to educate me on the fact that *everyone* seems to have trouble sleeping. With the promise of a new mattress, or Lunesta, or a special pillow, perfect sleep is just around the corner, and these are clearly directed at a neurotypical audience. But I do believe that we disabled folk have a particularly hard luck time with sleep.
For me, I have several tools to help sleep along, such as a weighted blanket to make me comfortable, a sleeping mask to block out excess light and put comfortable pressure on my forehead, and earplugs to block out obnoxious sounds. But as of late that doesn't seem to be aiding a restful sleep.
Does anyone out there have any suggestions for a better night's sleep that don't involve asking a poor college student to plunk down money she doesn't have?

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