About a month ago, a friend remarked on the irony of my working at a mattress company. The irony comes from the fact that for my entire life I have struggled with a sleep disorder. I decided to write a blog post about it after posting a New York Times article about ADHD and sleep disorders to our Facebook page yesterday.
I have had trouble sleeping my whole life. Like a good movie villain, I just won't go down. It quite honestly takes hours. As soon as I'm in bed, and all the usual daily stimulation is gone, my brain goes into hyper drive and I'm still trying to find the off switch. No matter how tired I am, I still lie there for at least an hour—essentially just waiting to fall asleep while visions of everything my admittedly-odd psyche can dream up dance in my head. So, I have gotten used to being tired all the time; it is basically my natural state now and I don't even realize it. My tired is everyone else's (save for my fellow sufferers) exhausted.
Now, most sleep disorders are the symptom of something larger, so you can't just cure them; but you can manage them. I've tried eight billion different tools and techniques (I'm being a little hyperbolic) but—you knew it was coming—a new mattress made a big difference. I won't lie to you and say that after one night all was fixed--that I fell asleep immediately and leapt, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, out of bed the next morning like a newborn fawn. I did, however, feel more rested and waking up wasn't quite so excruciating.
Over time this has improved even further. I still don' t sleep much--a new mattress won't change that-- but when I am asleep, I stay that way and feel more revitalized the next morning. It has become easier for me to wake up and the AM stress I had become used to over the years is essentially gone. I now—for the first time in my life—am confident I will wake up when I am supposed to wake up.
This might sound pretty small, but for me it's huge.
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