Meh. For the last couple months, I’ve fallen once into a ditch of getting poor quality sleep – again. Ain’t the first, and sure ain’t gonna be the last. This is a recurring issue as the circus of my life keeps going on every day – and I am aware that a lot of this sleeplessness is directly caused by stress. Physically, I don’t like how the lack of quality sleep affects my energy level the next day in a negative way; it makes me really grouchy, impatient and snarky. Exhaustion, brain-fog and being overstressed are ugly. Quality restful sleep is something that must be taken more seriously and given priority. While I may piss people off by dissing what they’ve asked of me – my phone’s on silent mode and I miss a ton of calls when I’m sleeping, I don’t feel all that apologetic actually coz frankly the emergency isn’t about meeting so-and-so’s deadlines and KPIs, it’s about my general well-being and attaining my work-life balance. Besides, I am not going to be of any value to anyone when I’m sick anyway. Plus the reality is that no one can do much for me in the event my health deteriorates. So I say eff it to all – for now, while I recharge.
I noticed that I’ve been getting both insomnia/having difficulty falling asleep and sleeping only for four to five hours at one go. Again, I know that this is stress-induced. So much so that I’ve been having dreams quite consistently, some of which were intense nightmares – such as getting robbed inside a stuck service elevator and then stabbed in the back with a butter knife. Wtf.
Illustration by Aleksandra Chabros.
My nightly ritual these days involves burning aromatherapy essential oils next to my bedside to induce sleepiness. There’s no point in forcing myself to sleep when I can’t, I’d only end up more frustrated so I just let my mind run and exhaust itself while I lay in bed in total darkness. I have avoided meditating as I can’t seem to hold focus. Sometimes I cuddle my cat because it relaxes us both. I’m becoming the princess in The Princess and the Pea; I’m sensitive to how my matress and pillow feel, the slightest whirring noise heard outside, change in temperatures and I would also wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason (which I hate coz I had to start the whole process of trying to fall asleep all over again and that usually takes a while). No wonder I’m damn grouchy the next day. -_-”
Let this serve as a public announcement that if you receive a curt reply from me via email or txt msg (if I reply at all), or I pick up the phone in a less-than-thrilled tone of voice (if I pick up at all) – don’t take it personally. I can’t sleep at night. That’s that.
The items below are part of my nightly ritual and stuff I keep on my side table.
The aromatherapy essential oils which I’ve been getting from Salo at Liang Court. I really like the selections they have and keep a consistent stock of Headache Buster, Tranquility, Paradise, Anti-Stress and Good Sleep – most of them containing Lavender and Eucalyptus in the blends. For the day time when I’m working, I use the Concentration blend which has Peppermint to heighten alertness. I have tried other brands of essential oils before but find these Salo blends to be the most potent, most lasting and the fragrance highly soothing. I am definitely a fan of these essential oils and plan to continue using them.
I was given samples of GABANite a while back but didn’t jump on them right away. When I finally tried it though, I was pleasantly surprised that it worked really well. I drank it half hour before I planned to go to bed, and I felt gradually relaxed before falling asleep for a good 7-8 hours continuously! I woke up the next day feeling very well-rested. Even though GABAnite can be used night after night without causing dependence or any adverse effects, when I tried it again the second night I felt tingling sensation on my limbs so I decided it’s prolly not a good idea for me to drink it nightly back to back. I also am not digging the sour taste of this drink. But other than that, this is a natural sleeping aid that worked for me. I really felt great waking up the next day.
When I sleep late and I don’t get enough sleep, I start breaking out around my jawline. UGH! Therefore I pay extra attention to what I put on my face at night and try to minimize any skin concerns as much as possible. Philosophy recently introduced Hope In A Jar Night, which is the night version of the brand’s much beloved bestseller Hope In A Jar moisturizer. Hope In A Jar Night is an intensive retexturizing moisturizer that repairs skin overnight for a beautiful, well-rested appearance. The gentle formula supports nighttime renewal to retexturize skin, as it plumps the appearance of fine lines and evens skintone. With regular use, skin becomes noticeably smoother, lines are visibly softened, and your rosy glow is restored.
Sweeeeeet. The idea is while I may be tired during the daytime, I don’t have to look it. I’ve been using Hope In A Jar Night sparingly though, coz I find the texture to be very rich and creamy compared the the daytime version which has a whipped cream/soufflé-like texture that I love.
Sometimes to make this whole falling asleep business a luxe experience, I also spritz the Decleor Paris Relaxing Pillow Mist onto my pillows to put me in the mood. This fresh and light pillow mist is infused with 100% natural essential oils and smells quite lovely. Inspired by Decleor’s renowned Neroli Aromessence, the pillow mist is designed to ease tensions and stress for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Because I’ve been having dreams, many of them vivid, I picked up The Dream Dictionary From A to Z recently to keep by my bedside. Useful for references you know? One example would be this dream I had a few weeks ago of being surrounded by big beautiful pink and green butterflies. There were a lot of them flying around me, some landing on my fingers and face, which caused me to panic and I began trying to pry them off. But the more I tried to do so, the more they stuck like velcro onto my fingers. And I totally freaked out. Interestingly, after I looked up the possible interpretations, this dream isn’t as nightmarish as I had conjured up inside my head. Butterfly = transformation, rebirth, freedom, liberation; the colors pink = romantic love, well-being, joy and green = growth, healing, positive change. So there, feel free to interpret at will.
On my current wish list is this dual volume of Keel’s Simple Diary™. I figure since I can’t sleep, I might as well use that time to put my mind into good use rather than randomly thinking of useless stuff. Designed by Phillip Keel, an artist and writer, Simple Diary™ is Keel’s response to having too much information and not enough meaning. His diaries are the culmination of his quest to gain insight into who we are, and why we do what we do.
I REALLY WANT THESE! But I have to decide on a color first. ^^ Riiight, let me spend tonight not sleeping and thinking about my color choices.
I am making it my prerogative to step on the brakes, slow down, chill and take it easy for these last few weeks of 2013. I think I deserve it after busting ass all year being a juggler. I wish to hole up, hibernate, not hustle so much and take the time to recenter myself, in preparation for the new year ahead. Getting good sleep is also on that agenda somewhere, so please excuse me while I hang up the “Do not disturb” sign.