UNITED STATES—I really don’t know what to do at this point. For the past few months I have been battling internally to try to get decent sleep. It just feels like no matter what I’m doing, I cannot get the results my body is desperately telling me I need. Last week alone, I think I had maybe a total of 9 hours of sleep between Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Yes, you heard me right, about 3 hours of sleep each day. How my body still functioned at its full capacity I don’t know.

I’m a light sleeper that is no secret; it has always been that way for me. Loud noises will wake me up quicker than I can count to three. If I have any form of light, rather a phone, electronic device, TV, tablet, light from under the door, it disrupts my sleep. Since college, I have been blocking any light possible from entering my bedroom to ensure that light doesn’t grab my eye and force me awake.

People ask me if I’m a caffeine drinker. No, I don’t drink soda/pop, not a coffee drinker, and with tea it’s literally decaffeinated, if I do drink it. So, it is not caffeine that keeps me up at night people. Could it be that my adrenaline level is a bit too high when I’m ready to go to bed? I do think that at times it can play a big role in things because if the mind is moving at a feverish pitch, it just makes it that much harder to calm yourself enough to close those eyes and sleep.

No, I’m not working out before sleep. If anything, I’m doing that after I leave one job and heading to another. So, it is possible that I’m not getting home until it is so late at night that my time clock is totally off. I do my best to be asleep by midnight, at the latest if possible. If I get home after midnight the goal is before 1 a.m. There is something about staying up past 1 a.m. that is an absolute killer for me. If I’m not asleep by then, I’m literally tossing and turning until almost 4 a.m. which is just bad, when I’m up less than 3 hours later.

Yes, I’m an early riser, I don’t believe in sleeping till 8 a.m., 9 a.m., or for heaven’s sake 12 p.m. like so many people I know who have an opportunity to do so. I’m usually up by 6:30 a.m. on most days; I just have a time clock in my brain that clicks when it is time to get up. I cannot tell you the last time I actually utilized an alarm clock to wake up. My body is just trained to wake when I know I have to wake up.

With that said, I’m starting to ask myself what I can do to adjust my sleep schedule or pattern that will literally help me get quality sleep. Could controlling the temperature in the bedroom and my home make a difference? Yes, but I’ve been sleeping with a ceiling fan on as long as I can recall probably dating back to high school. It has nothing to do with being hot; it’s the sound that helps put me to sleep.

Could scrolling thru social media, watching TV or doing other things when I should be sleeping at the core of the problem? Those things help me decompress, but could also keep the braining churning when it should be relaxing. That decompression is good for sleep. I am starting to realize if I have moments where I am feeling sleepy that I just cannot fight that urge to stay awake and just focus on going to bed. If the body is saying go to sleep I better go to sleep and not fight it.

That is something so many Americans refuse to acknowledge, we do not listen to our bodies when we should. Sleep is a vital element to our bodies. If we don’t have sleep it hinders a ton of things that we don’t realize until the body has already been broken down. Make it a priority, don’t ignore the importance of sleep.