UNITED STATES─Sleep it has to be the one thing that I crave more than anything in life. I will be completely honest: I don’t sleep great at night. If I’m lucky, I might get 6 hours, but for the past 3-4 weeks, I’ve been averaging probably 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Yes, America I know that is not great, and considering most of my workdays are around 12-16 hours it does not help at all. The biggest thing that has haunted me is the fact that I’ve literally woken up at 6:16 a.m. every morning for the past 3 weeks, I mean it’s like clockwork.

Making the situation worse is I do not use an alarm clock to wake up, it’s my body’s instinct, so why so early when I’m so tired. I try to go back to sleep, but once I’m up I’m up. I know it’s not caffeine keeping me up because I don’t drink soda or coffee and have very limited amounts of tea. I’m a fan of water (lots of it people), milk and organic lemonade and naturally tart cherry juice. There is no way you can tell me those things are causing my body to stay wired in the middle of the night. Could it be the stress I’m dealing with at work?

Perhaps, could it be the stress of family life? Possibly, but I’d like to believe those things are not haunting me as much as I think because I’m not thinking about them on a 24/7 time frame. I do realize that looking at my phone and surfing the internet via my iPad right before going to sleep is not a good thing. Looking at bright screens when the body is ready for sleep hurts one’s sleep pattern. Yes, this might sound foreign to some people, but we all have a sleep pattern and it’s imperative that we follow that pattern to a ‘T.’ Why?

Once you knock yourself off that sleep pattern, it’s probably the toughest thing to adjust in life. I used to work midnights at one of my jobs, which took a ton for me to alter my ability to stay up during the wee hours of the night where I wanted to get significant sleep. Imagine that, quite scary, but I now understand the pain of people who are forced to work during a time frame where a vast majority of America is in their PJs and catching some well needed sleep. Could the argument be made that I suffer from insomnia? Yeah, I haven’t been tested for it, but I’m totally starting to consider the possibility of getting a test.

I know for a fact when my body wants to get sleep, it’s always around 1 a.m. My body starts to shut down, my eyes start to flutter and if I lay down I’m done people. However, if I push my body to stay awake beyond that time frame it can lead to be being up the rest of the night and I mean I will be up and I’m not getting any sleep at all, not matter what I try to do. I’ve tried taking small naps during the day if my busy schedule permits it. Now when I say a nap I’m talking maybe 30 minutes to an hour. I don’t know what it is about a nap that just seems to rejuvenate the body for me. I mean 30 minutes can feel like 6 hours and that is a great thing to me. I feel refreshed, revitalized and ready to tackle any obstacle or challenge of the day.

When it comes to sleep, you have to know your sleep pattern and not fight it when it smacks you in the face. There are those days where the body tells you to sleep and you try to stay up even though you shouldn’t. I’m learning more and more each day that the body is complicated, the brain, your mind teaches you things you sometimes don’t expect and when you get those triggers you have to listen to them.