Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sleep, or lack thereof

I'm not sure what's up, but my sleep has been poor lately. I love to sleep. I need to sleep. But my no-longer-new, fancy Garmin watch tells me I'm getting less and less sleep. I'm not sure how accurate my watch is, but over the past couple of weeks, it's recorded less and less deep sleep.

My watch records time awake, and time spent in REM, light, and deep sleep. Since I bought the watch last Fall, I've averaged around 1.5 to 2 hours of deep sleep each night. When I was in Duluth over the 4th of July, I noticed my deep sleep increased to well over 2 hours three out of the four nights I was there. And I could tell!

But other than those 4 nights, my deep sleep has been on the decline. Last night, for example, I apparently only got 14 minutes of deep sleep. Again, I'm not sure how accurate my watch is, but since I'm only comparing my historical results to my current results, the trend is clear. I'm not sleeping as well.

Unfortunately, my Garmin results are backed up by my current state of being. I'm tired. Maybe I forgot how much energy training for a marathon takes. I'm in week three of my training, and it's going well, but between work and running I'm finding I have little energy for anything else. I'm hoping that will improve as I continue training. After all, it's been awhile (over two years) since I seriously trained for anything. Who knows, maybe the training is causing the poor sleep.

The fact that I slept better in Duluth makes me wonder about my mattress. I don't have a cheap mattress, and it's not even 10 years old, but I'm considering getting a new one. It seems like a big step to take with no guarantee of success, though, so I'm putting it off. I'm hoping things magically turn around.

If there's no magic, however, I can't wait too long for things to change. I don't like being tired, but more importantly, being too tired is a danger to my mental health. Like I said earlier, I need sleep. I don't function well when I'm lacking sleep. I can pull it off for a few weeks, but any longer than that and life gets dicey. Sleep is crucial to my well being.

It's odd for me to sleep poorly, and that worries me, too. Usually the only time sleep is an issue is when I'm not doing so hot. I think my mood is great right now, but is this lack of sleep an ominous sign? I don't think so, but if you have depression you know how these little things, which may not mean anything, can cause concern.

So I think I'm going to start with new pillows. In addition, I'm watching my caffeine intake, not taking naps (also unusual for me), and watching less TV right before bed. I'm hoping these changes will make a difference. If they don't I may consider that new mattress. Ugh! I need my sleep.

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