I am nearly fifty years old and menopause is hitting me hard at the moment. For a few weeks now, I have been suffering hot flashes. It’s not that bad, I can live with throwing the blankets off me every five minutes at night (it mostly bothers me at night). What I can’t stand are the sleepless nights. I have been suffering insomnia for about two weeks now. Not every night is bad. I guess my body crashes now and again as I have always been a person who needs at least eight hours of sleep a day. I don’t have to have it in one session; I have perfected the power nap form. So not be able to sleep when I want is a form of living hell to me.
I lay awake at night, worrying about all the things I need to do. Sometimes, I think about getting up and doing them, but I don’t want to wake my husband and children. I could stay in bed and do stuff on my phone or laptop, but the brightness of the screen would probably screw up my circadian rhythm even more and also wake my husband. Next to this, I have this unreal hope that ‘I may fall asleep anytime now.’ I keep fooling myself.
Ever since I suffered from glandular fever at the age of nineteen, sleeping has been my number one hobby. I could sleep anywhere; in a car, on a train, in a plane. I could sleep lying down, sitting up, folded in crooked angles. I’m lucky if I get four hours of sleep a day now. I’m so tired. I’ve tried sleeping during the day to catch up on my daily dose of sleep. A power nap used to be a relief to me, a safe haven into which to temporarily retreat from reality. I can’t function without my sleep. I can’t concentrate and have no energy, making my procrastination even worse. I’m even not interested in my (second best) favorite thing, writing.
Fingers crossed this menopause is just that; a pause, and that it’ll quickly be over and done with.
Header image by Adnan Shahid, edited by Jacky Dahlhaus