When No Amount of Sleep Is Enough

Photo by Sarah Crawford on Unsplash

For a long time, I have believed that sleep is the cure to many health issues I face. But recently I went through an experience that forced me to explore something more.

On last Tuesday I decided to go for a hiring event over the weekend. I was supposed to interview people. The event was in a different city, and the flight we booked was at 5 AM on Saturday and the event was to start from 9.30 AM on Saturday.

This was the first time I was going to take interviews. It has been about three years since I had last prepared for interviews, and had to revise almost everything.

I did not plan my revision of the concepts to be asked and got nervous and worried by Friday. Instead of resting on Friday, given the hectic schedule of the next day, I ended up staying awake the whole Friday night.

To make the conditions worse, I got a really bad case of stomach upset. Probably due to the stress I was taking.

Fast forward to the next day, the event started. I interviewed two people, and since it was my first time interviewing, I was accompanied by an experienced interviewer who would

  • Give me feedback
  • Take care of the things and if he finds me messing up

With the help of coffee, I managed to stay awake and do a decent job at interviewing and finally took the first interview on my own.

I went back to the hotel room at around 5 PM and slept till 8 AM. I woke up for a three-hour interval during this period when I was trying to choose whether to order dinner from the in-room service by the hotel or from outside restaurant. But finally, I decided to prepare a cup of tea and had it with a small pack of chips and slept.

The next day (Sunday) we explored the city and returned home by late night flight.

On Monday, I slept from 2 AM to 10 AM. I went to work, still feeling tired and sleepy.

I took an off on Tuesday, thinking I might fall sick due to this tiredness and the lack of sleep. I slept for at least ten to twelve hours.

Upon waking up…. I was still tired.

It was Wednesday evening after returning from work. Somehow I was able to do the work at my job, and I managed to not fall sick.

But I was not able to do anything. I tried picking a book two to three times, but could not finish a single page. Same goes with articles online. I could not even think of writing.

Things I had tried by now:

  • Sleep: I had slept more than enough and now my quality of sleep started deteriorating. I was getting odd dreams that were making me feel worried and tired upon waking up.
  • Coffee: It did keep me awake, and gave a temporary boost of energy that lasted about an hour or two. But it also made me feel twitchy and that I had drained the limited energy at a higher rate.

Hopelessly trying another power-nap on Wednesday (the day I am writing this) after dinner, I realized that I have not listened to Music as a method to relax.

The idea of my mobile phone, music-app, and headphones reminded me of something else on my phone.

I have a bunch of audio files for relaxation or meditation on my phone. I could not recall when I used them last. They seemed a better alternative to another session of sleep.

I decided to go with the audio file that guided me to progressive muscle relaxation.

After spending 30 minutes with this, I was feeling much better. Much better than I have felt in the last couple of days.

The lesson that inspired me to write this post:

Sleep is a great way to relax, but sometimes your body and mind are so tired that plain sleep cannot help you completely relax.

Sometimes we are too tired to get a quality sleep that can help us relax.

At those times, the answer is not to just sleep more, or to eat all you want, or to do passive mindless entertainment.

The next time you find yourself in such condition, maybe you are in one of such phase right now, give other relaxation techniques a try.

Link to the audio files that I have on my phone:

I have tried multiple meditation apps, and yet I find these audio files best to help me relax.

These downloads are available on student wellness page of Dartmouth college and available for free. I do not recall how I stumbled upon them.

This brings me to the end of the post. This was something I wanted to share as I found a way out of my prolonged tiredness.

Please let me know if you liked the post, and if you have had a similar experience. Also please share your ways to recover when you are so tired that sleep is not doing you any good.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store