Monday, 25 May 2015

Fatigue, overthinking and sleep

I've just come back from the 4 most hectic weekends I've had in a long time, I've visited various cities      across the UK and caught up with friends I hadn't seen in a long time and even a friend who had flown all the way from Australia. I got to see my childhood idols perform and I also got the chance to spend quality time with my boyfriend and catch up with the lovely ladies at Dyspraxia Foundation and do some social media for them. Whilst it's been some of the best times I'm also shattered from it and physically and emotionally drained. It made me think one area which I had yet to cover in my blogs has been tiredness and fatigue and also how people can have difficulties switching off and going to sleep at night due to overthinking  which can then have a knock on effect on tiredness. From speaking to a lot of other people with hidden differences and disabilities and seeing comments from parents with dyspraxia it seems quite a common issue and I think it's something which can be quite misunderstood as plain laziness.

When I was a child I used to always come home from school and have a nap, it's also the same when I've finish work I need to have a nap. If you know me well you know I love a good lie in, am not a morning person and will savour every minute I can in bed before the alarm goes off. The amount of times before I moved in with my boyfriend I feel asleep on Skype to him (sorry Matt!!) When I was younger I never realised why I got so tired all the time, and why I needed to have more naps than my friends were having, but since I've read and learnt more about dyspraxia I've realised why and what is going on in the brain. It takes us 10x longer to do most things people take for granted and we use up so much energy whilst putting into place our coping strategies. This means because of how the brain is wired it means it takes our brains a lot longer to process information and carry out day to day tasks. It means things like co-ordination and balance and fine motor skills require so much more effort. When in an education setting the dyapraxic/dyslexic brain has to work 10x harder than the rest of the class to keep up with everyone to do work to a good standard. 

The positive result of all of this has meant I'm such a determined person and I never let things hold me back or stop me from what I want to do, go or see in life. This is probably why it's taken me so long to write about this topic as I'm such a determined person I would hate to let anyone down. I'm such a conciencious person if I've agreed to do or see someone I'll try my upmost to keep to promises. But it's only really recently I've realised how much sometimes I need to look after myself and how much my brain and body sometimes simply need more rest to cope with it all especially if I've been in an environment which has high sensory stimuli and a lot of noise, crowds, people, lights and smells such as travelling on busy transport or a pop concert. I'm also quite a stubborn person (I'm a Taurus) and sometimes in the past my boyfriend has had to constantly remind me to look after myself and have some rest and that it's ok to and not to feel guilty about it and that the right people will understand if I'm feeling very worn out and/or overwhelmed. 

Which bring me onto how much anxiety can affect tiredness, when you have a really bad day or few days it can be physically and mentally exhausting, especially from overthinking and the physical symptoms of it. When your brain is putting you through such high levels of overwhelming fear and worry the crash afterwards can be quite huge and can take a few days to fully recover from especially if anxiety attacks are involved too. I often find it hard to switch off at night I think it's partly due to anxiety and partly due how the brain is wired and how all the different wires have been rushing around. I'm also an awful overthinker especially at nighttime constantly overthinking any mistakes which I think I could have made and all my worries. The anxiety can distort these thoughts and make situations 10x worse than they actually are. 

The end result can sometimes mean I can be quite out of it and go into my own shell and either really quiet or get snappy and tearful basically my social skills go to pot it also means my dyspraxia/dyslexia is so much worse too I'm so so clumsy when I'm tired and as for my memory when I'm tired that's shocking. If you're someone who's reading this blog who knows me well I hope this might explain why if I've ever been like this, I honestly mean no harm at all by it it's just the after crash of how my brain and body has been processing everything which has happened to me, I'm not being rude or lazy or anything like that. 

But I have found things which do help such as turning my phone off at a reasonable time to help with the sensory stimulus of all the bright lights etc, listening to calming relaxing music helps and I've started to have regular back massages to help me learn to relax which is something which I've always found so hard. I also found some useful strategies when I went for help and will hopefully be learning some more as I'm about to start some new counselling soon. I've also started to listen to my body, by nature I'm a people pleaser and would hate to upset anyone buy I'm slowly realising how much I need to look after myself and what the impact of dyspraxia can have on me, I'll always be a determined person though. I think it's so important that teachers are so aware of how much time and effort students are having to take to do every day tasks and how much tiredness can effect them. 

I hope this blog might have helped some of you, never feel guilty for looking after yourself and getting some well needed sleep and rest and letting your brain and body recuperate. 


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