When Life Gives You Lemondayds.

As part of the general sleep problems I’ve been having (a result of stress and the horribly thin walls/ceilings of my current apartment), I’ve begun taking melatonin every evening. It never did much for me previously, but I also used to be able to get to sleep without much problem. I rarely slept well, but I could still lose consciousness in a normal amount of time.

Now, I take melatonin and, after a few months of things running smoothly, have started shifting the dosage around a bit in order to find what amount works best for me. It’s a slow process, since I can’t really judge results from one or two nights. I need at least two weeks to really get a sense of whether something I’m doing is having a positive or negative impact given that I still rarely have more than one good night in a row. And given that any disruptions to my day-to-day life can have outsized impacts on my sleep quality for about a week.

Today, for instance, I hit three in the afternoon and got incredibly sleepy. That might be a result of taking 1mg more melatonin last night, or it might be a result of staying up later than usual. Or maybe its because I’ve had the day off and had today set up as a day of rest, so my general laziness and large midday meal have resulted in me being sleepy. Or maybe I just slept in a weird position last night and didn’t get much rest as a result. Hell, maybe it is all of them together. Why have one reason you slept poorly when you can have half a dozen?

A couple weeks at this new dosage should give me the answers I need, or at least enough info to know if I need to abandon ship since a larger data pool will help account for all those variables I mentioned. I can deal with a few days where I’m feeling off or extra sleepy, even if it isn’t very pleasant, but if it doesn’t course-correct before too long, then I need to return to baseline.

What helps make this possible is something I’ved reminded myself a lot in 2021: I can just take a day off if I need it. Watch some cartoons, movies, or just play video games. Get some rest and have fun or just find a way to make a difficult, exhausted day pass quickly. I’ve managed to (mostly) detach my sense of self-worth from my productivity–which I feel is something I’ve said multiple times now–so it doesn’t cost me as much if I think a day off is something I need.

I’ve mostly managed this feat by making lists and having honest conversations with myself about what I’ve really done in a day. Actual verbal conversations, since saying it outloud makes it feel more real and valid than just thinking it to myself. The only reason today’s a lazy day is because I need to do laundry, pay bills, and do some self-assigned writing tasks. So all my “laziness” is interrupted by folding laundry, moving piles of clothes around, and waiting to see if the form I sent my landlord is acceptable or if I’ll need to call my rental insurance agent to get a different form sent to me.

None of which is terribly lazy, it just feels lazy because I’m in my pajamas, I had a soda (this is what being 30 feels like: a delicious soda is a treat and bitter coffee the norm), and I’ve had a computer game running the entire time. Maybe I should say today was a “laid-back” or “blissful” day. Those feel more accurate. Also, if it’s a blissful day, I should go all-in.

The only thing that could improve today without substantively changing it is some lemonade. I wish I had some lemonade.

(You can’t tell that about twenty minutes have passed between that last sentence and this one, but I promise that it did when I was writing this) I have now acquired lemonade and I will no longer refer to days like today as “lazy days.” Screw that negative self talk! From now on, days like today are officially called “Lemondayds.”

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