I don’t know if the condition has a name, but I’ve been calling it “fake sleep.”
The first four hours of my sleep are great. That deep, yummy sleep where you wake up and go “Ah, I slept. Nice.”
The second four hours are nonsense. I swear I wasn’t conscious but somehow I wake up more tired than when I went to bed, and always with a headache. It’s a vicious cycle — I sleep poorly so I have to take a nap the next day, which causes me to sleep poorly.
I had big plans for this weekend.
My apartment is in shambles so I was going to power-clean the whole thing. And go grocery shopping. And shave my legs for the first time in Lord-knows-how-long.
But I woke up Saturday morning exhausted. It was the kind of fatigue where even getting dressed seemed like a Herculean task. I wasn’t just low on energy — I was drowsy. I felt a little nervous driving because my eyes had a hard time focusing. By 11AM I crashed for a 3-hour nap.
After I got up from my nap, I did… nothing. My big cleaning plans went out the window. I didn’t get work done. I didn’t even shower.
And I felt so, so guilty for it.
I’m an adult with things to do! I can’t just nap all day!
It’s not even like I have an arduous job I do all week that can justify my weekend lounging. I’m a work-from-home writer with a light schedule. I haven’t earned my laziness.
Even so, my body didn’t really seem to care if I’d “earned” my laziness or not. It demanded rest and it was going to get it one way or another.
That’s tough. I feel like I’m not pulling my weight. I’m not productive enough. I’m not hardworking enough. I don’t deserve anything.
I haven’t earned my laziness.
Somehow, I feel like I’m less-than because I’m not working as hard.
Here’s what I’m learning to accept:
- I can’t work as hard as everyone else right now and that’s okay.
- My worth is in no way related to how hard I can work.
- I’m still valuable and interesting and worthy even if I can’t be as productive as the people around me.
- If my body needs rest, I need to give it that rest — even if it means not being as “busy” as everyone else.
- I don’t have to earn my rest. If I need it, take it.
Right now, we’re weathering a pandemic.
There’s a lot of unrest, stress, and anxiety that are taking a toll on people — not to mention outright sickness.
Self-care is vital. Your body might demand more R&R than you’re used to giving it. That you need to take it slow — not start 10 new side hustles, work 90 hours a week, or show off your new hobby on social media — is not a sign that you’re broken.
It’s a sign that you’re responding normally to abnormal circumstances.
You don’t need to earn your rest. You deserve it just by virtue of existing.
So go take a nap. You’ve earned it.