This is weird. My sleep pattern has changed yet again.
Remember how I got into a new sleep pattern back in Aceh, and was getting a solid 8 hours every night? When I got to Jakarta, my sleep pattern stayed about the same. After the first few uncomfortable nights here getting used to a new, not great bed, and getting used to a new set of mosquitos, I settled in and started getting some sleep. Once A left and I had our shared room to myself, I changed beds and mattresses to a more comfortable situation and my pattern continued uninterrupted. I would go to sleep in the dark cave of a room anywhere between 11 pm and midnight, and I would wake up anywhere between 7 and 8 am. Since I moved again 2 months ago, to upstairs this time, my sleep pattern has changed twice.
The first change came about because of circumstances outside of my control. The young lady who lives here gets up at around 5 am to get ready to leave for the day. When she wakes up, I wake up because there’s no way to not be disturbed by her getting-ready noises. It’s nothing she can help (water is going to hit the floor when she showers and she has to turn on the light to see where she’s going, and my room is right there) so I don’t say anything. But the disturbances make is virtually impossible to go back to sleep. I started sleeping with earphones to keep the noise out but then I would get tangled in them and they would disturb my sleep instead. Lose-lose.
So I was basically getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep, followed by maybe another 30 minutes to an hour, if I could manage to get myself back to sleep, which was rare. I depended on my daily coffee to see me through my days. But over the weekend that I spent in Bandung, I re-discovered the joys of tea. I had Starbucks peppermint citrus tea both mornings for breakfast, and even had 1 in the cab on my way back from the train station to the centre. It continued on the Sunday and Monday nights after I got back from Bandung. Having gone to bed early on those nights, medicated and feeling unwell, I woke very early in the mornings and, not wanting milk, which I have to have in my coffee (I’m just not at the black coffee stage yet), I settled on tea, which meant no caffeine.
In the weeks that have passed since Bandung, I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee, but only when I needed the extra jolt to help carry me through a couple of particularly intense days. The desire for coffee is lurking in the back of my mind but it’s not a pressing need and I’ve mostly ignored it in favour of tea. With the cessation of my daily coffee fix comes more sleep changes. I’m back to being fast asleep by 9:30 pm most nights. But now I find myself wide awake at 3 or 4 am. Sometimes I can drift back to sleep but then 5 am rolls around and the external disturbance begins, so I’m basically done sleeping for the night.
This is such a drag. I had gotten used to 8 hours of sleep. I was loving 8 hours of sleep. Eight hours of sleep left me feeling really refreshed. And now it’s 6 interrupted hours all over again. Uuuugggghhhhh! That’s such a bummer.
I also believe that the 6 hours are partly due to the awful mattress I’m sleeping on. Yup, I changed it 2 months ago and it was fine for a couple of weeks. But it’s a cheap foam mattress, so it sunk in the middle very quickly. I think that my body literally can’t take more than 6 hours of sleep on it and still be comfortable. I genuinely believe that it’s a part of the reason why I can’t sleep past 6 hours. I mean, clearly my body is able to achieve that feat, given the fact that I did it almost every day when I was sleeping on a far better mattress downstairs.
I think another factor that is keeping me from getting my full 8 hours is that my mind is not at ease here anymore. I think back to my first 2 weeks in Banda Aceh, when I barely slept at all because I was so uncomfortable in the filthy environment. Once I improved my surroundings, I was able to sleep very soundly at night. Being with this organisation, and living in the circumstances that I have had to be living in for the past several months, has caused me to put up mental walls of tolerance for things that I would normally find unacceptable. But now that the end is in sight, I’m just about mentally done and my defenses are crumbling. Bricks are starting to fall out of the walls that were holding back my disgust and discomfort.
At this point, I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to settle back into a solid 8 before JEXIT. I won’t change rooms again – not going back downstairs to the roaches…I’ll take giant bags under my eyes instead, thank you very much. And the 5 am disturbance is inevitable – the young lady has to go about her day and fulfill her obligations. Of course, things may change again if I reintroduce daily coffee into my diet.
For now, I suppose the only solution is to get as much uninterrupted sleep as possible on my days off. Thank God for those.