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Many of you will know that for a number of years now, Rachael's been struggling with tiredness. It'll go up and down, so she'll have a period of some months where she's got a reasonable amount of energy, and then a period of some months where she's exhausted most of the time.

Distressingly, for the past few months I've been experiencing something very similar. Since about January I've been feeling far more exhausted and sleepy than I used to.

A few years ago (2010-ish), I'd happily stay up until midnight most nights (without any ill effects), and 2am sometimes (but too often and I'd feel zonked the next couple of days).
A year or two ago, I'd happily stay up until 10pm most nights (without any ill effects) and midnight sometimes (but more than once in a row and I'd feel zonked the next couple of days).
The past few months, I've been having to go to bed around 9pm to get enough sleep; staying up till 10pm leaves me feeling zonked the next couple of days.

I'm finding myself having much less creative energy - much fewer times when I sit down and think "Right, I'm going to [work on a game design / work on a programming project] now". Now I've noticed before that my levels of creative energy wax and wane, and I have periods when I've not got the energy to be doing anything much creative for a couple of months. That kind of peak-and-trough seems natural, but it doesn't normally last 5 months, nor does it normally come alongside the levels of exhaustion and tiredness that I'm experiencing at the moment.

Bizarrely, this extended period of tiredness on my part more or less correlates with having two children who sleep through the night! I'd been rather looking forward to regaining uninterrupted nights' sleep for a lot of the autumn and winter, but if anything I seem to have been rather more drained now that Zoe's sleeping through without waking. (She is still getting up at 6am, so usually one or other of me and Rachael will get up with her then, let the other have an extra hour in bed, and then the one of us who got up early will swap and go back to bed for an hour.)

Possible causes that I've wondered about:

  • My body collapsing in relief now that the girls are both sleeping through the night. If I've had a busy and demanding weekend, when I get home from it I'll frequently crash and want to just flop (that's fairly normal, right?) This could perhaps be a longer-scale version of that.
  • Stresses around board game publishing. Most of the spring was spent in discussions around the Steam Works artwork and rulebook, and there was a certain amount of stress caused by deadlines, miscommunications, different expectations, and so on. The game will still be awesome when it comes out, but the process of making it so was somewhat demanding. That aspect of things finished a few weeks ago, so if it was the cause to this exhaustion I'd hope I should be recovering from it fairly soon.
  • "Catching" whatever it is that Rachael's "got". This doesn't seem very likely, as I've spent an awful lot of time with Rachael for quite a number of years, and only in this past year started to feel this kind of tiredness. There's also been no evidence that Rachael's tiredness is "catching" in any other way.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC)
*sympathy* It's really hard when you can't tell if it's a problem you should do something about or if it's just you've been busy for a long time. I don't know.

I think "it's the same thing Rachael has" is unlikely but worth bearing in mind just in case (eg. it could be some environmental factor, somehow).

Stress is a likely culprit -- I think even something that seems like it shouldn't be a big deal, if it's an ongoing source of uncertainty, can sap a _lot_ of energy.

Best of luck.
May. 19th, 2015 08:02 am (UTC)
I wondered about a common environmental factor - I bought a carbon monoxide alarm. Could also be something we're both eating or failing to eat.

(The most obvious shared environmental factor is two tiring kids, but I think we're both more tired than I'd expect a parent of two kids to be ordinarily.)
May. 19th, 2015 09:36 am (UTC)
CO alarm: oh good, I was going to suggest that.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )