I have been doing my best to overcome recurring insomnia that started in April just before graduation. I thought that it was because all the work was making me too stressed but I never recovered my ability to sleep. This was even after relaxing for a few months before starting my career in July.
I do not want to take medications all the time so I try not too except when I really have to be sharp at work. I am usually able to get enough sleep by catching up once in a while but I really worry about the future and how I will be able to work if my insomnia gets worse or my role at work becomes more challenging. Can any of you tell me how insomnia has affected your career prospects?
I have had insomnia for many years and it has become worse bit by bit. The worst part has been when the medications that I took stopped working. This usually led to months where I was really not very productive. During most of these situations, I let my employers know that I was in between medications and that my mental clarity could suffer. Over the 4 different jobs that I have had, the lack of sleep only affected how my employers saw me in one situation. I did not really like the management in that company anyway so I was only there for 3 years. In the other jobs, I was told during reviews that I was a model employee. This was despite a few mistakes from poor memory caused by the medications.
I now use sleep restriction to best manage it but it still affects my daily life.
Wow, thanks for the detail. I really have not felt comfortable to tell my employers about my condition in the current economic climate. I worry that they will simply find someone else without the mental problems. I admire your bravery in being so honest.
My problems with sleep have also been long running but I quickly found that I could not function if I had a 9-5 job. I turned to contracting and I now do payroll for a few companies from home. My biggest worry for the future is that online services may put me out of work or make it hard to get clients. That has not happened but over time I am sure that it will. It is most important to keep your options open if insomnia becomes chronic.
You certain do not have to have "mental problems" to be unable to sleep. You will have less stress if you can just accept that you have a sleep disorder.
While honesty is what I chose, I think that early in your career you have less to lose so only tell your employer if you start to feel that they are respectful of you. Many employers are not. I was more established in my career as I started to tell people about my sleep disorder. Sure, you would not like to lose your job but when you are young, it is often less difficult to get another one. You also have fewer expenses.
I have experienced exactly the same sense of worry about how my insomnia would affect my work, as well as other important things in life which I felt I needed full energy for. And like Jessi points out, that worry is enough to become a reason for insomnia in it's own right, regardless of the original cause of insomnia. I think for me, the key was about having reasonable expectations of how easily I might fall asleep and also trying to believe that even with some bad nights sleep, I actually did better at work than I feared I might. I believe that there are many that misconceptions people have about how quickly they should be falling asleep, but you can can instead develop positive attitudes towards sleep. I think it might help a little in your situation, as it certainly did for me:-)
All the best with it!!