I’ve finally figured out how to stop those random bouts of tears that plague so many of us girls

sleeping photo

I don’t know about you guys, but i’ve always been big on sleep.

I was always the girl that fell asleep first at sleepovers, the girl who took daily naps after school, and the girl who didn’t need eight hours sleep, she needed ten.

I’ve Googled it plenty of times, but I’ve never been to see a doctor, because I doubt there’s anything wrong with me. I feel in-tune enough as an adult now to know that my body just likes me to sleep for longer than the recommended eight hours a day, and that’s OK. It doesn’t leave me groggy, it doesn’t make me lack energy all day, at worst it just means I’ve just got less hours in the day to get my to-do-list ticked off.

As a student, ten hours a day (or ten and a half if we’re living in an ideal world) was easy to get. You go to sleep at 2am, you wake up at midday. Easy. The dream. Life. It didn’t really matter if you skipped a few morning lectures for the need of the greater good – sleep, happiness and a healthy Hannah. But it turns out the real world doesn’t want you to get ten hours sleep, heck it doesn’t even want you to get seven or eight.

Most people, especially those that live in London, spend a hefty amount of time on their weekdays commuting, which means early alarms (and even earlier alarms if there’s a gym class calling your name in a menacing matter), followed by a long day in the office, maybe a few work or social events, some chores – because that washing up, stack of ironing and tea-stained bed sheets aren’t going to do themselves, lead to a horrible, unhealthy lack of sleep.

It’s exhausting and it leaves you constantly searching into the future for the next time you’ll be able to sleep in without having something pressing to wake up for. You know what else it makes you do? Cry.

When I first went to the doctor’s about my possible mental illness, I told him that crying was one of my symptoms. Like, a lot of crying. He told me that crying wasn’t actually a symptom of depression or anxiety, it was a symptom of exhaustion.

We are now exhausting ourselves out regularly to the point of nothing tears. The type of tears that come when you collapse on bed after a long day, the type of tears that come if you lose your headphones, or snap your debit card or don’t get a text back from that boy. The type of tears that don’t warrant you crying at all. Because you’re stronger than that and WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU CRYING OVER NOTHING FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS WEEK?!

I’ve stopped crying. Sort of. I cried when the decorating and the mess that comes with decorating got too much. Not a proper cry, just a single baby tear that rolled down my cheek, like i’d forced it out (I had). But crying isn’t a part of my routine anymore the way it used to be. Why? Because i’m not tired anymore.

Sure, I get tired and need a nap when I think it’s a good idea to eat a big bowl of cheesy pasta for lunch, but i’m not that sort of tired where i’m, forever pining for my bed and a lie-in and to have no plans. I’m not exhausted the way I know so many of you are. I’ve pulled right back from a full-time 8-5 career that comes with commuting and events and stress.

Sure, I miss the buzz of city life more than i’ll ever admit, but I don’t hate the way it destroys you and your ability to shake off whatever comes your way.

You’re not mental because you can’t stop crying. You’re just bloody tired and you need to cut yourself some slack. Our bodies weren’t made to support the sort of lifestyles we throw at them. Remember that next time you’re blubbering behind your glassses on the tube and hoping no-one can see you.


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  • Amy

    I am totally the same. I’ll find I’m getting upset about something that wouldn’t normally bother me and I consciously think about whether I had enough sleep the night before… I’m then like “Ah you went to bed after 10pm NO WONDER THE TEARS.” Ha. Love your blog btw. x

  • Laura

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I have been trying to explain to people for years that I’m not a crybaby, I’m not weak, and I’m certainly not pathetic. I’m just TIRED. 8 hours sleep is not enough for me, it never has been and I don’t think it ever will be. I need at least 10 hours sleep to function normally, any less than that and I’m grouchy, grumpy and teary. Going to bed after 10pm is a big no-no!!! One thing I’ve learnt though is that it is totally ok to take afternoon naps and I take the opportunity whenever I am able.

  • Last year, I became really sick with some sort of virus (they did tests but never found out exactly which one). Ever since then, I seem to need 9 hours sleep a night minimum. It’s hard to make that happen sometimes however, since I’ve acknowledged it to myself “Ok, you need this much sleep and that just seems to be that”, I’ve been much better at allowing myself the sleep I actually need, as compared to the sleep that the internet tells us most people can get by on.

    Without sufficient sleep, I don’t cry but I get really cranky and moody and I take it out on my relationship. Not good at all *shakes head*


  • This is all so true, i’m also one who struggles getting enough sleep due to the London commute and found myself crying at the station today as my train was delayed- definitely due to exhaustion! Sleep is so important to me, I can’t function without it.

  • ha i’ve been burning the candle recently and cried the other day – i mean i think it was over a boy… it was ridic either way!!

  • Katy

    Yes! You get me. I need nine hours a night, I just do. People think its excessive but any less and I’m in a daze for the day. Last night I was up stressing so much about being twenty something and the future and got only got four hours. Today was painful and meant STARBUCKS. And a lot of it.

  • This post really came at the right time for me. I was just thinking today about how I feel so much happier and able to cope with everything when I’ve had ten hours sleep. I thought it was just me enjoying my bed a bit too much but I think I do need more than eight hours. It is hard to fit around other things though so I think I’ll take your advice and make sleep my priority!

  • I love this post, I’m such a big crier and also love my sleep, but started to think I had other issues so now will try rest more, take it easy and see how I go. Xxx

  • Love this – and I couldn’t agree more, sleep is so so important! My friends always laugh at me when I say it’s my ‘bed time’, but I’m okay with that- sacrificing for the better good! Great post 🙂

  • I always seem to cry at like 3am after a night out when I’ve had a few drinks and people always put it down to me being a bit of an emotional drunk! But after reading your post its totally made me relate it to the fact that its always at some ridiculous time in the night so I’m probably exhausted! Since I had glandular fever two years ago I get tired so easily so thats probably what it is!

    Thanks for a great post 🙂

    Laura | http://www.laurakathren.blogspot.co.uk

  • Lou Bel

    Fantastic piece. My work involves a lot of international travel .Those days when I’ve done multiple flights, had to face colleagues with a smile and then completed (attempted) frustrating work tasks (with zero sleep) are the days that when I eventually get to a bed I cry, over nothing, or the stupidest thing that makes me then feel like a spoilt five year old. Turns out I’m just tired. Thank you for your blog; you’re my anchor when I’m wherever I am in the World.

  • Jen

    I’m really jealous of those people who can get by on like 6 or 7 hours a night, they must get so much done! But I’ve tried it and it just makes me a horrible and useless person. So I’m sticking with 9-10, as difficult as that can be sometimes (it’s actually way past my bedtime right now!).


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  • Lucy

    Hi Hannah

    Reading this article made me remember why I gave up working in London. Sure I am 26, which is still quite young and some would say I didn’t give it enough of a chance. I knew that the feeling sick each morning and crying each night had to stop, it simply wasn’t worth it. I am now on the path to becoming a teacher, which is what I always should have done. I would encourage anyone who is putting themself through the daily hell of getting to and working in London to reevaluate.

  • B


    I read your blog post on cystitis and it saved my life. Bicarbonate of soda is disgusting and amazing. Thank you!

    I’ve read about every blog post you’ve done now – and I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe we’re the same person. Or not, but you manage to touch on the girly issues we’re all coping with and make us know we’re normal and help is at hand! Thanks 😀

  • I always wake up in the mildde of the night if I’ve been drinking the night before.Alcohol metabolizes into sugar, and a sugar rush in the mildde of the night probably isn’t so good for sleep.

  • I’m exactly the same so it’s great to hear that someone else gets like this! I’ve started setting an alarm to tell me go to sleep as well as to wake up and it’s been useful. Got to get those ten hours in x

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