Thursday, October 05, 2006

Insomnia Rant

I have never been very good at sleeping. I have trouble going to sleep in strange places, if someone is staying at my house, if the Mister is traveling, if i am upset or worried, if i am sick, if Em is sick. The list goes on. And many nights when i can fall asleep, i wake up at 1:30 in the morning and can't go back to sleep for a long time.

I have drugs to help me fall asleep when i am traveling, otherwise i am a nauseous, exhausted mess while on vacation. But i won't take the drugs at home, else i would be doing it way too much.

I will often turn on my little nightstand radio, tuned to the BBC, to give me something to listen to and think about other than my thoughts. But lately, the news is so consistently depressing that it just gives me new things to worry about.

The things i can find to fuss and worry about in the middle of are many and varied. And often, when viewed in the harsh light of the morning, completely ridiculous. I wish i knew what advantage my mind thinks there is to keeping me awake and anxious. I wish i knew why i am like this and what i could do to stop it.

Last night, as the Mister was snoring (gently) beside me, i worried about the cat that was outside. I wondered when the cat that was inside, sleeping happily at my feet and snoring (even more gently), was going to wake up and start whining to go outside. I worried about the plumbing project that is currently tearing up my yard. I worried about the funny spot on my leg being another skin cancer lesion. I worried about whether the woman who cleans my house would be able to find a place to park with all the plumbing trucks. Maybe i should call her in the morning, I worried if i would remember to call her in the morning. Etc, etc, ad nauseum....

What an ass. I know i am supposed to get up and do something else for a while. But it's COLD out there in the house. Maybe i should just knock back a few shots of whiskey. If we had any in the house, and if that wasn't just a different drug.


Stupid joke, and one of my favorites:
Did you know that there is a support group for the families of people who talk too much? It's called On and On Anon.


Girlplustwo said...

oh....yuck. the nights when i can't sleep and am awake and free to roam about the house in solitude are exactly when i lie there cursing the night. i hope you are able to sleep better tonight...

DoctorMama said...

Did being a bad sleeper affect how you treated your kid if she didn't sleep well? I find I am a real softy about my son not going to sleep when he should because hell, I never could, why should I expect him to?

Anonymous said...

I've been in insomnia mode for a bit now. I feel your pain.

This post, plus your worrying post sound exactly my friend. Why do you have another lost twin? I have not found ANY yet.

DoctorMama, for me, it depends on how tired I am or at what point in my sleep cycle I get disturbed by my kids' not sleeping. I'm a grizzly bear.

meno said...

jen, yes, i hope so too. Thanks.

doctormama, I was a nazi about bedtime when she was young, because by the end of the day my patience was as thin as Mark Foley's excuses. I didn't care what she did as long as she stayed in her room. Sometimes she would play quietly for a while and then nod off. But there was a long period when she would come into our room in the middle of the night just to chat for a few minutes, and snuggle. I never minded that. I never connected it to my bad sleeping, but maybe that's why i was tolerant of it.

de, it does seem to go in cycles for me. Another twin? I think that would make it triplets. :)

SUEB0B said...

I hate the insomnia. I am just a naturally light sleeper. I never have to use an alarm clock because I am always *almost* awake anyway.

Mr. Stapler, a major snoozer, did not understand. He would walk in while I was sleeping and just start talking to me, which meant the end of me sleeping. He falls asleep in 2 seconds, so he could not understand that for me, when I wake up I AM UP for hours...

Marshamlow said...

I have had sleeping problems on and off all my life. What works for me, is something I discovered as a child. I make up a story. Like before I was married, I would meet a mystery man, fall and love and get married. Whatever! I just make up a nice little story where the world all gets fixed. I make up every tiny little detail that will make the story realistic. Like, how I become president, or how world peace comes about. Anyways. I don't allow myself to think about any real life stuff at all. Whenever I feel my thoughts wandering back to the real world, I force them back to the story. When I get bored with one story I will start a new one, or I sometimes go back to old favorites. Or I pray, I have never made it threw a prayer without falling asleep.

Mother of Invention said...

I also have a problem with sleep and ironically, the Chronic Fatigue I have is a sleep disorder. I was on immovane briefly and man does it work! But supposedly addictive so hence the brief stint. Amitriptyline was a little help but it made me gain 8 pounds which I didn't want! Tylenol sometimes helps...menopause definitely doesn't help!

They used to have a support group for Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue but I was always too tired to go to the meetings! HA! HA!

Sweet dreams!

urban-urchin said...

Yes hello.I'd like to join the On and On and Anon group.
Also, I haven't been able to go to sleep before 3 am any night this week. And I have to drag my happy ass out of bed by 7 to get the ankle biters in gear. You'd like working on 4 hours of sleep would make me tired. Yes. But really it's made me lazy- like I decided to skip the shower this morning. I better get some sleep for the sake of personal hygiene.

Teri M. said...

"On and On Anon" - hee

There is something about the middle of the night that makes all the problems seem so much bigger. Seems like a problem quite a few of us are having. It sucks.

Dick said...

When Annie died I had a hard time getting to sleep but I found that I could take Benadryl for it. I didn't need the antihistomine and I really can't take it for that purpose as it does make me go to sleep. That was what I wanted at that time & it did help. Of course, I don't think one should take Benedryl every night forever.

Bobealia... said...

Get your ass out of bed and write it all down until you are falling asleep pen in hand, then write the last worry and quickly jump back into bed. This works for me. Hard to implement, but 90% effective. Sometimes it's just a to-do list.

Anonymous said...

Ug. Insomia needs to go back to The Hot Place, where it belongs. I'm sorry your brain has trouble resting quietly. I definitely know that feeling. :)

"Sleep tight. Don't let the bed-bugs bite..." ;)

Josephine said...

I used to do that a lot more than I do now. Running every day helps me sleep.

But, still, if I wake up in the hour of 4, I'm totally screwed. The wierd thing is, my grandfather is like that too.

Maybe it's in the genes?

Antonia Cornwell said...

OHHH I hear you. I've always been a rubbish sleeper. It's the first thing I would change about myself. Even when I'm exhausted, even when I've driven 250 miles that day, even when I get up at 04:45 for work, even when I've taken valerian or drunk camomile tea. I hate my brain.

For me, insomnia is like having a skylight open in the top of my head that I can't reach to close. As long as there's a breeze blowing through it, I'm awake. All night. Until about an hour before getting-up time, then I fall sound asleep. Drives me mad.

When it's only mild insomnia, I retrace the steps of a journey I made that day. Even if it just involved going to the shops, I try to remember as much detail as possible and retrace my steps as slowly and with as much accuracy as I can. It works most of the time, unless my brain is being a total bastard.

Tracy Helgeson said...

I have always been a very lighter sleeper. And I also tend to stay awake worrying and thinking about things, everything sometimes. Since I got pregnant in 1994 I don't think I have ever slept the whole night through without waking at some point for some reason.

For the last few years though it's been a bit better. I started to get up earlier, at 6am and so I am exhausted by 9 or 10pm. I still wake (and I sleep MUCH better than when my husband is out of town-he snores terribly) each night but it's easier to get back to sleep than it used to be.

Try reading a math theory book before bed, guaranteed to put anyone to sleep:-)

thailandchani said...

I am quite an insomniac, too. Every two hours, whether it is rain, wind, calm, hot, cold or non-existent, I wake up. Never been sure what causes it. I can only wait it out until sleep comes again.

I turn on the nightstand radio and listen to "Coast to Coast AM" which is a program filled with ghost stories, conspiracy theories and other obscure topics. It's kind of fun and quirky. Do you get that program where you are?

If not, the math theory book might work. In worst case, try Whitehead's "Process and Reality". It will put anyone to sleep. It is so dull, boring and obscure that an audio tape would probably cause someone to sleep through surgery.

May you have peaceful nights ~

Thailand Gal


meno said...

suebob, separate beds? separate houses? The Mister also takes about 2 minutes to fall asleep. I wish i knew that trick.

marsha, i'll try that one, i sometimes sing long boring songs in my head.

MOI, menopause does NOT help. No.

u-u, i can go to sleep, but then i wake up about when you are getting to sleep and can't go back to sleep.

teri, glad you liked my silly joke. That one always cracks me up. In my family it's standard to use the phrase On and On Anon when we run into a big talker.

dick, if i lost the Mister i can't really imagine getting to sleep after that. I have tried Benadryl, but that stuff makes me woozy all the next morning. Which makes me lose at squash. >:(

bo, ha ha! That's a good idea, and it wouldn't wake up the snorers either. *Going off now to find a small notebook*

kerianne, My Grandfather always used to say that to me. I haven't heard it in years. thanks for the smile.

josephine, exercise is a key for me too. I do something almost every day, maybe i should step it up a bit.

antonia, yes, that's a very accurate desciption. And knowing that i have to get up early makes it worse. I usually cover up the clock so i can't obsess over the time.

tracy, i'll borrow one of the Mister's programming books, that ought to do the trick.

thailand girl, i listen to the BBC, but i'll look for that program in this area.

Andrea Frazer said...

I get what you're saying, although my worries appear in the form of anxiety and the occasional panic attack. I worry about traveling, too. I worry about the magnitude of raising two children. I worry that Rex and I are so different... how do we get through 50 more years if we can't get through the weekend without fighting over how to spend our money and time. I worry about not having enough money and time. I worry about my 76 year old mother. I worry about my makeup that I lost from leaving it on top of the car and wonder just how long I am going to look like a beaten down Irish washer woman before I plunk down 25.00 on Kmart replacements. Or should I spend the 100.00 on Mac makeup even if I can't afford it? But if I did, I worry I'd leave it on top of the car and drive off again. And now I'm worrying about you worrying about me worrying about everything else.

My point: I get it. You'll be fine. Sign of an intelligent brain (though if we were so intelligent, why would this plague us? I worry about that, too.)

peevish said...

Hey, Dick, I also use Benadryl to help me sleep. i only take one tablet and it really does help. I'm not sure how bad it is for a person over the course of a lifetime but I figure it is better than some prescription drug that hasn't been around for as long and it sure as hell is cheaper. Plus, my allergies don't bother me at night. I do find that alcohol might help me fall asleep but it doesn't keep me there. If I wake up during the night after having a couple glasses of wine, I have a hellova time getting back to sleep.

After my kids were born, I found that suddenly I was tortured most nights by visions of various bad things happening to them. I know. I really should get some therapy. But, for now, the Benadryl is helping just fine.

Anyway, sorry, Meno. I hope it gets better.