Sunday Scribblings #98 Sleep


Sleep. Especially lack of it.

I have an overabundance of lack of sleep. A lifetime insomniac, with sudden streaks of blissful sleep thrown in for just a few days or weeks, I have more or less made peace with the fact that I will probably never be one of those who can “lay down on this floor and pass out”. At least, not without the help of tequila.

I don’t remember specific instances of sleeplessness while I was a youngster or as a teen. It seemed to start generally around the same time that I married. I was too young and too stupid to listen to what the fates were trying to tell me, apparently. My marriage was one eternal and uninterrupted string of chaos, stress and bewilderment. Goodness, why sleep when you can stay awake and fight?

I remember thinking when we first separated, that for the first few months, I would relish the peace and quiet and JUST SLEEP!!!! Peace and quiet finally abounded in my life — sleep was elusive. I would go to the all night supermarket at 2:30am because since I was awake anyway, I might as well make use of my time. It’s sad when the night shift stock guys know you by name, but you can only watch so many infomercials before brain cells start dying.

I went through many years of trying to force myself to sleep — spent many nights looking at the clock every 15 minutes and telling myself if I would just go to sleep RIGHT NOW I could get at least X hours of sleep before I had to get ready for work. Tried sleep aids — OTC and Rx’d. Tried yoga. Tried meditation. Tried hot milk. BLECH!

I cut out caffeine, made sure my bedroom was dark as a tomb, kept a diary of everything I ate and drank or what I did and when I did it. I even included the phases of the moon and any threats of stormy weather. I read everything I could about sleeplessness and what the experts recommended be done to combat it.

(Yawn) So as I sit on the sofa watching the tube with Sweet Baboo, my head nods and my eyes slam shut. I go to bed, lay down and get comfy, then my eyes fly open and my brain kicks into overdrive. Not about anything actually important mind you, just this craptastic fluff that bounces around in my head like little balloons. (Sigh)

count sheep

Since nothing else seemed to work, I decided to try acceptance. It works better for me than most of the suggestions. If I can’t fall asleep within just a few minutes, I get back up. I don’t usually turn on the TV but will read a book or knit something that doesn’t require a lot of brain cells. I don’t look at the clock if I can help it. My flawed logic is that even if I don’t sleep that night or the next or the next, eventually I will for sure sleep because I can’t stay awake forever. It’s far from a perfect solution, but it’s the best that I have right now. Luckily, I seem to not be requiring as much sleep as I (ahem) become older. Maybe I’ll be able to complete all of those knitting projects that I want to do after all. Maybe this will all resolve itself someday. Maybe sheep will fly.

Still awake? If you would like read more about sleep or a lack thereof, click here for Sunday Scribblings.


9 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #98 Sleep

  1. it seems to me if you tend to fall asleep more easily on the couch, in front of the tv,, whatever… just do it… who says you have to get up and go to bed???/ i slept on the couch for years, as that is where i fell asleep.. it worked for me….

  2. I don’t know why I’m laughing…this is a well written piece full of humorous lines and visuals, but sleeplessness is not a good thing. I, too, watch infomercials and nod off at my desk or every time I sit down (which is why I stand a lot) but give me a dark room, a bed and a pillow and my mind rebuilds the world. Great post!!

  3. Insomnia is a terrible thing. Most of the time I sleep very well, but I do have short periods when it strikes. These are bad enough.
    But acceptance seems to be the way through it. But then again, what would I know?

  4. Again, misery shares company. I had to stop buying digital clocks because I couldn’t stand watching the time tick away when I couldn’t sleep. Mine is much better now, but I did many of the things you did and do. There are times I think I sleep more than I think I do. .. but today I had a great nap. I am glad I don’t work tomorrow because I will probably be up half the night!

  5. Sherill

    Somewhere I read that it you are just lying quietly in bed (probably not tossing and turning or thinking evil thoughts), it’s half as good as actual sleep. So on the nights I can’t sleep (maybe 2 out of 6), I tell myself this and just relax. I figure if I lie quietly for 4 hours, it as good as 2 hours of sleep. But this is usually boring, so I get up, read a book, and fall asleep on the couch – there’s something about a book on the couch that’s like a sleeping pill.
    I’m hoping to get to Woolworks this Thursday for a while – maybe I’ll see you there!

  6. Spoken like a grownup: ‘ I decided to try acceptance’ Thanks for the reminder.
    Interesting prompt and great post, Marcy. Now that I have sleep apnea I have found the secret to sleep: a CPAP machine :O) Then there’s my husband who is narcoleptic so there’s way too much sleep going on around here.
    Thanks for sharing.

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