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)
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.
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