Insomniatica

16 August, 2011
Rat Fink

Today I am Rattus norvegicus insomniatus, mistress of sleep deprivation. OK I just made that up. But why have I been awake since 2:30 a.m.? Well, it goes down like this every mid-August. I know I’m coming up on the last week before school starts, and the hyperdrive brain functions kick back in. Infuriating. Pavlovian, even. My hours of sleep time will now be inversely proportional to the number of commitments I have the following day. Tell ya what, it just makes me mad.

But hey, enough complaining. I am beyond fortunate to even have a job I can lose sleep over. After what BoomR and others have been through, I should be nothing but grateful, which I am. Just not today. :P

What do you do when you can’t shut off your brain? I’ve tried:

  1. visualizing being on the beach at night, listening to a calm sea
  2. silently counting backwards from 1000
  3. self-talk (“relax, go to sleep, it can all wait”)

As much as I want it to work, it never does. And reading or a glass of warm milk (eewwwww) doesn’t cut it, either. Once I’m up, I’m up. Can’t take any over-the-counter sleep meds because they give me restless legs.

So what — am I just out of luck here? Fortunately it doesn’t happen every night; rather, just once a week or so. Indeed, we throw the term “insomnia” around pretty casually, when in fact, it’s a serious chronic disorder, unlike occasional sleeplessness, which is what I suffer from. Still, it throws a huge pipe wrench into the following day. I mean, I know we’re supposed to sleep less as we get older, but criminetly…

Upside: I get to have breakfast with Bando this morning. That’s worth staying up for all by itself. Not so sure about the Cowboys and Aliens matinee with the Thriller this afternoon, though. ZzzZzzzzzZZZzz….

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Meg
Meg
16 August, 2011 9:31 am

Melatonin supplements?? A more natural alternative to sleep drugs.
Or play a little Richard Wagner softly in the background? Haa.

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Suzanne
16 August, 2011 11:42 am

I tried melatonin once and it worked for me BUT the danger can be that it works TOO well and you sleep so hard that it’s difficult to wake up on time. You have to figure out the dosage and when to take it to make it work correctly. I’ve read that it’s just best to get up and do something light like read a good book or surf the internet. No house cleaning (You vacuuming at 3:00am? HAAAA) That’s better than tossing and turning in bed and getting stressed because you can’t sleep. If it’s one night a week… Read more »

RD
RD
16 August, 2011 9:01 pm

I know from experience — it’s true that I sleep less at night as I’ve aged, but it’s also true that the older I am, a nap in the afternoon sure is wonderful and becomes more regular — but not when I’m mowing I’ve use melatonin in the past, taking it at bed time. However, a friend of mine who owns an alternative medicine outlet said that using it in abundance is not wise. When we do, the body decreases its own production of melatonin and becomes dependent on the oral treatment. When I have used it, I have not… Read more »