Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Best Cure For Insomnia Is To Get A Lot Of Sleep!

The Best Cure For Insomnia Is To Get A Lot Of Sleep! That quote by W.C.Fields is funny but true.
Insomnia... it sounds like a tranquil word doesn’t it? Certainly not something closer to torture! If you are plagued with this nasty condition,  insomnia and tranquil don’t belong in the same sentence... no matter how its used! Insomnia is a common condition in which you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. It’s a common thread woven throughout our family of anxiety ridden, can’t shut your mind down, energy fluctuating worry warts such as us!

My first memories of “not being able to sleep” are from childhood. Mom would make Kathy and I lay down for naps. I hated that word!  I spent my time either laying there gazing at Kathy sleeping peacefully, or checking Big Ben! That was my nap routine. Mom’s alarm clock called a Big Ben flashed light before it rang. I never heard it ring in all my life, because one flash and she was up and dressed. At nap time I watched the golden second hand go around and around. How I wished it would go faster. After laying there an eternity already, Mom would invariably appear out of nowhere to check and see if we were sleeping, because she wanted to sneak out and get the milk cows. After the same quick  daily scolding about, “how was I going to sleep without my eyes closed” she left…so I closed them until she went after the cows and I went back to watching the clock.

Marcy and I joke about her pinching me on Christmas eve when she was a teen and I was about five or six because I wouldn’t go to sleep so Santa could come. I would beg and plead with somebody to let me sleep with them because the night didn’t seem so long.The thing about insomnia besides being tired the next day is the torture of feeling so alone ALL NIGHT LONG! The whole rest of the world is sleeping and it feels like you’re the only one awake. Occasionally Kathy would give in and let me sleep in her room but that was usually short lived because I would get over on her half of the bed, and she’d send me packing back to my room.

In high school I would go on dates and come home and sleep downstairs with Mom. Way to wound up to sleep, I’d tell her all about the date, until she’d finally say, “No, we better go to sleep the birds are starting to sing”!

When I worked at Trinity hospital, I worked nights and lay awake days when I was supposed to sleep. I worked three nights in a row so by day four, relieved to be done, I’d sleep hard and long. When I cooked at the school, I would have to get up about 4:30 am so for an insomniac that’s about when you might be falling asleep! I never went to that job with any sleep and thank God I was only a substitute, because I don’t know how I’d have done it all the time. Working at Mirage elementary school,  some days I could hardly stay awake during story time or calendar because I hadn’t slept the night before.

So far, this sounds like a minor annoyance problem but it really has been a big problem that has kept me from doing a lot of things in my life. If I know I have something going on I will for sure not sleep unless I take something and any insomniac knows you can’t take the same thing or it won’t work more than a few nights. I have tried it all, melatonin, Tylenol pm with out the Tylenol, Benadryl, tranquilizers, ambien you name it and it all works for awhile. Alcohol doesn’t work it makes it worse, and for somebody that’s only been drunk a couple times in my life that isn‘t an option, because I never feel good from alcohol. I have given over my problems to God, prayed about it, stopped caffeine, worried about it, and not worried about sleeping by taking on a, “who cares, you will sleep when your tired attitude”. I have the little sign that says “let God worry about it he stays up all night anyway”. I have Faith, its not fear that keeps me up, it’s just an energy that won’t shut down….NOTHING WORKS!

My poor son Brendon has it bad as well. He too has had it since he was young. He used to lay in bed and yell to me, “Mom if something happens will you tell me what it is”? Or sing to me from his room just to keep me awake so he wasn’t alone. When he had surgery you know how your konked out the whole day after surgery? Not him…he came out awake and stayed awake all day and way into the next night! Poor guy winds up looking like this picture more than once because of lack of sleep. We won’t say what I look like because its a lot worse than this dude!

I have had sleep studies done and I went into REM sleep for 1 minute one time and 2 minutes the second. They have no solutions…just that it’s a common problem. A common problem that really disrupts your life! I hate to make plans because that’s a given I won’t sleep the night before. I don’t like to sleep with anybody because I will probably have my kindle lit up in their face all night long or be jumping up and down all night.

This was my itinerary last night. Took a Tylenol without the Tylenol (I don’t know what that medicine is called) about ten o’clock. Went to bed at eleven and went right to sleep, … until three! Went to the bathroom and not really sleepy, so looked at facebook on my kindle and left a couple comments. Laid down the kindle and said to myself, “get to sleep”. Tossed around until four o’clock. Thought of playing song pop but then decided I’d probably lose because the kindle is so slow to buzz in, so fired up the kindle and played a slot game. Played that for an hour, have 9643 monies on that game... but  I quit because if I heard that Hawaiian song play one more time as the reels spun, I would lose my desire to go to Hawaii! I found another with a Egyptian theme. Played that until I was bored silly. I shut the Kindle off again and turned upside down on my bed, right under the ceiling fan, snuggled down into the covers and laid there. Said prayers for the second time in the same order I’ve said them in for 55 years or so and added a personal one for people I knew that were suffering. Tortured by the nothingness I fired up the kindle again and checked face book at 5:55! When I saw it was 5:55 I angrily shut the Kindle off, flung it way to the other side of the bed, leaped out of bed, tore all my sheets off and marched out to the washing machine. The dogs who sleep in the laundry room both lay there like, “we aren’t going out this early, go back to bed lady”…but instead I threw my sheets in the washer and turned them on leaving the poor dogs to listen to the noise of the machine. Then I made a cup of tea and a skinny bagel for a fat lady, and hammered out this blog.

Sheets dry now, I’m going to go clean my room and when I rock Easton today, he could be putting me to sleep before I put him to sleep. Other days I expect to be exhausted and am just fine. I shouldn’t complain at all because many people are dealing with deadly diseases and I am whimpering about a little lost sleep but ??!!//? it’s maddening!


  1. Hey,
    This is not funny. I have it to some degree. I am amazed that you handle it this well. I take .05 xanax to sleep. I suppose you have tried this too, but a pharmacist told me it was far safer than ambien. I will pray for you to sleep.

  2. I just saw this reply...thank you for your comment! I know its a annoying at the least and life changing at its worst..I hope you get sleep too. Yes I have tried that the thing is your body gets used to it and you need more so I try to just tough it out or take a varity of things like benydryl one time...Tylenol pm one time etc but always check with a Dr. of course before trying anything. Good luck to you too.