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Saturday, February 20, 2010


I know the textbook definition of Insomnia.  Reality of insomnia is pretty close.  But, insomnia comes in all varieties.  Like the commercials for my ever loving Ambien CR, some people have trouble falling asleep while others have trouble staying asleep.

FW?  I have both.  I have to take something OTC or else I'll stay up unable to sleep (even though I feel extremely tired and long for peaceful, resting hours) until three or four in the morning.  Only to fall asleep having to wake two hours later completely dragging after having been up for approximately 20 hours or so, straight.  Compile that with the days previous that I was lacking multiple hours and it can become a real mess.

Even if I don't have caffeine (which I tend to have coffee in the mornings - but not during lent this year - and unsweetened tea in the first half of the day only) it doesn't make a difference.  So, I've come to learn that I must take an OTC sleep aid to help me drift off.  And, it works great!  I'll suddenly feel sleepy and put my book/remote/water aside and drift to sleep -- required-ly before the snore-factor hits the hay next to me.

When my son was born and diagnosed with the worst case of colic ever (after I had severe pre-eclampsia and went back in the hospital two days later hemorrhaging clots the size of baseballs -- literally; and I think it was the IV antibiotics they put me on while I was nursing him) I slept maybe, maybe, three hours a night for five months.

Five, whole months.  While still trying to run a business with a baby who cried constantly, never comfortable.  It was enough to drive a Gal crazy and it came close.  Though, it wasn't poor Farmer, Jr's fault -- poor baby.  I remember slurring on the phone in the mornings at the office, after having driven in to work with toothpicks to keep my eyes open.  But, that wasn't insomnia.  That was parent/child induced.

The last severe bout of true insomnia I had was several years ago when the kids were young.  Farmer, Jr. had started Pre-K.  Every night, I'd go to sleep around 8:pm, maybe watch a T.V. show and fall asleep.  Not that I necessarily wanted to go to sleep immediately after tucking my kids in.  But, I knew the inevitable was that come 3:am, I'd be wide smack awake and toss and turn all night long (like a Lionel Riche song).  Should the hubby snore before 3:am or the kids holler out in their sleep; I'd be up sooner.  And, never able to go back to sleep.  I soooo needed my sleep.

It got so bad that I was slurring again in the mornings.  I'd fight to keep my eyes open driving Farmer, Jr. to school.  I was wound so tight from being sleep deprived that I found myself at the doctor's office ready to snap.  I was afraid of Ambien at the time because I wanted something with a short lifecycle so that I could sleep but wouldn't be sleep driving (anymore than I already had been).

It turns out after having tried several (and an acid trip along the way from one of the 'sleep inducing' ingredients) I did end up with the Ambien CR.  [Regular Ambien does the same to me as an OTC sleep aid; I fall asleep but I don't staaaaaaay asleep.]

Anyhow, I've been having these episodes again.  Typically, three or four days in a row and then I get so exhausted (wined up and OTC sleep aid fulfilled) that I'll get a full nights sleep.  Though, I'm still dragging because one night does not make up for half a week.

I hate taking a prescribed medication during the school year, particularly the school week.  But, I'm thinking I'm going to have to make that call.  Because when I play toss-and-turn all night long on the couch on a Friday night/Saturday morning -- FW one night/morning to sleep in -- it is very disgruntling.  And, disappointing as well.

My insomnia is an inherited gene, I'm pretty sure.  I remember in high-school I'd be so revved up that I'd clean and re-organize my room, my school folders, color code my closet (I don't do that anymore but back then it was all about school colors) and most often, the alarm would go off suddenly at 5:am and I'd realize I'd been up all night.  But, no big deal.  I was a teenager.  We could live on adrenaline for days.

It'd happen after I'd grown up and owned and ran my own business.  I'd have an intense night of non-sleep.  But, I was 'my own boss' and could make up the sleep whenever I chose.  Then came children.

You can't just stop and drop when you have children around.  And, that is when it seemed to become so intensified.  Anyhow, if you have these sleep troubles please share.  We are all in the same boat.

As for now?  The kids are watching a movie, hubby is out doing stuff, and I'm thinking I'm going to grab my kindle and slip off to the bedroom to see if I can steal a few winks while the children are tolerating each other and unaware that I'm clickity-ing away at the LT.

Happy Saturday!!



Jay said...

I have the "can't stay asleep" insomnia. I normally can get on to sleep, but if I wake up during the night, I won't be able to get back to sleep. And I go through spells when this is worse than other times. Very frustrating.

Farmer*swife a/k/a Glass_Half_Full said...

Yes, it is completely frustrating... and it tends to leave one a little cranky. I'm the same way. If anything stirs me in the middle of the night -- I'm screwed.

Prohomemaker.Com said...

Ummm, I am writing this at 3:06 a.m. -- welcome to my world.

I've had it since I was a teenager, and an OTC sleep aid is du jour for me. (I could not believe when Art was complaining after taking one this week ... I felt like saying, "Imagine doing it every day," but I resisted.

I would *love* to finally get an Ambien RX. But till then I am on a bartender's sleep schedule -- in bed by 4 and back up in the afternoon.

Melissa said...

Is it possible to get addicted to sleep aids? I'm just wondering if there is a danger of dependency.

Have you tried yoga and meditation followed by a warm bath and warm glass of milk prior to bed? What is it in your life that's keeping you awake and preventing you from getting back to sleep?

I generally don't have a problem falling asleep, but I'm familiar with that 3 a.m. wake-up. But that only usually happens when I'm stressing out about something (or have a storyline flitting about in my head). Sometimes the only thing you CAN do is get up be productive.

I say, grab your sleep where you can get it, which is when the kids are at school. Put the housecleaning and everything else on the back burner. Your health is more important. And if hubby complains about a dirty bathroom or not having clean underwear, tell him to pick up a scrub brush and toss a load of clothes in the washer himself. ;-)

kcinnova said...

I get a good night of sleep about twice a week. The rest of the nights? I am either so well-rested that my body says "hey, I'm not tired!" regardless of what my mind might think OR I'm exhausted but my mind is spinning and/or (last night was an "and" night) my feet are twinging/freaking out and I can't lie still. It's not fair to my husband who needs to get up and commute 2 hours to work if I toss and turn, so I get up. Sometimes I have a cup of chamomile tea or some warmed milk... sometimes I play solitaire on the computer until my eyes get heavy. If I watch TV, I will probably be up all night long. I can't clean or make noise because that will disturb everyone else's sleep, hence the late-night blogging.
Luckily, I can often nap away much of the next day but not today. I'll probably fall into bed by 9:30pm and feel guilty (but hopefully sleep anyway) about the unfinished newsletter on my computer.
I know all about the toothpicks, the falling asleep while talking to or reading to the kids, and the frustration of wanting to sleep but not being able to. With menopause just around the corner, I'm sure that the waking in the middle of the night is next. *sigh*