April 30, 2013

Sleepless in West Palm Beach

I can't sleep again and I don't know why. It's not stress. All the big milestones have been hit. I won the election. The band trip is finished. My big deadline was met. (By the way, the cash award was really big...) My surgery is done, I lived, and although I still have this crappy 47 year old Mom body, I like my new navel.

But I'm not sleeping.

I went in for my pre-op a couple weeks ago and I was asked by three different people if I ever had trouble sleeping. With each of them I gave the same response: Yes. And each of them asked in turn: Have you ever taken anything for it?

It was like the automatic response.

And my answer is No. I never have. And to be honest with you, even when I took the one Vicadin after my surgery, I didn't sleep that great. I expected a four hour zonk-out and I was mildly aware of nearly everything that was going on around me... of the time escape.

I find it absolutely fascinating to be put to sleep. I don't know if it's because I struggle so much to sleep or if it's a science thing, but I think it's... freaky cool to go to sleep, know the entire world has been operating on all cylinders and you've time warped it.

I've done this twice and both times I've looked at the clock with a grin to see how much time I was unaware of losing. I can tell you what time the clock said both surgeries because I find it... absolutely fascinating.

As I was going under this last time, the Doc said, "Ready?" as he put the mask to my face and I said, "Go!"

I was ready to start the crazy lost time race. And sure enough, as soon as my eyes opened, I looked at the clock and started calculating time lost.

But that doesn't happen at night. The same thoughts should be applied in theory to every night, yet... I sleep so poorly, it doesn't.

I'm fine with not sleeping. It's not effecting me during the day, so I must be getting what I need. But there are times I think to myself, 'Wow, I remember what it used to be like... to be able to totally sleep and wake up so rested..."

Am I the only person who doesn't take anything for it? Because each time I've said, "No" when asked, each person stopped and said, "Really?"

Is there some great sleeping drug I don't know about?

Posted by Boudicca at April 30, 2013 10:08 PM

Only thing I take is a good book. Read til I crash. Seriously have considered taking drugs... I'm beat.

Posted by: vwbug at May 1, 2013 04:35 AM

But you have other things going on at night. That's not what is going on here. I think there is a difference in how your body reacts when you can't sleep vs. not being allowed to sleep.

Posted by: Bou at May 1, 2013 05:04 AM

Some people don't need much sleep; others have to get a solid 9 hours or they can't function during the day. I'm part of the latter group and sleep comes pretty easy.

Margaret Thatcher only slept four hours a night while PM. She famously said: "sleep is for wimps" and I bet she meant it. ;)

That said, the best drug I know is to pray... puts me right out.

Posted by: pam at May 1, 2013 05:59 AM

I frequently (by no means always) have trouble getting to sleep unless I'm far more active than a normal work day needs to be. I don't take anything. When I'm tired enough I catch up....

Posted by: Pogue at May 1, 2013 07:00 AM

I too get less sleep than the average person -- which is especially notably when compared to my twin sister, who needs at least 8.5 hrs per night to function.

People have often suggested melatonin tablets, or nyquil (or zzzquil if not battling illness). When I did take nyquil whilst sick, it actually kept me awake at night, so... yeah. I'm just resigned to the idea of taking whatever sleep I can get as a gift.

Posted by: rae at May 1, 2013 07:40 AM

Ah, sleep it is a gentle thing
Beloved from pole to pole.
To Mary Queen the praise be given,
She sent the gentle sleep from heaven
That slid into my soul.

Posted by: Ancient Mariner at May 1, 2013 08:12 AM

They gave me something when I had my shoulder (rotator cuff) surgery.

Vicodin didn't work, ended up using the cold pack and tylenol/ibuprofen combination to knock back the pain.

The sleep aid was something like Lunesta or Ambien so that when I would wake up in pain I would note it, shift my position in the chair, and just go back to sleep. I quit using it after a week or so.

I find being really tired and going to bed at the same time each night works for me. (That and the dog sleeping between my wife and I.) But then I was always able to get up, feed the baby, and then fall right back to sleep. (My wife, not so much.)

Since you say that everything is in its place in your life, I see no reason that your internal commentary shouldn't shutdown so you can sleep.

Posted by: The Thomas at May 1, 2013 08:38 AM

I can be dead tired, go to bed and then lie there. What I find lulls me to sleep is having the TV on....I crash right out.

The other thing to do if I can't sleep, start a rosary....bam, out in no time.

Posted by: Trudy at May 1, 2013 12:25 PM

I'm like you. I don't sleep well, but then again I haven't in so many years I don't ever remember doing so. Even as a child I didn't wake up feeling rested. My body clock seems to run on some odd timing the rest of the world doesn't work on as I also could not go to sleep at night for hours after going to bed.

I have heard all kinds of stuff about different things to make you sleep - I take none of them. I go look them up and the side effects (even for stuff like melatonin) put me off.

Interestingly I'm doing a gluten free experiment to see if it helps with some odd things... I have found I am far more alert all day since about a week into it (started on March 17). I am also breathing better because my sinuses are more open - that is a head scratcher - didn't expect it. (side note: when I went to get the nodule removed from my thyroid, the doc asked me if I wasn't really there for sinus surgery - her words were "can you breathe through your nose at all? LOL)

I'm wondering now if it will help my sleeping if I stick with it for 6 months or so... we'll see. Changes are slow, but there are changes which keeps me interested.

Posted by: Teresa at May 1, 2013 03:22 PM

These days, I usually fall asleep quite easily. Less than 10 minutes, and I'm out solid. (Like Trudy above, if I'm having trouble, saying the rosary puts me out like a light...don't even get past the first decade). But...if I've had 4 or 5 hours of sleep and get woken up, I usually can't get back to sleep. The mind starts racing on all I have to do. Given that my husband is an insomniac and comes to bed about 4 or 5 hours after I've gone to bed...yeah, it can be a pain.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at May 1, 2013 04:47 PM

Yeah, for sure, once I'm up, I'm up.

I think when my body is really ready for sleep, it will get it. Maybe I just don't require as much, but it is psychological... I think I SHOULD be sleeping.

I will say, when I'm bored, I'm tired. I was in a meeting today and kept thinking about sleeping.

Posted by: Bou at May 1, 2013 08:11 PM


Have you had a sleep study done?

Posted by: Jay Stribling at May 1, 2013 10:24 PM

I haven't. I don't snore or have apnea. I just... don't sleep anymore. I think it's an age thing. A girlfriend of mine said she doesn't really know any women who sleep well.

Posted by: Bou at May 2, 2013 05:59 AM

I know you are much younger than I, but I really started having trouble sleeping as I started menopause....it's been a several year process...so it's been several years of waking up sweating, throwing covers on my husband, cooling down, then falling back asleep. It's my theory that women don't start wrinkling till till night sweats....the lack of an extended sleep makes your skin wrinkle...lol

Posted by: Trudy at May 2, 2013 06:20 AM

When I lay my head down on the pillow, I'm out within a couple of minutes. But I only sleep well for about 4 hours. After that, it's sporadic. I wake up rested and fine. I've come to the conclusion that these news reports that say you need 8 hours sleep are B.S. Everyone is different. So when it comes up in conversation at home, I always brush it off...Margaret Thatcher style!

Posted by: Peggy K at May 2, 2013 07:01 AM