Last week I couldn’t get to sleep for a couple of day and for the last two days all I can do is sleep. I’ve been through times like this before, and I have to say it’s a lot better now that I’m retired. I used to hate times like this when I was working. First you would be tired at work from no sleep, and then you would be at work trying not to doze off.
I used to have insomnia really bad. The longest I had ever gone without sleep is five days. I was working full time and at the end of that week I could barely lift my feet. At that point in time, I was actually reluctant to even lie down to try to sleep. It had become a loop to where I knew what would happen. I would lie down first and watch a little TV. Then I would turn it off and start to try to sleep. It always seemed just at that moment, that my mind would hit overdrive. There was no going through the stages of relaxing and then sleep. After lying there and trying to fall asleep for awhile, the tossing and turning would start. I couldn’t get into a comfortable position for anything. For a long time I would stay in bed and keep trying. I finally realized that besides getting no sleep, I was getting very frustrated just trying. So later when I found I couldn’t get to sleep, I would go ahead and get up.
This was back at a time before I had a computer and the only entertainment was reading or watching TV. I would feel like doing stuff in the house, but we had a small apartment, and if I did start anything in the house, it would wake up my X and the kids. So I did read a good bit, and would watch TV. TV was a total bust at those hours though. Nothing but infomercials on. Every now and then I could find an old movie I hadn’t seen before, but it was mostly boredom. After a good while, I would trying to go back to sleep and the same thing would happen. It would finally get to the point where at around 5:00 or 6:00 am I would finally get sleepy. However, at that time I couldn’t go to sleep because I became afraid if I did, I would over sleep for work. So I would go ahead and get ready for work and usually be the first one in the office.
Anyone that tells me now that they have insomnia, I feel for them and know exactly what they’re talking about. When you have insomnia it’s not just the inability to go to sleep, it’s also an underlying fear of trying to sleep. It’s one of those things that you know what’s waiting for you, and you just don’t want to go through that again. I’ve gotten better over the years with my insomnia. It’s no where as bad as it used to be, but it still pops up every now and then. Over the years I’ve tried everything. I’ve taken from the over counter to prescription medications. I usually don’t like taking these though. The over the counter medications have never worked for me, and the prescription medications scare me after the last ones I took. It’s scary to be told the next day that you sat down and talked to people for an hour or two, and the next day having no recollection of it. You begin to wonder what else you might have done and not remember it. So I gave those up completely. I now look at it as just a part of life or just getting older. It used to worry me about not getting to sleep, but now I take it with a grain of sand and don't worry so much. There’s still TV and reading, but now I have a computer and the Internet. So I can quietly keep myself amused without waking up anyone in the house.
The only thing I find about trying to sleep in this house is that no one wants me to. It’s as if everyone has a built in warning beacon that tell them when I’m asleep, and everyone has to pop their head in my door. Whether it’s to see how I am, or if they need something, someone is always going to wake me up. I think that’s the reason I’ve gotten into the habit of taking naps. I used to never be able to sleep during the day and a nap was out of the question. Now that I’ve gotten older, I can nap just about any place. I’ll usually doze off in my chair at the computer, and as uncomfortable as that sounds, it’s not too bad. I can’t get mad at my family for waking me up. If Fmom needs something I want to be sure to be there for her, and usually I want to get up to get whatever the rest of the family need something just because I don’t want too big of a mess to clean up afterwards.
So I guess everyone has problems with sleep from time to time. Does anyone else have problems and/or remedies for finding that elusive sleep?