Sleep, or the Lack Thereof

If anybody gets an email from me today that makes no sense, just delete it. I already sent one to my husband by mistake (thank goodness it was just to him). I think I’ve gotten about 5 hours of sleep in the past two days.

I have always had trouble sleeping. I had trouble sleeping when I was a kid, and I’d played outside all day long, from sunup to sundown, and eaten very nutritious meals and had no caffeine or sugar. Maybe because my parents were too nice when I was a baby and rocked me every single time I cried and I never learned how to go back to sleep on my own? (heh, one more thing for a parent to worry about– causing lifelong insomnia). Maybe I’m wired funny? (probably).

Now, my computer’s in my bedroom and I try not to go on it after like 8, but still. It’s there in the bedroom. Not good. The other contributing problem is I have to have the curtain drawn, because the glare’s too much on my eyeballs, so I’m not getting enough natural light in the day to get sleepy at night.

I do the exercise thing and the other thing that doctors suggest doing with your spouse to promote sleep, and none of it works. And the bed we bought at IKEA just like 18 months ago is broken– I mean, it’s BROKEN broken, it’s sagging and springs sticking out, in a way that I have never seen on any bed, not even the crap beds you get at college, and which probably makes my husband congratulate himself, but really– 18 months for a mattress and box springs? They are not cheap! I have to get a new one. (Does anyone use sleep number?)

For a while, I was waking up coughing, so I had a sleep study done and found I am getting 80% oxygen which apparently is okay on some scale, because nobody said anything else about it. I have a deviated septum. And the doc found (separately, not from sleep study) I had acid reflux, which I now control, so the coughing is over.

The past two nights, I’ve been in a short sleep repeating cycle where I fall asleep and have a couple of dreams, then wake up. Then every worry I’ve had over the past EVER flies into my head and wakes me up all the way. (Book characters! I think I solved my plot problem! How’s my new book doing? What if my writing career is over? Where did the cat go? I am sad about the cat. Kids! Ahhh). Then I need to pee and then I am totally awake. Then, when the sun comes up, it lulls me back to sleep. WHO the heck sleeps BETTER when the sun is up? Am I a vampire and don’t know it?

Part of the problem is hormonal. My cycle sucks. Once I used “sucks” in my book and my editor struck it out saying it wasn’t very literary. But sucks is the best word to describe the hellacious unnecessary hormonal rollercoaster I am stuck on every month. It’s three weeks instead of four, and PMS lasts like for a week and a half, and during that week and a half, I have extra super special sleep problems. (At which point you’re thinking Cadillac deserves the Gold Medal of Patient Male Sainthood because he is going to have not one, not two, but three beee-yotches to deal with, because it is true that females synchronize their cycles). The choices for dealing with the cycle are hormones (make me sick and fat), or Prozac (upsets my stomach a lot, but did help me sleep and be less AMPED UP when taken during this difficult part of the month; and you only need to take it during this part of the month). I am actually sort of looking forward to menopause. Hairy chins are preferable to this garbage. I am done with babies. I don’t need any more eggs.

English: Students need sleep in order to study.

I’m getting a refill on my Ambien today just so I can wake up tomorrow feeling not so crazy.

The next thing to try is a white noise machine– currently it’s a small fan– because I do notice when I sleep in hotels with room A/C units, I sleep better because it drowns out every single noise; and last night I woke up because a leaf fell on the patio outside my window and I thought we were being burgled (we have gravel around the house so anybody would make a crunching noise if they tried to come in), and when a jet flies over I think there’s an earthquake rumbling toward us.

By the way, I am loving these photo suggestions WordPress gives me. They are common use so I don’t have to do a crazy search. Yay WordPress.

Also by the way, I know someone is going to suggest meditation or melatonin, and neither work. I am open to unorthodox suggestions (hanging upside down?) though.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

5 thoughts on “Sleep, or the Lack Thereof

  1. I’ve been having the exact same sleep problems. If I wake up and can’t go back to sleep I usually have to take a Xanax in order to go back to sleep. It’s ridiculous! And I take Prozac every night.

  2. Same thing here — so I got your newest book, thinking it would lull me back to sleep, but it’s so good I can’t stop reading it!

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