Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sleep? Sleep? Where did you go???

Every night the fight starts at around 11:00 p.m. There's the "I'm going to go to bed early" speech, the "I need to change my schedule to something resembling everyone else's" speech, the "What am I going to take tonight to get to sleep?" question.

I've tried the valerian and melatonin pills, and I've tried the combo valerian/melatonin pills, and I've HEARD about the valerian/melatonin/l'tryptophan pills that cost six arms and two legs each. I found that wine actually makes me sleepy, but I am one of the unfortunate few (it seems like) who really doesn't like the taste of most alcohol, so I'm trying to find one that I can stomach a half glass of on a nightly basis. But, maybe I shouldn't because I'm not sure it combines with the medicines I routinely take. Half a glass doesn't sound like it would interfere with much, though.

The "unisom-like" pills that come in extra large boxes at Costco are good because they are supposed to be "non-addicting" and they do actually help me feel tired enough to shut my mind off. I don't want to get into a specific pattern, for fear of that syndrome where you take a medicine until the effect of taking it every day makes it not work anymore. So, sometimes I take a whole pill and sometimes just half. And sometimes I combine a half with an antihistamine, and sometimes I'll have half a pill and add a little Irish cream to a decaf coffee or even tea.

It's a dance every night (as I type this dancing at 12:19 a.m.), and it never, ever, ever, ever gets easy. Every day I try to forget that I even have an issue like this, and each night I have to remember over again.

When my sons were little, I was blessedly able to figure out how to nap during the day sometimes, and there was no option about getting up early. Once they figured out how to open their bedroom door, it was all over! Cheerios all over, to be exact. I have no idea how I did not hear them as they poured and crunched in every corner of the house except my 6:30 a.m. or so.

I had sort of heard about sleep becoming more of an issue as we age, but now that I'm in full swing with it, I don't know whether it will wane at some point, or get worse. I'm wondering if this is symptomatic of menopause, or if it's symptomatic AFTER menopause, as well. The hours after midnight aren't useful. I don't get anything done. I'm pretty much in a stupor in front of a tv, or computer monitor, or staring at a book, letting the words blur. So, they're not hours I can feel proud of, and since I'm not sleeping, either, I'm not doing much good for myself.

And let's not EVEN talk about how many nights, after I've finally found oblivion, I'm beginning to find my mind talking to me in the small hours, telling me to wake up at 5:00 a.m. or 6:15 a.m. after getting to sleep at 1:15 a.m. or 2:20 a.m. or 2:45 a.m. I'm starting to wonder if the next phase is that I'll need a glass of water at the ready and the pills all laid out for the next half of my night!