Friday, July 24, 2009

Where is Mr. Sandman?

I've been having a real problem with sleep the last couple of years. I've tried a couple or three sleep aids, and vacillated on whether to even take them or not. They help a little, but not enough to help me get a really good night's sleep, and get the 7 to 8 hours all the experts tell us we need. And I'm in terror of becoming dependent on any one medication. Ambien only helps for about 4 hours. Any other prescription meds give me a headache. Over the counter pills help for a couple of hours, then I'm wide awake for several hours.

And the sleep issues are constantly changing. While I was working, I'd fall asleep immediately, then wake between midnight and 2:00, unable to go back to sleep. At around 4:00, I'd finally fall back to sleep, then be dragging at 6:30 when I had to get up and start the day. After I resigned, I slept pretty well for a couple of weeks, catching up I suppose. Now the problem is that, no matter how drowsy I become, I can't fall asleep without some sort of aid. I really hate that. I can be so tired, I can't hold my head up, but the minute I lay down, I'm in a void of not being able to get up and do anything, but not being able to sleep. Heaven help me if I get an idea for a blog post before I fall asleep, or remember something important that I am afraid I will forget again. There is NO sleep until I get up and write it down.

I've begun working out at the local wellness center, in hopes that it will not only make me healthier, and weigh less, but that it will help me sleep. I've been at it for almost a week, every day, and no change in my sleep pattern.

Last night as I lay awake, I had a flash of memory from my childhood. I was seldom able to sleep well anytime I was away from home. I don't remember how old I was, but I was in elementary school, and we lived somewhere outside of Arkansas. We were visiting my grandparents, and spending the night of course. My grandma had what she called a "Divan" that unfolded to a bed. It was covered with a light aqua blue vinyl, that had a raised pattern of some kind, and if you just lifted the seat part up, the the whole thing spread out into a bed. It was just a little larger than twin size and brother and I slept together on that divan this particular night, me laying next to the wall.

The bed was up against a wall in their den, the wall being filled with a solid row of windows. Oh, how I would love a room like that in my house now. They later filled in the middle window and installed an ugly circulating wood heater. Bleh! The moon must have been bright, because I remember laying awake, miserable that I couldn't sleep, and I could see the outlines of the trees in the yard. The silhouette of trees were black against the fuzzy gray of night as I just laid there, and waited. I'd look from tree to tree, trying not to move too much. I didn't want to disturb anyone else. Not that brother would be disturbed, if a Mac truck drove by the window, but my mother always some how knew when I was awake. I remember how miserable I was, but now I suppose that God gave me those trees and that moon to lull me, as I did eventually go back to sleep.


Y said...

Have you tried the old timey remedy? Very warm milk with a small bit of butter, melted on top and Dad always added a dash of black pepper. Don't know what the pepper was for, but it sure tasted good! Years later I found out there was something to Dad's warm milk. Milk warmed releases an enzyme that helps you sleep! Couldn't hurt at 2am. Other than warm bath and a glass of wine (red you get other health benefits on top of just relaxing to sleep), BUT only one glass. Too many will have the opposite effect.

B Lines said...

Had to edit that last comment so it was deleted. I've tried the milk, Ambien, Ambien Cr, Restoril, Lunesta, Tylenol, generic sleep aids, Melatonin, anything you can think of. I have a strong muscle relaxer I can take in a pinch that will make me sleep for a couple of hours, but that's pretty much it. And if I happen to consume any caffeine after about 1:00 p.m., you can hang it up. Sugar is almost as bad, if I eat it after about 5:00 p.m.

Sooz said...

I take Tylenol PM sometimes and Benadryl when I'm desperate after midnight. I have such a hard time sleeping sometimes, but its been better lately.

Sooz said...

OH and my mom bought me this sleep bath wash stuff at Bath and Body works called simply "Sleep". I have no clue what is in it, but it has helped me since I started using it. And also some stuff of the same product line that you put on your feet. Its been awesome for me.