Monday, November 19, 2012


Chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time.

[Latin nsomnia, from nsomnis, sleepless : in-, not; see in-1 + somnus, sleep; see swep- in Indo-European roots.]

This describes my life in a nutshell. I Facebooked quite a little lately about my inability to sleep. Many people have offered up their solutions to my problem. I love that people care and want to help. So tonight I am going to give a little backstory...

I believe that I have always had sleep issues. I remember having a recurring dream when I was little. I can still remember that dream...

It was at out house in Pueblo. I can still see it clear as day. Our neighbors, a girl named Marnie and a man that Dad called Squat-to-Pee (don't ask, I cannot tell you what this man's real name was, I just know that my Dad was obviously not fond of him) were in this dream. It was very weird. It involved standing in line and waiting to get into someplace, Heaven maybe? I've never been sure what we were standing in line for. I know that no one else in my family was in this line; maybe it was the line to Hell? I NEVER not once got to the end of this dream or the end of that line. There were things that flew, like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, but I can't tell you that they were bad things nor do I know what their purpose was. I don't have this dream as often anymore. Maybe once every couple of years but when I do the dream is the exact same, my six year old self standing in line and waiting.

By high school I was what people call a night-owl. I always, ALWAYS felt more productive at night. It was nothing for me to do homework or read until 2 or 3 a.m. I never had a problem running on a few hours of sleep. It was much easier with a raging metabolism and 25 less years than I have now. When I went to Lincoln after I graduated I took night classes and would often drive home at 1:00 a.m.

I read an article once, one of those What Kind of Person are You? articles. It talked about how a person dealt with life happenings. It turns out that I am a "RUMINATOR".

v. ru·mi·nat·ed, ru·mi·nat·ing, ru·mi·nates

1. To turn a matter over and over in the mind.
2. To chew cud.
To reflect on over and over again.


This is what happens when I go to bed. It's worse if I feel I've said or done the wrong thing at some point during the day. It's the one piece that stays in my brain and rolls around and around for hours. I remember the worst things about what I've done or how I've acted for YEARS after the fact; insignificant pieces of dialog that I wish I hadn't said or wish hadn't been said to me lodge themselves in my head and take up residence for years.
Now I add worry to my ruminations. This usually has to do with the kids and the older they've gotten the worse it is. There are so many things that I can't control now that they are in college. I lay in bed at night hoping that they are making good decisions. I hope they are eating and taking care of themselves. I hope that they are being safe. I worry about them getting in the wrong car or going on dates with people we don't know. It terrifies me that I will outlive any of my children because that isn't how it is supposed to be. I need them to get married, have kids, careers, happiness and success. I need them to grow old and yet there is now very little that I can do to get them there. Their lives are their own.
People say drink tea, and I have. People say go to bed the same time every night and I did for a long time. People suggest this herb or that OTC and trust me, I have tried them all. I took Ambien for 12 years and in the beginning it worked fantastic, however, the longer I was on it the more difficult my days got. It became really difficult to function. I NEVER woke up feeling like I slept although I know I did. I stopped taking it about a year ago and while I now go as many as 4 nights with little to no sleep. when I finally "crash" I'm out cold.
I think until someone finds a way to completely disable brain function and put it into "sleep" mode I'm stuck. I appreciate all the suggestions and when I come across 1 I haven't tried I do try it in the hopes that I will eventually happen on to the magic sleep solution.

On the up-side I had a good weekend with all of my girls here and I felt reassured that they are, in fact, making good decisions, making the grade, taking care of themselves. It is strange how the worries and concerns evolve with the years. You go from worrying about diaper rash to the first day of kindergarten to college applications to college graduation to whether they will meet someone who deserves them.

Take care all. Sleep tight...Don't let the bed bugs bite.

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