Posts Tagged 'sleep'

Tired of Being Sick, Sick of Being Tired

I’ve been sick for over a week.  Without getting too graphic, I’ve been having sinus trouble that’s been causing me to have a nasty cough.    There are times during the day when I stop coughing for a few hours, and I think that I’m getting better, but it hasn’t lasted.  I’ve tried everything that I can think of to try to cure my problem, or at least bring me relief.  Some things help for a short time, but nothing has been permanent, obviously.

I’m a fan of herbal and home remedies, if you have’t noticed.  I’d rather use something natural or chemical-free to fix my ailments, whenever possible.  So, I’ve been using a plethora of products and methods.   I have some herbal drops that I’ve been using to make tea, things with names like “Sinus & Lung Blaster.”   I also sat the other night with my head hanging over a bowl of boiled water with eucalyptus oil under a mini-tent created by a sarong.   Yes, I’ve been using the neti pot.  And when all else has failed, I’ve even taken Mucinex.   The thing is, unless I’m constantly drinking some beverage or other, sooner or later the stuff from my sinuses that’s ending up in my throat makes me cough.  I’m well hydrated.

The other thing that stops the coughing is being asleep.  I’m not having any trouble with being tired; I’m exhausted from all the coughing and running to the bathroom to return all the water and tea I’ve been drinking.  The problem is balancing my desire for relief from both the coughing and the exhaustion with my previous and well documented insomnia problems.

This evening, I screwed up.  I just couldn’t help it, and I couldn’t take it anymore.  As soon as I got home from work, I went straight to bed.   I really couldn’t help it, though.  And it was delicious.  I slept so good, and I wasn’t coughing.  Even when I woke up, for a little while, I just laid there, and felt better than I’ve felt in over a week.  Mr. Darcy, my cat, even came and laid next to me and purred for a little while I scratched behind his ears.  It was cozy, and nice, and everything good.

The problem is, I only slept for three hours.  And now here it is, 1 a.m. and I’m awake.

Because as an insomniac, the last thing I should ever do is take a nap after work, or nap for longer than 25 minutes ever. And I know this.  And I did it anyway.

I should be going to bed every night at the same time, and getting up in the morning at the same time.  I should follow the same routine every night before bed.  I should never sit on my bed, or do anything on my bed, except for bed stuff.   I should avoid caffeine after three in the afternoon.   I should never drink alcohol.   I know how helpful sleep medication can be, but habit forming, and I know the pitfalls of relying on them.   I know that vanilla, chamomile, and lavender can make you drowsy.  I know to turn off my electronics at least half an hour before I try to go to sleep.

I know all these rules.  I live by these rules.  I know the consequences of not following these rules.  I also know the effects of sleep deprivation all too well.  And I know there’s less of a chance that my immune system will be able to evict whatever is causing this sinus problem without proper sleep.  In short, I know better.

But god damn was that nap worth it!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pee for the 500th time today, and then I’m going to try to find something really boring to read.

Just sayin’.

 

Caffeine

Considering the severity of my lifelong battle with insomnia, I don’t think it should shock anyone to hear me say that I have a complex relationship with caffeine.  I’ve relied on it pretty heavily during the weeks when I’ve only managed to eek out a few hours of sleep.  It’s been my savior many afternoons when I sit at my desk, fighting the bobblehead after not getting a full night before.

The problem is, after I’ve had quite a bit of caffeine to keep myself awake all day, it continues to keep me up all night.  Or at least, well later than I should be staying up after not sleeping much the night before.   It’s a cycle, you see.  A big nasty gnarly cycle.  And the only way out of it is to suffer.

So after the last couple of weeks of really crappy sleep, I decided it was time to give it up.  Again.  This isn’t the first time, and if after a period of abstinence, I go back to it, it’ll happen again.

So, I haven’t had any caffeine since Saturday.  This week has been hell, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the folks around me.  Getting out of bed is just brutal.  I have been sleeping, but it’s just this exhaustion that’s been building as the week goes on.  I’m hoping some sort of reboot will be possible this weekend.  I’ve been powering through, though, and I know I’m going to make it.

The thing that puzzles me about all this, though, is the reactions of some co-workers.  “WHY!?!  Why would you do that?”,  ” You can’t do that!”, or “No, you don’t have to give up caffeine; you just have work out, or go to bed earlier, or something.”

Seriously, what’s the big deal about me not having caffeine?  It’s not like I’m asking them to do it.  What difference does it make to them at all?  If anything, it just means there’s more coffee in the pot for them.   But you’d think I had said that I was thinking about giving up my US citizenship or something.

And you can’t be a little bit supportive?  I mean, just a simple, “Dude, that sounds rough, but you can do it!”  I’m really not expecting much, except maybe a little patience.

I really like coffee and Coke Zero, but I can and will live without them.  And it’ll be fine.  I mean, in a couple days, when I’m not a raging asshole, because I’m so fucking tired.  And it’s not going to screw up anyone else’s day if I’m not having it.

Just sayin’.

Sleep Achieved

I don’t have much time to write.  Just a quick update, in case you were wondering.  I did get a good night’s sleep last night.  Lunesta is my best friend.

Soccer tonight . . .

Sleep Routine – FAIL

I’m continuing to have sleep issues and insomnia, so I decided to make every effort to do everything possible to put myself to sleep last night. I got home from recording before 10.

  • I responded to all the texts in my inbox, and then I switched my phone to vibrate.  I plugged it into the charger away from the bed.  Normally I keep the phone with me through the night so that I can check my email first thing when I wake up, but not last night.
  • I lit candles throughout my apartment, and turned off all the lights.
  • I sprayed lavender and vanilla sheet spray on my bed.
  • I turned on my water fountain with wind chime sound effects.
  • I took a melatonin supplement.
  • I made myself a glass of warm lactose milk.
  • I sat on the couch, in the candle light, sipping my milk, and listening to the sounds of the fountain.
  • I took a really hot candle lit shower.
  • I finished my milk and brushed my teeth.
  • I laid down on the floor of my apartment, and stretched every part of my body while listening to the fountain sounds.
  • I covered the clock in the apartment, so that I wouldn’t stare at it when I couldn’t sleep and stress myself out by watching how late it was getting.
  • I meditated
  • I went to bed around 10:45.
  • I covered my eyes with a lavender filled sleep mask.

And then I laid there.   And I laid there.   And I imagined myself riding on a BART train, since I always fall asleep on BART.  And my entire body felt like numb lead.  My limbs were heavy, and I felt as if I was melting into my bed.

And I was wide awake, and thinking about the fact that I couldn’t sleep.

Eventually I drifted off for a little while, but I didn’t stay asleep.  In fact, the only reason I knew that I had slept at all was that I had been dreaming and I was drooling a little bit.   I kept nodding off and waking up all night.

I got up this morning feeling only slightly more rested then I had the previous nights.

So, if you want to give me some advice as to how I could fall asleep . . . . well, just don’t.    I don’t want to hear it.    I really have made every effort and tried just about 10 different things that are supposed to be “sure fire”.

Tonight, I’m going to pick up the prescription of Lunesta my doctor called in for me.  After band practice, I’m going to take one, and I’m going to get a full nights’ sleep.  Deep, restful, sleepless, druggy sleep.

And I have no problem with that, and I don’t want to talk about it.

Just sayin’.

Awake Again. . . Still

So, my intermittent sleep issues have reared their ugly heads again.   I’m reasonably sure that I can easily trace this evenings troubles back to the source.    

I stayed up quite late last night, talking about everything, which as you know is really nothing.  And nothingness is everything.  

So, I laid down about an hour ago, and I started replaying the conversation, and it’s all swimming around in my head.  And I wondered what the next one is going to be about.  

Then I started worrying about my family.   And, well, that’s totally pointless, isn’t it?

So then I realized that I was hungry, and I was thinking about the bag of avocados I picked up at the grocery yesterday.  They’re on my shelf . . . . taunting me.   

Then I wondered about next Friday’s soccer game, because I’m obsessed with my soccer team right now.   We lose every game, but it’s so much fun running around and sweating like a kid again.  And I was hoping maybe I could convince some more of my friends to come watch me play.

Of course, then I started thinking about coloring my hair fluorescent pink, again.   Trying to imagine what everyone’s reaction to that would be.    

Do you know how much I want to go to England again, but I’m not sure I can afford it, but I’m just going to say “fuck it” and do it anyway.

And I hope that they like the lyrics I started to write, and maybe my bandmates can turn it into something less cheesy than it is right now.

And then I was thinking that I hadn’t written a really good blog in quite some time, because every time I do, I just think they sound whiney.    And I want something that’s just awesomely funny to happen, that’s also not terribly personal, so I can write it up here.

Everything is personal right now, and I start thinking about friends new and old and all the crazy life changing shit that we’re all in the middle of right now.  All of it just swirling around us all, and swallowing us up.  New babies, babies on the way, soccer teams, band drama, weddings to plan, websites to build, places to go, dancing to do, music to make, goals to score or block, and what to write, and will it ever make a difference at all.  

And it’s all just going round and round, and I’m not sleeping, but I’ve got it out a little now, haven’t I?    And maybe when I go back to my bed, it’ll stay here in this blog, and I can pick it up again tomorrow.

And maybe I’ll have a sweet, sweet dream.   And maybe I’ll have some avocado for breakfast.  

Maybe.

Just sayin’.

Not So Much Today

I didn’t throw the blinds open this morning.   I did crack them a little, though.  I guess I’m just not feeling as empowered this morning.  I had unsettling dreams about someone I’ve been missing, so I woke up feeling lonely.   I’m so tired of being lonely.

Also, I don’t want anyone looking in and seeing the mad scientist hairdo I woke up with today.

Tonight is a Lunesta Night

OK, so I mentioned about a week and a half ago that I’ve started using sleep aids.  I’ve only taken them twice so far.  I don’t want to be addicted to them.  The thing is, I kind of have to plan ahead to use them.   I’m afraid to take it unless I know for sure that I’m going to be able to sleep at least 8 hours.  I’m just trying to use them to catch up on sleep about once per week.

The pills I’m using are Lunesta.  I really like it, so far.  I was always afraid to take sleeping pills, because I was afraid that they would drop me like one of those bears you see being darted on the news.   It’s not like that at all.  It very gently lowers me into a nice comfortable sleep.  It definitely doesn’t feel like normal falling asleep, but it’s not like I feel like I’ve been hit over the head with something either.

And when I wake up in the morning, it’s almost exactly the reverse.  It’s the slow rising up.   It’s not like I suddenly spring awake or like I have to pull myself out of a cave of sleep, either.  It’s just gentle.

The one side effect, though, is that I wake up with this very strange bitter taste in the back of my mouth, and I have cotton mouth all the next day.    It could be worse, I think.


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