Ode to sleep. Or lack thereof.

I'm like a newborn infant. I cannot sleep through the night. Why? Why? I ask myself. And the answer? I DON'T KNOW. If I knew that maybe I could fix it. Duh.

I get to sleep okay. I just wake up with the wigglies. I can't stand NOT moving. I get all twitchy and uncomfortable, flipping one way then the other like a caught fish lying on a dock trying to inch my way back into the water.

Some people get this just in their legs, i.e., "restless leg syndrome." I get it throughout my entire body, i.e., "restless Lisa syndrome." And I can't find that in a Google search so I don't know if it's a known thing that's treatable.

It's the same if I try napping during the day. I fall asleep fine, then wake performing St. Vitus Dance. It's maddening, leaving me exhausted 24 hours a day.

Could partly be stress. God knows my kids give me enough of it. But something tells me it's more than that. I don't wake thinking of any one specific thing, except how angry I am I woke up. I have regular nightmarish dreams, but would that make me unable to lie still? Doesn't quite make sense.

May be time to get that physical I've been putting off forever. Could be some imbalance or something medically explainable. I just know I'm tired of walking around like a zombie all day – minus all that icky dead stuff and falling off body parts.

When you don't sleep well it affects your entire day,a problem caffeine can't fix. It may actually exacerbate the problem, though I usually don't have any save my morning vat of coffee. And that's never bothered me before.

My head doctor said try progressive relaxation during the day, then I'll know what complete rest feels like. Then it'll be easier to call on that during the night. That's fine for getting me to sleep – which, again, isn't the problem lately – but it won't keep me asleep.

And it's not that I don't tire myself out during the day. With my knee healing I do a lot more now. Over the weekend I worked in the garden like a fiend, 'til my knee got sore and I had to stop. I did laundry, too, and a little light house cleaning. And that night? I was up in the middle of the night yet again.

Maybe a rubber mallet by the bed would work. I could try knocking myself out with it when I awaken, like they do in the cartoons. But then the chirping birds circling my head may wake Paul.

I'm ready to try just about anything to start sleeping well again.

5 thoughts on “Ode to sleep. Or lack thereof.

  1. I do relaxation exercises in bed (tense your toes for a count of ten, relax; tense your ankles for a count of ten, relax; tense your shins…etc.etc and so on up the body. You can follow that up with visualizations. I find this surprisingly effective.
    Valerian also works. You can pick that up at a health food store. My very favourite is a combination herbal remedy called Sleep Relax (Herbal Factors) which has valerian and skull cap powder in it. It’s wonderful, takes about 15 minutes to work, but don’t take it more than a couple of nights in a row because eventually it will relax *everything*. ‘Nuff said.


  2. You might also try Melatonin … a natural substance sold OTC … by try it more wisely than I did. I took it for about a week and I certainly slept but with way too weird dreams throughout the night. I spoke to the pharmacist. He said my dosage (3 mg) was about 300 times the strength one should take, and handed me a bottle of point point point something … so consult your pharmacist!


  3. Thanks for the suggestions, Persephone and George. I’ll have to ask the pharmacist what s/he recommends. I’m afraid of taking something that’s addictive. I need something that will get me back in the rhythm of sleeping at appropriate times. This waking up every night thing is nasty.


  4. Ugh. Unfortunately, I understand. I’ve been a chronic insomniac for as long as I can remember. I took Valerian for a long time (but after a while it gave me headaches) and the same with Melatonin (plus the crazy dreams). My doctor refuses to prescrible sleeping pills and says I just need to exercise more during the day, eat better, turn off the television early before bed, yada, yada yada.
    I’m so tired. And sleepy. Maybe I’ll take Persephone’s advice and try the Sleep Relax.


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