You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘insomnia’ tag.

Afternoon

* Note to self: white dishwashing liquid in a milk jug lookalike is not milk.

*  Wall, why are you getting in my way?  Go home, Wall, you are drunk.

* I don’t think I could work with someone whose name is Mahaboob. Seriously.

* Say nothing about that man’s stomach. SAY. NOTHING.

*  I feel very cannibalistic eating gingerbread men. Even small ones. Which are just like eating little people. I’d make a bad zombie.  I guess that’s good.

*  Just put something in my mouth and THEN wondered if it was edible. Reverse play next time.

*  I forget that when I have my headphones on, people can still hear me talk to my computer.

*  Someone just walked by whistling the exact same bars that I was listeing to on Pandora. Freaky, man.

Festive!

Festive!

Yes, come inside my brain!  On less than four hours of sleep!  Live the random life!  Yo ho ho!

Morning

* Chicken for breakfast. Whiskey sounds better. But no.

* Thunder Cat, what are you looking at? Whatever it is, it’s circling  you based on how your eyes are tracking it. You are crazy. But then I am the one talking to a cat. At least you’re not answering me.

* If you don’t drive faster, car-in-front-of-me, I will take a chain saw to that stick figure family of yours.

* Why don’t buses have cupholders? Is that too much to ask for?

*  Do not sit next to me on the bus when there are plenty of free pairs of seats. DO NOT. Or I will stab you. With something. Accidentally.  Sort of.

*  The girls are being unruly today. Thank heavens for scarves.

*  I wrote a poem in my head and now I can’t find it.  It was a good poem too.. 😦

*  How on earth can you do counted cross-stitch on a bouncy bus with bad brakes, woman? I might as well just bleed in a pattern on a piece of white fabric and call it a day.

*  I love geese when they are landing – they’re so awkward.

*  I like the color of her hair. That’s almost the color I want my highlights to be. But it’s too creepy to take a picture of the back of her head. And no touching.

*  Tea, stay in your cup!

*  I should be drunk to be this punchy. But then I would be punch-drunk.

*  If I can hear your music through your headphones when I am sitting in front of you, then dude, YOU are not going to be hearing anything in ten years. Maybe iPod and Miracle Ear should do some joint marketing. It’s a long-term strategy.

*  What is it with birds being all creeperesque on the middle of a wire?

*  Joy gave me a phrase last night – “a giant squid of anger”.  Today, I am a killer jellyfish of exhaustion.

*  When  you are very tired, words don’t make a lot of sense. But then again, they don’t have to.  Unless you are writing a proposal response.  Oops.

*  Why are industrial smokestacks so tall?

*  It has taken me almost two years to figure out how to get into that parking garage. That’s pitiful.

*  Should my future pugs be named Karma and Dogma? Or Waffles and Muffins?

*  Just spent the last five minutes wondering if I remembered to put on underwear. Still not sure.

*  You CAN fall asleep while walking.

*  The walls of the elevator are pillowy soft.

*  That moment of abject internal panic when you think you left your phone on the bus – like someone turned off your life support machine.

*  COME TO ME, RED BULL….

Rudolpho

Rudolpho

I’m not a morning person and I’m not a good sleeper.  This is not news – no need to alert the media, unless we’d like for it to become an issue for the teabaggers – oops, I mean tea-partiers.  But last night was unusually rough.

Yes, I know, I didn’t go to bed at an early hour, even though I worked 12 hours and was terribly tired.  I got entranced with The Civil War after I got home (see yesterday’s post) and stayed up too late.  I offer myself a Mea Culpa for that.

However…

When I did go to bed, I turned off the light, like a good dog, and went straight to sleep.  For about 3 hours.  At which time, the coyotes who frequently roam the empty field by the Cottage struck a little too close to home.  Like right beside my slightly cracked bedroom window.  I don’t know what they were tussling with, but there were snarls and squeals and growls and excited paw movements that woke me suddenly, leaving me bolt upright and wide-eyed, staring at the black until they ran off towards the Big House.

Of course, that had my heart pumping.  I remember once, when I was little, there was a dogfight outside my bedroom window in the middle of the night.  I will never forget my terror at the idea of two huge fighting dogs plunging through the glass and into my bedroom.  That didn’t happen, but the fear of the fantasy remains.

Since the house next door was broken into and robbed last week, I have been, I think understandably, a little edgy.  I’m glad no one was hurt.  But it brought into sharp focus how isolated I am in the Cottage.  No one can hear me here.  No one can see me here.  So, in the middle of night, the hamster of thievery came to romp in my brain.  And that’s just not a good sleep aid.

But I did not give up.  I was still hopeful that Morpheus would come to cradle me until morning.  I got up to get some water and noticed my forehead hurt.  Odd.  Blinding myself with the bathroom light, I faced the mirror.  And there it was.  True injustice to a woman experiencing sirocco-like hot flashes.  A giant pimple erupting directly in the center of my forehead.

Sigh.  What can you do?  Curse.  Go back to bed.  Speculate on why it hurts like a broken skull.  Imagine that, instead of a pimple, it is actually a horn about to emerge from the bones beneath my skin. 

Don’t laugh.  It happens.  See?

And with that thought I drifted back to sleep for an hour.

I woke at 1:30 this morning.  The moon was so bright that it was casting huge shadows across my bed. 

For those of you who remember my post about which side of the bed you sleep on, you’ll be interested to know that I’m branching out.  Maybe because my hot flashes are playing like a baby at night.  My bed has grown extra pillows somehow, and when I’m too hot, I find myself throwing off the covers, flinging myself sideways, and using the multitude of pillows as surrogate blankets.  I’m strangely padded by cool sheets and pillowcases until I get too cold, then rearrange myself in a more normal and customary position.

Last night though, when I awoke, I wasn’t unhappy about it – I was just awake.  I sat cross-legged on the bed for a while, letting the shadows play across my skin.  I even tried to take pictures, but I doubt they came out.  It was magical – just me and the moon.  Moonlight must be good for you, just as sunlight is, but in a different way.  It provides you with “yin” energy, which increases serenity and sensitivity.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t spur you too much action.  Which kind of makes sense, since after all, it IS the middle of the night and you ARE supposed to be sleeping.

Of course, Urban Dictionary also defines a moonbath as “farting under the full moon”.  That rather takes some of the bloom off the rose.

I think I’ll stick with my original definition.

Insomnia last night.  Ugh.  Went to bed a little bit late – just before 11:00, but come 3:00 am, I was still awake.  I almost drifted off sometime around 1:00 and I was startled awake by a lone coyote out in the Open Space beside the Cottage.  I think he was separated from the pack.  He was giving these interesting barks – summoning barks, but not the same summoning bark as when a coyote has made a kill.  He went on for a bit, and got the distant dogs in the surrounding neighborhoods going.   Once he stopped, Eagle next door gave out a couple of calls – he is often a companion on my sleepless nights.

Things quieted down, but I was awake, listening to the quiet.  I was thinking about what my new house would sound like, since it’s closer to a street than the Cottage is, and doesn’t have Open Space around it.  It’s been 20 years since I’ve lived in a house that didn’t have a natural wildness next to it.  Pat’s house had the creek on one side, the Cottage has the Open Space, the house in the mountains had, well, mountains (and a stream) by it.  But a house by Open Space that’s close to Kelsea is out of my price range for a little while. 

After I soaked in the quiet for a time, and examined the color of the walls in the dark, the two Great Horned Owls that live in the big pine tree in front of the Cottage started talking to each other.  I have only seen them a few times, and only when they have swooped through the darkness over my head as I’ve been crossing the lawn to the Cottage.  They hooted at each other for a long, long time, clearly conversing.  I wondered what they were saying, and then lay there in the darkness, doing my best to imitate them very softly, and wondering if they could hear me.  I think perhaps they could, because when I got the call to a tone that sounded close to theirs, they were silent for a few minutes.  I don’t know what kind of hearing owls have, but I would expect that it’s pretty good.

At 3:00 am, I turned off the alarm which was set for 7:00.  I cannot function on less than 5 hours sleep without shaking all day.

I did finally sleep.  Sometimes, as I’ve written about before, I feel like a small child, fearful of sleep, because I am fearful of my own dreams.  But last night, I dreamed and dreamed.  I dreamed about my father (in a good way, in a new life), about a house with wood floors, about outdoor showers, about dogs that loved me, about Paris, about a man on a streetcorner cooking me eggs, about finding my way. 

I awoke far too late, having missed kickboxing class, which I made up for by taking a hike.  But I woke up singing.  I got up singing.  I haven’t done that for a long while.

It felt good.

And after feeling bad for what feels like so long, I’m going to enjoy feeling good for as long as it lasts.

I don’t dream often about my father.  But I did last night.  His death was devastating, but did not move into the “complicated grief” issue that I had with my mother.  In fact, this was the first year that the anniversary of his death passed without my taking note.  It was March 5th, five years ago. I feel a little guilty about that, though I know that feeling is pointless.

But last night, I dreamed that he died.  It was complex and bizarre, as all of my dreams are.  In the dream, I could feel the heartbreaking pain that his death caused me.  It was bad enough that I emerged from the depths of sleep, and as I did so, I realized that yes, he had died, he really had, years ago.  The dream was like having him die all over again, which is the only blessing about losing your parents – it can’t happen again.  I awoke sobbing.  I had been depressed anyway yesterday, and this was the final icing on the straw camel’s back.  I was devastated.  I cried through the sunrise, then went and took a bath.

My dreams sometimes make me fear sleep.  I curl into my feather bed at night, cold pillows against my cheek, snuggled under the down comforter, the Caribbean Blue fleece that my mother bought for me, and the blue and white woven blanket that I bought in Mexico with my niece.  It’s all soft and so comfortable.  I’ve never been a good sleeper, so I usually take something to help me sleep.  I think I’m going to stop doing that.  I may lose a few nights, but my body is telling me that my mind isn’t playing fair with the sleep-aids.

I cannot bear to wake feeling so alone, so destroyed.  Right now, in the light of the early afternoon, I look forward to sleeping unaided.  Even if it’s a short sleep. Perhaps the dreams will be easier.

I love color.  It’s so nice that I have scarlet and turquoise in my living room now.  Pat’s house, while panelled in wonderful old knotty pine, is all beige.  Why is it that men like beige so much?  Is it just easier to make a decision about beige?  Does it just require less thought?

I just discovered that there’s a “Dark Shadows” Festival in July in Burbank. (Burbank?!)  Now, I don’t know if I would really fit in there.  My fan status was the same as many people my age (including Johnny Depp, who is hoping to play Barnabas in the planned Tim Burton movie version of the ’60s daytime gothic soap.  And it would be worth going just in case Johnny Depp is there in person, wouldn’t it, ladies?)  Anyway, back to my fan-dom —  we used to hurry home from school to watch this wierd, quirky show every day, and even as unsophisticated as we were, were astounded by the poor cinematography, entertained by the perilous mistakes of live television, amused by the fact that Julia ALWAYS had her mouth open, and annoyed by the fact that Barnabas could never reconnect with his true love, what with constantly changing centuries and incarnations.  Yes, folks, vampires and werewolves were popular long before the Twilight series.  But I’m not one of those people who can recite every line, dress in character, or even explain the progression of beings that was Daphne-Maggie-Angelique-Cassandra (or something like that.)  So maybe I wouldn’t fit in at the festival.  But it might make a good story.  And it would definitely be a unique experience.  Hmmm.

I am coughing so much that it’s making me throw up — probably TMI — sorry, but it’s random.

My new website for my new business is up and running – still need to add some samples, but it looks pretty good.  A friend helped me toot my own horn more, as that’s always been tough for me, and the first version was too shrinking violet.


Kendra and I have finally exchanged the last of our Christmas presents.  Oh wait, I still have to send some to E-Bro.  Darn!

I was coughing so much last night that I only got about 3 hours of sleep.  The only good thing about getting that little sleep is that you have a pretty good shot at getting a better night’s sleep the next night.

There’s a bar in Nanjing, China called the Rising Sun Anger Release Bar.  You can drink, break glasses and beat up the staff.  Really.  And most of its customers are women.

Today is Unique Names Day, and here’s a doozy for you:  Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffvoralternwarengewissenhaftschaferswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeunds
orgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvonangreifendurchihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternzwolftausendjahresvorandieerschei
nenwanderersteerdemenschderraumschiffgebrauchlichtalsseinursprungvonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwische
nsternartigraumaufdersuchenachdiesternwelchegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichundwohinderneurass
evonverstandigmenschlichkeitkonntefortplanzenundsicherfreuenanlebenslanglichfreudeundruhemitnichteinfurcht
vorangreifenvonandererintelligentgeschopfs vonhinzwischensternartigraum, Senior.  That’s not going to fit on the name badge.

I am one of those unfortunates whom Nyquil makes jittery.  Hence, I look like the disgusting sick people in the Nyquil commercials even when I am awake.  Sigh.  Snort.

As an insomniac, I find it fascinating – and entertaining – to watch others sleep. 

On airplanes, people sleep sitting up.  I don’t know how they are able to do this, especially on airplanes, which are the ultimate in discomfort.  But the funny thing is, I used to be able to do it, when I flew very often for work and spent loads of time in the air.  And I can’t remember how.  Do they dream?  Are they really sleeping?  Or just resting?  No, I know they’re really sleeping- they’re snoring.

Sleeping with eyes open.  Yes, people actually do this.  It’s highly creepy. 

The head jerk  – this one happens especially during boring college classes. I can recall one particular spring semester philosophy class where I’m surprised that a) I passed and b) I didn’t give myself whiplash.

The car sleep.  This is one of Kelsea’s specialties.  See?

How can she sleep like that

As for me, I have very fond memories of falling asleep in the back seat of my parents car on the way home after concerts at Page Auditorium.  It’s a precious thing from childhood.  So safe.

Sleep walking.   I went  through a period in my first year of college when this was a huge problem for me.  In my most noteable escapade, I got up, looked at the clock, went down three flights of stairs to a locked door, back up one flight, down the hall to the elevator and down to the lobby of my 18-story dorm.  When the elevator doors opened, and I stepped out, I woke up.  All I can say is, thank goodness I still wore pajamas.  My roomate and I rigged up several sets of brass bells on the doorknob, which woke me up when I tried on other occasions.

Sleep Talking.  Kelsea and I both do this (unfortunately.)  We both tend towards randomness – for example, “Burrito!” It happens for her shortly after she goes to sleep, and for me, when I awaken myself from dreams. 

But…………………

Every so often, you find someone you can sleep with in a very special way.  Someone who comforts you with just their touch. Someone you reach out for in a half-dream state, and feel your soul sigh when you find them.  Someone with whom you awaken and discover that your dreams somehow crossed paths.  Someone with whom you feel so connected, so intimate, so relaxed, that you feel as if you’ve been drugged.  This, for an insomniac such as myself, is heaven on earth – or perhaps in-between.  I so look forward to finding such a sleep again.

07780013

I can’t sleep.  I have never really slept well.  I remember not sleeping when I was little little, my brother and I talking from our twin beds across the room, his under the window, mine by the bedroom door.  My father would carry us both to bed, and then say our prayers with us, and lay at the end of our beds and talk with us about anything and everything.  We could store up our questions from the day, our imponderables at that age, to ask him about.  He always seems to have the answers.  And I remember seeing ghosts by my bed, but that’s another story.

I know my bro checks this blog from time to time – did he lay at the end of each of our beds individually?  I can’t recall us ever interrupting the other’s conversations with Daddy…and that wasn’t like us!  Do you remember, E-Bro?

I think I’ve written about insomnia before.  For a few weeks, not too long ago, I was going to sleep without taking something to help me get there, and it was wonderful.  That bliss has fled back to wherever it came from.  Now it feels like nothing works.

I know why.  I want the  shoulder to rest my head on, the warm love to reach out for when dreams get strange.  I’ll have it again.  I know I will.

For now though, when I sleep, I sleep sideways across my bed – at least I did last night.  The moon was so bright it kept me awake until I dozed off staring at it.  Owls were hooting gently in the trees along the fence.  They would pause when the coyotes started their joyous, kill-celebrating chorus, which they did from various distances, three times.  It was a good night for hunting, no doubt because of the brightness of the moon.

I can’t see the clock from my bed, which is a good thing.  (Because of my eyesight, not my clock placement.)  Otherwise, I’d do that thing we do when we look at the clock and count how few hours we’d have if we fell asleep right NOW, and we think about how awful tomorrow will be because we had no sleep.  If I don’t know what time it is, I can’t do that – a small mercy, I think.

Eagle next door seems to be an insomniac as well.  I hear him at odd hours, with his distinctive call, and I wonder what he’s thinking.  Does he mind being cared for by Mr. National Geographic?   Or does his cry in the night speak of his longing for his freedom?  Is he dreaming of flying?  I will never know, but I find him a comfortable companion in the wee small hours.

I was talking with a friend the other day about what it must be like to live in the northern climes where there is no night – or no darkness, rather – for months at a time.   Since lack of light is a contributing factor to seasonal depression, would seasonal depression be less prevalent in those places?  Or would your circadian rhythms be completely wacko, because it is always light?  I expect my insomnia would get worse, as I can only sleep when it is light on rare occasions – Caribbean naps or in the perfect lap.

I wrote some months back about the hamsters that would traipse through my brain when I couldn’t sleep. Currently, the hamsters seem to be sedated.  Perhaps they’re hibernating for summer.  At any rate, they don’t prevent me from going to sleep and I seem to be able to lull them into submission if I awake in the night, even if I can’t lull myself into submission.  Their absence makes the wakeful nights less stressful.

But my insomnia is not about waking up and not being able to get back to sleep.  It’s about not being able to go to sleep.  I am told I have poor sleep hygiene.  I read myself to sleep, which I shouldn’t do.  I should just get in bed, turn out the light, close my eyes and try to sleep.  But that’s the only time I have to read, and I love to read.  Hmmmm.  I need to think about this one – you can make time for the things you love without sacrificing the things you need.

Occasionally, sleep eludes me because I am too tired already, and I know my dreams will exhaust me.  My sub (or is it un) conscious mind is so active that my dreams are loaded with symbolism, incredibly busy, and usually have a cast of thousands.  (Picture a film with the shared directorial perspectives of Cecile B. DeMille, Francois Truffaut, and a bipolar person in a manic phase, and you have my typical dream – what does that say about me?)  I look forward to using my dreams in my future shamanic practice.  Perhaps that will help me to come to amiable terms with them after all these years.

My bed is wonderfully comfortable, good mattress, feather bed, down comforter, high thread-count sheets, and  fleece my mother bought for me as a parting gift that carries the colors of tropical waters.  One day, I am sure, insomnia will have had her say, and sleep will be, for me, another form of peace.

Shakespeare said, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” 

Let’s see what Morpheus has in store for me tonight.

318

Holding the moon

We characterize it as hamsters.  Hamsters trying to chew their way through a tangle of neural networks.  We say “Call if you can’t sleep” and neither of us sleep, but neither of us call, because we don’t want to take the chance of waking the other, if, by some breath of the Gods, the other is sleeping.

Insomnia.  Combine it with dreams, and it is a force that could bring an army to its knees.  There is a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a torture tool in some places.  Interestingly, while the torturer may think that it will make their captive confess, it will actually just make their captive confess to anything.  Insomnia leads you to an altered perception of reality, of your thoughts, of your feelings, of the importance and normalcy of everything around you.

My father suffered from it for the last years of his life.  He always took something to help him sleep, which bothered me for a while, until I realized that he might as well get a comfortable sleep during his last years – becoming dependent on a sleep aid didn’t matter. 

I find that when I work too much, I am too tired and then I can’t sleep.  After getting home around 10:30 last night, I took a half a Lyrica (the latest in a long line of sleep aids) and settled in to read.  And read.  And read.  I finished Charlatan, which was a wonderful book.  I started The Fall of a Philanderer, which is a light, mindless mystery.  I took the other half of the Lyrica.  Finally, finally, I feel asleep.  Woke up having had a water dream, with Kelsea in it, which inevitably means that some change is about to come.  Didn’t want to know what time it was, laid awake, went back to sleep, and in what felt like an hour, the alarm went off.

I am working now in the surreal haze of exhaustion, looking forward to going home and going to bed.  But there is much to be done before that can happen, and I have Kelsea tonight, and need to exercise, as we are one month from my next trip to the islands, and of course, I want to look like a fit supermodel by then (ha!).  But more on that later.

In case YOU need help sleeping, here are a few little-known insomnia facts:

  • The longest film ever shown was entitled “The Cure for Insomnia” (1987), with a run time of 87 hours.
  • Cows and elephants sleep standing up, but can only dream when lying down.
  • Being awake for 17 hours results in the performance equivalent of a blood alcohol-level of 0.05% – which in Colorado can get you a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). Trust me on this one.

I suppose it could be worse.  At least I am not suffering from Exploding Head Syndrome, Hypnagogic Jerk, or Night Eating Syndrome.  And while I can come up with some highly entertaining and unwholesome definitions of these disorders, the actual definitions are as follows:

Exploding Head Syndrome – where you hear loud exploding sounds in your head (actually I have had this).  It’s distressing and puzzling, but not painful.

Hypnagogic Jerk – that involuntary movement that happens when you feel you are falling in a dream or as you are drifting off to sleep.  I’m a victim of this, as I’ve been whacked in the nose by a sufferer.

Night Eating Syndrome – binge eating in the middle of the night.  Some are aware that they are doing so, and others are not.  The scale will tell.

 Or Fatal Familial Insomnia, a rare genetic prion disease that causes dementia and death.  (For more about FFI, read “The Family That Couldn’t Sleep” by D.T. Max, available at www.amazon.com).

 But wait — my father couldn’t sleep.  Uh oh.

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