Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am Insomnious of Borg...

Last night I discovered that my guided relaxation sleep CD ends with a long stretch of music. The night before I discovered that there is a part in there about a box under a tree that has a key in it and you unlock another box with it. The first night I only made it down the escalators and in to the field. Then in to the field and to the tree. Then to the tree but never past the part where you write Relax on the chalk board three times. Can you see what happened there? As the nights listening to it progressed I got farther and farther in to the playing. And to be honest I am fairly pleased it took over a week for it to completely stop working.

Oh yes, it could have just been last night and I could use it tonight and pass right out on the escalator again, but the odds aren't strong for that. See, I have adapted to and overcome almost every single sleep cure I have ever tried. I am an insomniac and that's just the way it goes. I have never been a good sleeper. I thought for years that everyone was like me. That we all went to bed at night and then lay awake most of it waiting until morning. It wasn't until high school that I discovered that most people actually slept all the way through the night! Like 8 or more hours! Crazy! I go to bed and stay in bed for 8, 9 on the weekends, but I sleep about 4 on a normal night. A really good night for me is 6, a bad one is 2 and I have stretches where it's pretty much nothing. The most I have gone without sleep at all is three days. Which is when the crazy starts. You start seeing and hearing things that aren't there and then your body shuts down and sleeps because it has to. But even then I will only get the few hours that I am used to.

I read an article recently that described people like me as functional insomniacs. I like that. Because I am. Unless I get absolutely the worst sleep for more than a few nights in a row I do pretty well. I am just fine on 4 though I would rather have 6. I have tried any number of things to sleep better. Down time with no electronics for an hour before bed. No TV watching in the bedroom. No caffeine after a certain time. Melatonin pills. Valerian root. Exercise  Guided relaxation. Over the counter sleep aids. And they all work. For awhile. Then my body adapts and overcomes and I am back to little sleep. And usually I get a few days of very very little sleep like my body is making up for the lack of sleep.

What you aren't seeing on the list of things I have tried are the prescription pills. I don't want to do those and my doctor agrees with me. See as a kid I was a sleep walker. I still talk in my sleep at times. And when I was younger my brother came home a few times to find me eating in my sleep. So if I do that normally can you even imagine what I would be capable of on the pills that can cause it? No thank you. That and I hate drugs like that. They tend to make me sleep, sure, but not SLEEP and then I am groggy and off my game the next day anyway, so what is the point?

I also read an article recently about how before the widespread use of electric lights broken sleep was normal. That people wrote about things they did between first and second sleep. Seems like they would sleep about 4 hours, wake up for a couple of hours and do quiet activities, sewing, reading, things by candle light in the house (or not so quiet, it was thought one of the best times for procreative sex was between first and second sleep) and then they would go back to sleep for another 3 or 4 hours. So 8 hours was the norm then as well but no one expected you to get them all at once. Which fits with my pattern more. On a good night I get to sleep by 10:30 or 11 and sleep until about 2. Then I am awake for a couple of hours. I lay still and rest and think about the world, then I fall back asleep around 4:30 or 5 and wake up either when the alarm goes off during the week or around 7 on weekends. Though the second round of sleep is usually in like 20 minute cat nap batches. I sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up over and over. 

Brent has told me for years that I should just get up when I wake up. Go write or read or knit or whatever instead of staying in bed. And I think about it. But I honestly feel like the laying still is good for me. Resting isn't as good as sleeping but it's close right? That and it just feels weird to leave the bed while he is sleeping. Rude or something. I've tried keeping a book next to the bed and reading during that stretch of time as well but then I don't ever fall back asleep. I just finish the book. Which is great for reading, lousy for resting. Oh and I don't nap. Unless I am sick or exhausted the odds of me napping aren't strong. It happens every once in awhile, but normally it's laying down and closing my eyes and staying there for as long as I can stand it then getting up again. Skipping the sleep part. 

So for now I will try the CD again. Hoping to fall asleep before the end, but I won't be shocked if I don't. And I will go back to falling asleep for the first time closer to 11 than 10. And I will figure out what to try next.

Rotating frequency on sleep systems...engage....

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