Another Sleepless Night


Oops, I did it again.  I sat down in my comfy recliner after supper Wednesday night, intending to work on a long overdue blog that I have been struggling with for several days.  Within minutes, my blurry eyes were growing heavy, my mind was drifting, and I was succumbing to the allure of sweet, sweet slumber.  Just a quick nap, I convinced myself.  Two hours later I awoke suddenly, realized it was past my bedtime and stumbled groggily to my awaiting bed.

And then I was wide awake.

Again.

For the thirty-seventh night in a row (or so it seemed), I belligerently battled against my arch nemesis insomnia, trying desperately to flip the off switch on my brain–and failing miserably.  Could I at least switch it to a slower speed?  No, apparently not.  My thoughts were in jumbled but perpetual motion …

10:02 p.m.  I need to sleep, sleep, sleep.  I can’t do this again.  I have ballgames to supervise tomorrow night; I need my rest.  My body is so tired–why won’t my brain shut down?  Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep.  Dadgummit, we’re out of dog food.  We’re probably almost out of cat food, too–I better start a Wal-Mart list tomorrow.  Lucas is coming in; he’ll probably need stuff from Wal-Mart, too.  Why am I worrying about this now?  I need to go to sleep.  I need to make my mind go blank.  Blank, blank, blank, blank … gosh, it’s cold in here.  I’m glad I dug out my flannel pajamas.  I wonder how Martha’s doing tonight?  I need to call Zac and Sam; I haven’t heard from them in a while.  That BLT sandwich was really good, but I wish I could quit burping it now.  What was that noise outside the bedroom window?  Probably just one of the cats rustling in the leaves.  I hope it’s one of the cats.  Maybe I should peek out the window to be sure.  No, I don’t want to get up–surely it was just a cat.

10:58 p.m.  My alarm will go off in 5 1/2 hours.  Tomorrow is not going to be a good day.  Maybe if I do multiplication in my head.  Two times two is four; four times four is 16; 16 times 16 is … okay, 160 plus 96 is 256; 256 times 256 is … well, that’s enough of that.  Dang it, I have to pee.  I’ve got to cut back on my tea drinking during the day.  I fell in to a burning ring of fire; I went down, down, down and the flames went higher, and it burned, burned, burned … Great, now Husband is starting to snore.  Maybe he’ll stop in a minute … He’s not stopping.  I don’t want to wake him up–I know he’s tired, too, but this is really starting to annoy me.  Maybe I can just nudge him with my foot and get him to roll over … that didn’t work.  I’ll nudge him again.  Nope.  Okay, I’ll push on his shoulders and try to make him roll over.  Nope.  STOP SNORING!  Maybe if I kick him really hard in the calf … maybe if I punch him really hard in the kidney … maybe if I SCREAM really loud in his face … I NEED to sleep!  Okay, he rolled over–can he read my mind even when he’s asleep?  Or could he somehow sense impending danger?  Why are the dogs barking?  There’s not a full moon and they don’t bark at deer, so why are they barking?  What was that noise?

12:03 a.m.  Now I’m hot.  Maybe these flannel pajamas weren’t such a good idea after all.  I have to pee again.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Is it the tea, fluctuating hormones–or is this just what old people do?  Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life?  I need to remember to go to the bank tomorrow and get cash for the weekend.  I need to call Sonja, too; I’m way past due for a haircut.  What should I wear tomorrow?  With ballgames, I’ll be on my feet for at least 14 hours; I’ll need to wear something comfortable.  Are my tan pants clean?  So armadillos always have litters of four, and the litter mates are always the same sex–I wonder why that is?  I hate that grandfather clock.  I know it’s a family heirloom and it’s pretty, but it’s so LOUD.  Maybe I should go stop the pendulum so it will quit ticking … but I don’t want to get out of my warm bed.  I’ll just throw my pillow over my head.  Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep … now I can’t breathe.

1:12 a.m.  I think I’m going to have to abandon my blog idea.  It’s just too painful to write about right now; maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time getting it done.  I’ll find something else to write about.  Maybe I could write about some of my more embarrassing moments in the classroom–that would be funny, especially the time …  My alarm is going to ring in three hours and 18 minutes.  This is ridiculous.  Husband just rolled onto his back–yeah, we’re not gonna start that again–gentle shove–back on your side there, buddy.  There you go.  At least one of us is getting some sleep.  My feet hurt.  My feet always hurt.  A heating pad would feel really good right now.  Did I forget to mail the car payment?   Sleep no more; Macbeth doth murder sleep … what the heck?  Stop, stop, stop, STOP!

2:25 a.m.  Did I doze off for a little bit?  I can’t remember, but why am I awake now?  My feet are cold …  I need to pee, but I am NOT getting up again.  That’s it–no more tea at supper.  Sleep, sleep, sleep …

4:30 a.m.  BZZZZZ!  Nooooo!  I’m not ready … I just got to sleep … nine more minutes …

4:39 a.m.  Nooooo … nine more minutes …

4:48 a.m.  Oh my gosh, I have to pee NOW!

And so began my thirty-seventh day in a row (or so it seemed) following thirty-seven sleepless nights.  And, as predicted, it was not a very good day.  I never raised my voice or treated anyone unjustly, but I did spend a bleary-eyed day nursing a horrendous headache–brought on by the lack of quality sleep or by the lack of massive quantities of caffeine coursing through my veins?  I’m not sure.

What I did know for sure was that I could not survive another sleepless night without the very real threat of doing bodily harm to some poor, unsuspecting soul (not a junior high student–more likely a snoring husband!).  There was no evening tea for me and no nap in the recliner (I wasn’t home anyway); there was, however, one blessed Tylenol PM (instead of the recommended two) washed down with a tiny swallow of water right before bedtime.

And it worked.  For the first time in forever (or so it seemed), I slept through the entire night, waking only when my 4:30 a.m. alarm sounded–but man, I had to pee!  Urgently. 

Today will be a good day.

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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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4 Responses to Another Sleepless Night

  1. Rhonda Newton says:

    Dear Karen, Once again, you’ve summed up an evening in my life. Loved it. I’m currently waiting on my compounded natural hormone therapy creme to arrive. Am excited to see if it will make a difference in the lack of sleep. Hot flashes awaken me on a regular basis and then it’s all over for the night. I started taking a prescription sleep aide and it seems to be helping some. Tylenol P.M. has an adverse effect on me. Thanks again for your missives. They are delightful! Rhonda

    • We seem to be having similar problems! I hate taking more medicine (of any kind), so I usually try to tough it out, but I finally couldn’t take it anymore! I wake up with the night sweats and have to go to the bathroom, and then my wet hair, neck, and clothes make me cold, so I snuggle back under the covers, and then I get hot again–vicious cycle! Thanks for your comments and support–greatly appreciated!

  2. Ok, I’m still in my thirties & having the very same issues! I said, wow……she has the very same husband (snoring), kids (teenagers), and thoughts (what I need to do tomorrow, next week, etc) that I do. Right now I have not found “that pill” that works, but I did find when I just go ahead and get up; the blog happens beautifully; then I find I can go to sleep sooner! So glad that you found some restful sleep 🙂

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