Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

Five for Friday.

February 12, 2021

It’s Friday! Wait; Is it Friday? I think it’s Friday. Somebody check for me! Friday! Yes. We’re pretty sure. One of a gazillion reasons I need a grown-up job with grown-up responsibilities: a grown-up Monday-to-Friday schedule.

And you know what Friday means? Five for Friday posts! I am ridiculously excited about my “Five for Fridays” posts. Just five random thoughts that may or may not have been big enough for their own space. So here we go!

  1. One of the toughest things about being “home” again – “home” being in the house where I grew up, and where my brother and father live – and my baby sister temporarily moved home at the end of August because of a COVID eviction, so her too – is not so much that I’m in a house filled with people; it’s that we’re all on different schedules. Like I said, the number of people doesn’t faze me, because I’ve always lived in a small house with a big family, with scores of people always underfoot. It actually makes me feel more comfortable. Homier. But my dad goes to bed at 7 or 8 p.m. He has insomnia like me, god bless. So he tries to follow a strict sleep schedule. So I’m very conscious of this, especially because I have the insomnia issue he was kind enough to pass along to me. Le sigh. My brother, whom I affectionately call the Grown-Up In Residence, also carries the Insomnia Gene, but he just rolls with it. He’s been laid off for more than a year, but has been the one taking care of my father, and also my mother when she was still living at home. He’s been sleeping on the couch so he can hear if my father falls during teh night. That’s why it’s “easy” that I take over his room upstairs. Joe stays up til midnight. 1a. 2a. Somewhere in there. So I know any accidental bumps coming from my room isn’t going to bother him, but I do know that despite fitting into most of the stereotypical “guy” attributes, he is very sensitive to sounds that might disturb my father. Because then he has to listen to it all the next day. Heh. So our house “shuts down” every night, ridiculously early,, at 8p. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Unpleasant, but straight-forward. No phone calls after 8p if I can help it, because the house was built in the late 1800s, so the insulation is laughable. You can hear a conversation on different levels and across the house better than you can in if the person was in the same room! And then the bathroom situation is…
  2. Okay, the bathroom. How many of you have lived in a house with multiple people – grown-up, actual people, not childrens – and only one bathroom. I know it’s not that uncommon the city, in older housing.Mostly I feel bad because I’m not the only one with sleeping problems. And when you hear more than one person tramping up and down the stairs at night – over and next to your bedroom, that can’t help. But! It does help your mindfulness, and when you’re lying very, very still in the morning
    listening for your sister to come out of the bathroom, it’s a good time for morning reflections and prayers.
  3. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on my* room here at my dad’s house, but a happier heart is going to keep me from falling into a deep depression. And to be honest, given the situation with my daughters, who are never out of my mind, I’m teetering, and have been So I want to do what I can’t to keep me right side up. Cheering up the room might fall into that category.

    Here’s how it looks now…

    I’m thinking maybe something mandala-y? Definitely something cheerful and happy. Warm tones. But I don’t want spend too much. My girls bought some tapestries at the old house. Gracie asked for some for Christmas, and helped pick some out for Santa. Bee was – IS – the queen of finding the cheapest sales online and avoiding scams. So I crossed my fingers and asked them for help. Sometimes I don’t get a response because: teenagers. Sometimes they don’t answer because…well. That’s a different story, and a sad one, and I don’t know how to fix it. But! I did get a quick answer about the tapestries and I’m trying to decide. So hit me up with suggestions!
  4. My head is a mess. Yes, that’s the most succinct description of me anyone has said in the history of psychoanalysis. In this week’s episode of WTF, Katie?!, we’re looking at why in the world I can’t seem to get it through my head that I don’t need to do timezone math anymore. I know – laugh all you want. It’s the silliest of little things wrong with me. I’ve been tethered to my best friend Corrie since we met. You know, 15 years ago. She’s been a huge part of keeping me sane through the move. And before the move. And every day even when nothing was going on. You get the picture. And sadly, I haven’t been able to deploy my Kidnap Corrie To Keep Her Happy, With me, And All of Sane because of the craptastic weather we’re experiencing not only in the north (expected), but in the deep south of Texas. We’re they’re getting six inches of snow. Because I’m gone!I Sheesh.What a slap in the face! “Dear Weather Gods, can I please have some snow? No? Oh, but now that I’m officially moved out, now Texas is getting snow? Oh. Okay. Just checking.” !!?!>#$#()_!!! For the love of Pete! But! Getting back to the tiniest of little points that I had, an entire paragraph ago, when I talktext Corrie, it’s still an hour behind. Cool, cool. But then when I go to talk to any of my aunts, the nursing home, my friend Juls, or really anyone else, I don’t need to do any math! NO MATH! I hate math! Why would I try to layer in any unnecessary math?! Insanity, I tell you. SOMEone please get that through my head.
  5. COVID. COVID COVID COVID. Please. You really need to stop now. Because now that I’m all up here in my cozy, cozy homeland, having completed this rather insane and intense cross-country drive all by myself, with a carload of shtuff… And now that I’ve unpacked that carload of shtuff and gotten myself as settled as can be for now… the distractions are wearing off and I really, really need to visit with my family, now that I’ve driven 1500+ miles to be with them. The people of Massachusetts are taking this “hunker down” direction seriously. As we should! But I would like to see my aunts and uncles, now that they’re across the city. And I’d love to be able to hang out with my cousins. Maybe a rowdy card game with everyone all at once? Tough to pull off, but I don’t mind being the details girl and organize it, if COVID WOULD JUST GO AWAY! Ahem.

And that is pretty much where my headspace is on this fine COVIDy Friday night. LOL And what are YOU all up to? Whatever it is, I hope it’s something that leaves you in better shape to be ready for bed when the time comes. No more 4a visits from Father Sleep. Or panicked 12:30p wake-ups the next day. But it’s fine. It’s FINE! Because it’s Friday. And after Friday, comes Saturday. God bless.

And good night!

*my brother’s

Well…that’s one way to cure it.

March 27, 2017

Have I mentioned? In the midst of everything else going on (or maybe because of it), I’ve had a bit of insomnia. Or, I did…until last night happened.

Yesterday was a bit of a weird day. It was scattered. The girls had church, during which I took the most glorious nap. (Napping hasn’t be a problem for my insomnia. And yes, I can hear you: but not napping has no effect on whether or not I sleep at night) When the girls came home, they had lunch, and worked on a few chores.

Oh, and that’s when I might have mentioned to them that it was supposed to tornado on our heads later. Our tor:con was 5 and, yeah. Not really happy about it, but at least it wasn’t all day? I had things to do!

So the girls looked at the sky and shrugged their shoulders and moved on with their afternoons. Bee worked on laundry, Gracie went to Costco with me [she had requested, by the way, that we now call her The Man Of The House because she is the strongest and could move the giant dog food bag by herself]. Then we went home, unloaded the car and looked at the sky again.

Not much going on.

So I went for a run, spent my energy, showered, sent the girls through their showers early, in case it was storming later, and checked the radar. Yeah, there they were – storms off to our west. Just about the same time that I saw the storms on the radar, my weather radio went off with a tornado watch. And then a severe thunderstorm warning for counties north and south. I couldn’t tell by the radar, but it looked possible that the storms would split and miss us. So just in case…

I took a quick poll and decided to order pizza. The good kind I had to go pick up. Which meant I would just miss the storms coming back. At least, I would if the line held.

Of Bee and I went. We grabbed our goodies and headed back. The wind was up, the clouds were gray, but nothing terrible. We ate our pizza undisturbed.

Well – not really. The NOAA weather alarm went off every few minutes. Everyone else was getting slammed with storms but us! So I read my book and shut off the alarm every time it went off, but those times were slowing down.

And that’s when it happened – I put my head down on my bed for just for a moment. I even left my finger holding my page in my book. I just needed a ten-minute nap.

My “ten minutes” was interrupted some untold time later by the weather radio. Gracie ran in and we listened. I told her I was just resting my eyes. I think she got the message by how sleepy I seemed when I was trying to shut off the beeping.

The alarm went off again, and I honestly couldn’t tell you which girl I talked to.Someone came in. We talked, I shut the alarm off, and I closed my eyes again.

When I opened them the next time, it was dark in my room. I looked at the clock. It was midnight. I got up and went out into the living room – Fenway was asleep, the kitchen was shut down, the locks all on, and the alarm was set. The girls did an awesome job getting the house shut down, even if they didn’t wake me up. Even the alarm clock in Bee’s room was turned on.

Yep, that’s one way to nap.

I must have needed it. I was exhausted. Too many nights where I wasn’t sleeping. Still! I can’t believe the girls had picked up and then shut down the house. They set the alarm and did everyone a grown-up would do. Well – almost. They didn’t turn on the outside light before setting the alarm, but I bet they didn’t even know I did that. I was so proud of them!

I asked them this morning if they really went to bed at 9pm (normal bedtime) and they swore they did. I asked them why they didn’t wake me up and reassured them that they are allowed to wake me. Bee says she opened the door at bedtime and said “Mom?” once. I didn’t move. So she shrugged her shoulders (again) and just went to bed.

After checking on the house at midnight, I went back to bed and slept until 5a. Not bad. I went to bed three hours earlier than I would have, and only got up one hour earlier. And all of those hours were filled with sleep!

The other funny bit is that after an entire day of staring at the sky and being “excited” (uh, “anxious”, Katie – get it right), I slept through the whole thing! Bee said it never stormed, and Gracie said it was just windy (which explained why the extra security pole was wedged under the back door). I missed the wind and the storms missed us. But not everyone – my phone was lit up with messages and tweets about hail storms and thunderstorms and everything else. Uhhh…glad I’m not northeast? Because it sounded unfun. You know – as I WAS SLEEPING!

I shouldn’t brag too loud about that, or this sleep thing will disappear!

Delirious – we’ll pretend with anticipation.

September 10, 2015

I am not going to be good at forming complete today. Uh – complete sentences. Because oh, look, guess who woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn’t fall back asleep? And that was after going to bed much later than I intended last night. And it’s not like I’m going to bed all that early tonight because there’s this little thing called FOOTBALL that starts up again tonight. (This is where I’d use an exclamation point if I had any oomph at all.)

I know everyone at work will take one look at me and think I was up early all adither over the game. Like I maybe did the last time there was a game. And because I kept watching this clip yesterday and shoving my arms up in a V for Victory pose at the end. Because interception! Football! PATRIOTS! Okay, that was exhausting. So, yeah, not going to be early tonight. Early bedtime I mean.

But there will be lattes today. With extra shots of caffeine. And the organizing of the football pool. And then probably I will watch Edelman’s pre-season hype video a few (hundred) more times. I’m looking forward to the game. I really hope we win. I just also really, really hope I get some good sleep afterwards, too.

A #24in48 Readathon Recap.

July 14, 2015

This past weekend, the lovely Rachel hosted a #24in48 reading marathon. The rules are simple: read your heart out over the course of the weekend. That’s it. That’s the rule. And the best thing about it (well, aside from all the reading) is that the rule is elastic. For instance, I include reading on Friday night because I view the “48” as the weekend, and my weekend starts on Friday after work. Also: mommying. Need to work that in there.

I did fairly well – I hit 18 hours. No, it’s not 24, and no, I didn’t get 6 books read like I did last time. I did learn a lot though. It was my first readathon with the new (hott) boyfriend around, and without my girls at the house this weekend, that means I was tag-teamed to help entertain the Xman quite a bit. I did warn Jeff that there was a readathon; next time I will have to be a bit firmer about blocking off time for Reading Only. But I still get Reading Ninja points for how I snuck so much in there. Here’s how it broke down:

Insomnia, by Stephen King. This is a re-read for me, and, surprisingly, it was an audiobook! I KNOW!! Audiobooks aren’t my thing. I have a hard time keeping track of what’s being said and so for new books, that can be an issue. Since this was a re-read (a re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read might be closer to the truth, in fact), it worked wonderfully. It helped me knock out most of a book, and I advanced quite a bit on my Stephen King Re-Read project. I was able to listen to a good chunk in one ear Saturday morning when the three of us when for a four-mile hike at the park, and then off-and-on throughout the weekend as I completed housework and cleaned out part of my closet. (The closet is big and the project is everlasting. I’m beginning to suspect my closet is equivalent to the inside of Mary Poppins carpetbag.) Anyway, the book is still fantastic, the narrator was good, and the delivery actually worked really well for me. Good choice.

The Truth According To Us, by Annie Barrows. Kim bought this in hardcover because the author co-wrote one of our favorite of favorites, Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Or, as everyone really calls it, Potato Peel Pie. Seriously, I had to stop and think of the full title. I may not even be right. So I have this gigantic hardcover that I’m supposed to finish before Kim gets here in August and demands her book back. Problem was, I had a hard time getting into it. I dipped into the first few pages a few times during afternoons – I figured once I got hooked into the story, I wouldn’t care about working out my biceps holding the book up over my face before bed every night. Except…the story never caught me. I kept going, kept going, sure that Annie would find her rhythm. And the letters the main character wrote – those were good. Those were Potato Peel Pie. The problem was, traditional narrative kept popping up. And that was a huge mess. There was no rhythm at all, the book felt like it couldn’t decide which structure it wanted to follow, the narrative voices were disconnected – probably because the narration switched between characters, and not in a way that worked. It was disjointed and, frankly, needed a much better editor. What a disappointment. Still, it went down easy once I committed, and I knocked it out before my car maintenance appointment was even over. And now the beast is back on the shelf and a much lighter book resides on my nightstand. Thank god. 2 of 5 stars.

Ana of California, by Andi Teran. I was so skeptical about this book. A modern, Latina retelling of Anne of Green Gables?? How ambitious! And how liable to fail. You can’t retell Anne. It’s classic. It’s untouchable. And it’s not even out of fashion or out of place with wonky situations you can’t relate to. Leave it alone! …Except the buzz was good. So good and so everywhere. And the book went straight to paperback. And it was only $10. So I took a giant chance and grabbed it and started reading and…holy sheep, people! The writing is enchanting, the characters relatable, and the story stands on its own. There are enough nods to Anne that I can see why it has to be billed as a retelling: Ana’s an orphan, she goes to live with a single brother and sister on a farm, her new best friend lives close by, a boy calls her Curls, her hair is the bane of her existence, there’s a hair-fixing disaster… I get it. But it’s different enough that it’s Ana, not Anne, and that means everything to me. I can’t wait to finish it, but so far this is a 4 1/2, 5 star read. Which is why I was reading pages at the kitchen table, in the car, for hours at the pool, before bed and before work. I’m even skipping naps, people. My love for the story is serious. (Although Anne is still light years better. Ahem.)

I may not have hit the mark for 24 hours this weekend, but I did get a massive amount of reading done, and so much of it was filled with good writing and better stories. I can’t wait for the next #24in48!

There’s a giant wall in my immediate future.

January 7, 2015

I hate when this happens.

I went through my usual nightly routines. Prepped coffee and snacks for the next day. Laid out my clothes. Set my alarm. Plugged in my phones. Finally crawled between my comfy jersey sheets and curled up with a book.

I read for about twenty minutes, even though it was after bedtime. Reading is vital to falling asleep, and skipping it is rarely an option. Sure enough, even though I was engaged and near the end of a really good story (Counting by 7s), I was sleepy enough to set the book aside and go to sleep.

Only sleep apparently wasn’t on the agenda.

On a good night, it will take me between 20-40 minutes to fall asleep. I daydream, drowse, drift between conscious and unconscious, and next thing you know, I’m waking up hours later.

Last night, after 30 minutes, I wasn’t even close to drowsing, and I realized the falling asleep on my back wasn’t going to happen. Sometimes all it takes is flipping over to reset the sleep thing successfully.

But not last night. Last night it just kicked off four hours of tossing and turning.

Four. Hours.

There was a sleeping pill involved, so I didn’t give in to the Nyquil temptation that struck sometime after midnight. I counted to a zillion. I went through a million relaxation techniques. I let my mind float, hoping the free association and less-than-structured narrative would help. Because my daydreams were so entertaining that they weren’t putting me to sleep. They were like reading a good book instead.

I finally fell asleep some time after 2 a.m. I’m not sure when.

My alarm went off at 5:45 a.m.

And then 5:52 a.m.

And then 6:00.

I’m not sure what time the wall will slap me in the face, but I know it’s there. Looming. And at some point today, I’m going to run



into it.

But I’ll sleep like a baby tonight.

Oh, why don’t you just go away.

October 22, 2009

Sleep has always been a fickle friend of mine. I love sleep. Luuuuuuurve it. I want to marry it and have 8,000 of its babies. I think sleep has figured this out, though. It seems to know when I’m stalking it and then it starts avoiding my calls and stops hanging out at its usual haunts. And then, then, its gangsta friend Big Bad Insomnia starts stalking me.

I hate insomnia.

I don’t have to wrestle with it very often. I’ll go through a bout of it – usually when I’m stressed or thinking too much or questioning existence – every few months or sometimes as infrequently as once or twice a year. When I do get it, though, it’s a tough bugger to shake off. The panicky feeling of whether or not I’ll be able to sleep only makes it worse.

At least, though, I have (what I consider) to be the “good kind” of insomnia: Delayed Sleep Insomnia. Our dear friend Wiki refers to it as “Onset Insomnia” and, ever helpful, points out that it is often associated with anxiety disorders. (You don’t say.) Terminal (or Late) Insomnia, on the other hand, is often associated with clinical depression. At least with my insomnia, once I fall asleep that first time, I’m golden. Some nights it takes an hour, some nights three or four. But once I trick myself into letting go and floating off, I won’t have another thing to worry about…until the next night. But those early-wakers, man, they never know if they’re going to fall back to sleep or not. I can just imagine how it would be when they woke up on any given night, wondering if this would be the night they would maddeningly lie awake for hours, or if they would harmlessly fall asleep in just minutes. That would just mess with my head. My own insomnia has its worries, but of the two poisons, it’s the one I’d pick.

I’d rather not deal with it at all, to tell you the truth. Some nights, I just lie there and play the cards I’m dealt; I figure that even if I only get four hours of sleep, at least I’ll be tired enough to sleep the next night. Some nights, I “don’t deal with it” by giving in entirely. In fact, I have a sliding scale of “not dealing with it” in that way. If it’s just a teensy little worry that I won’t be able to sleep, I might partake in a glass of wine or two. (Shoosh, you in the back. I do know that some experts say that wine could exacerbate my sleeplessness. It makes me sleepy as soon as I stop drinking.) If matters seem a little more dire and I have time to plan, I might take a Benadryl. If there’s less time to plan, then I use Tylenol PM. (Naturally, because Benadryl makes me bounce off the wall for a few hours whereas Tylenol PM has a more immediate effect.) If all of these means are exhausted, I’m at the mercy of that gangsta bitch, Insomnia.

Some of my friends have suggested I try some Lunestra. They’ve had good results. To be honest, it sounds perfectly lovely. But the last doctor’s visit I made was to request a few sedatives because I’m afraid of flying. If I follow it up with a request for a sleeping aid, I’m afraid I’ll be met by cute little gents with very pretty butterfly nets. So maybe I’ll try to hold out for awhile. I think I can manage: I had a bout of insomnia for several nights last week and have been sleeping fine since. Then again, this week has been incredibly, over-the-top stressful, smattered with not a little bit of (wait for it…) anxiety. So we’ll just see how the sleep goes tonight, shall we?