Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sleepless in Wherever

I should be sleeping. I even fell asleep early (8:30!). Good thing - because at 10:30 Brian woke me up - he "felt funny." Now he's finally asleep on the couch (what was wrong? I'll never know) and I'm wide awake.

It kills me sometimes, reading the blog of someone approximately my age who is freaking out because, oh my goodness, she got woken up by some noise the previous night and didn't get her usual 8-10 hours of sleep. Doesn't she understand that over the past 18 years, I've turned sleeplessness into a varsity sport? That there were chunks and chunks of time when, if I managed to get 3 hours in a row of sleep, I was good to go? And if I managed to sleep 5 hours, well! Look out, world, here I come!
What were these people doing the past 2 decades with all that rest? They weren't staggering around sleep-deprived, their entire beings focused on when to grab the next 15-minute nap. Why didn't they manage to find the cure for cancer or something?

And now? Now, when I do actually (sometimes) get 6 whole hours in a row? That is, when there's no teen to pick up late in the evening and no young one waking me up at 3 AM with a bad dream? It's not enough. My body will never catch up on all that sleep it missed, and it's pissed off. I am in a permanently unrested state.

I used to be a morning person, you know. I prided myself on it, in fact, as if it were some sort of moral good to be one of those sickening creatures who couldn't imagine lying abed past 6:30. 7 AM? Totally sleeping in...

Yeah, go ahead and hate me. I'm paying now. I drag myself out of bed at 7:30, whining and moaning. If I attempt to sleep in past 8 (!), I feel more tired. Going to bed early so I'll feel rested? Dream on! (pun fully intended) Something like tonight happens. Or, worse, I wake up at midnight, unable to get back to sleep. I've spent the better part of the past 20 years imagining a life where I wake up rested after a good night's sleep, but it remains a chimera. Or a mirage. Or whatever the right word is - what, you want me to be articulate after all these years of running on empty?

Hmm...maybe I need Geritol. What was in that stuff, anyway?

(The good part starts at approximately 35 seconds...)


  1. As usual, I am up late as well. I can go to bed early and nobody wakes me in the middle of the night but I physically cannot sleep more than an hour and I am up. I sleep in tidbits and never feel rested. I have never slept well and have always been tired my whole life....

  2. Oh.
    I am such a sleep wimp.
    I admire you for being able to function on so little sleep.
    I can't do it.
    But as time marches on...I tend to wake up every hour just for "no reason."
    It does wonders for my personality.

  3. Oh honey, I feel your pain. Five hours, and I'm good to go; six is iffy; seven hours, and I'm drunk on sleep.

    Let me give you hope for the empty nest years, though I know for you they are like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. I sleep *much* better now that the kids are grown and gone. May you experience the same blessing, in your turn.

  4. You know, I managed to get through the childrearing years with little to no effect (I think). But bottle feeding those puppies every hour for 2 weeks has taken it's toll. Either I was too mentally unstable to attempt that feat or I'm too old to go sleepless for that long with no reprieve. I feel you pain. Or your sleepless exhaustion. It's one and the same at this point.

  5. Yes! When I get 5 in a row, I think I am so smart! If I could just get "in a row sleep" I could run the country!
    Maybe that's why you are so funny, 'cause you're so sleep deprived. Love ya!

  6. That's it, I NEED Geritol!

    I usually get 6 (barely) and am functional at best. More than 7.5 and I'm groggy. Last night, of course, I had one up with suspected strep, but I feel better than i did yesterday morning, even though that night I went to bed 30 min. earlier! Go figure.

  7. Yes. I haven't had a full night's sleep since the first trimester of my first pregnancy. My sister (who is similarly deprived) sent me some link to some article about some study that said women who don't get at least 7 (I think it was 7) hours per sleep per night have a greater risk of cancer. I can't find the link now. I'm too fricking tired. I don't expect this sleep deprivation thing to get any better anytime soon, and then I'll be up worrying about teenagers and curfews, and by the time (if there's ever a time) that I might be able to sleep uninterrupted by children, I will be suffering from old lady insomnia.

  8. PS No sleep last night. TEETHING.

  9. Even when I get in-a-row sleep, I'm tired. Sleep study #2 is scheduled for April 3rd. Hopefully they can figure out why I'm running on empty.
    At least you are funny on no sleep! I'm just a foggy mess.

    The mean trick of life will be that by the time the kids are grown, our menopausal/post-menopausal bodies won't let us sleep hours in-a-row, either. Life's a beach.

  10. Came here via the Women's Colony. You got yourself a new reader - love your style! (and I don't know how you do it w/ DOUBLE the amount of children I have.)

    *applauding in amazement*

  11. I figured out a long time ago that I can't keep them from waking me up, so the trick to surviving is being able to get back to sleep AND QUICKLY. They can wake me up, but they can't make me stay awake. That's my solution -- stubbornness and denial!

    On the other hand, menopause will catch up with me in a few years. THEN we'll see who's laughing...

  12. ok, i am outing myself as a loooong sleeper. i can do fine with 7.5 hours as well, but 8 or 9 are much better for me. have always been like that. can't help it.

    i know, i know, things change with kids. i guess, i need a hubby who wakes up early and goes to bed late ;-)

    question: what DO you do with all that free time between midnight and 3am/until the first child rises? knit? read? clean? cook? something has to tire you out!


  13. Geritol?

    Sure, now you tell me. I've spent the last week drinking a case of Dr. Pepper to stay awake.

    Does Geritol have caffeine in it?

  14. Actually, I'm thinking cocaine...

  15. Oh how this post speaks to my heart :)

    Seriously. I'm NO GOOD at sleeping anymore. I'm going on four years of sleep deprivation. I've seen the toll it's taken on my body. I'm pretty sure I'll look like the wicked stepmother in Cinderella in just a few years if this keeps up.
    And it will surely keep up since I've totally forgotten how to STAY sleeping. Blech.

  16. I don't know about cocaine, but I often marvel that out of my 5, none have ADHD...can't even try the Desperate Housewives trick and help myself to kiddo's Ritalin for energy.

  17. Sleep--it's why I only have 4!

  18. So true! All those rested people should have found a cure for cancer!!

  19. I had to Google Geritol to find out what was in that stuff. Dang. Alcohol, iron, and B vitamins. There you have it. Mother's little helper.

  20. If I do not get at least 6.5 hours or more of sleep, I am not a nice person. Hubby and kids know that if mom is taking a nap (a rare occurrence), they are only allowed to wake me up if the house is on fire or someone needs to visit the emergency room. Otherwise, I'll go all "Army sergeant" on them and it won't be pretty.