First Time For Everything

The kids started Soccer this weekend. Two back-to-back games that were action packed! Wes did a great job in his first game and seems to really love just hustling like a madman. This is exactly opposite of me who rejoiced sitting on the sidelines goofing off with other kids. After the crazy day of Saturday, I was hoping for a good and peaceful night sleep Saturday night.

HA! HA! Funny joke on me.

There seem to be two different kinds of insomnia. The kind that keeps from being able to fall asleep, and the kind that keeps you from being able to stay asleep. I have never suffered from the first form in any capacity. I slightly suffer from the second one…slightly. But it’s easy to adapt around because I don’t suffer from the first one. So, since I know my body won’t let me sleep past 4am most morning, I try to be in bed by 9pm. Easy. Breezy.

Whenever I meet someone who struggles to fall asleep…I always completely empathize with them and proclaim my gratitude that I don’t suffer from the same problem. I just couldn’t imagine not being able to go to sleep when I wanted. I’ve had bouts of issues with sleep around stressful times in my life, but nothing like some of my friends experience.

Until Saturday night.

I went to sleep around 9:30 or 10pm without any big problem. I’ve been needing to read every night for a few minutes, but after about 15 minutes I’m usually out. But then, something woke me up around 1am and I COULD NOT GET BACK TO SLEEP. I spent the next hour-and-a-half reading, almost fall asleep, putting the book down, and then NOT BEING ABLE TO GO TO SLEEP. The second I took the book out of my mental focus, even if I was literally dozing off while reading it, I couldn’t turn off my brain.

I found myself obsessing over my sick dog and the mess she’s making of our carpet. Will we ever be able to get it clean? How much would it cost to replace it someday? Do I want to replace it with carpet because I can’t imagine upstairs without the sound barrier of carpet. AND WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT AT 1AM?

I found myself obsessing over this pregnancy. It’s probably fated for doom – I would think – and I would wonder how I’m going to cope once I get the inevitable bad news. Will I have to have a D&C? I always prefer a D&C because miscarrying on my own is my least favorite option of all of the really shitty options. And then I’ll probably chop my hair off because I like to do extreme things after pregnancy loss…it re-shifts my focus.

But then I would shift and be hopeful. If the pregnancy proceeds well…how will we arrange the kids in the house? Same gender same bedroom? And then – no matter what – move Nikki to E’s room years down the road when he doesn’t need it anymore? And will we finally remodel his outdated bathroom? And will this baby sleep well? Have they made any cool new baby things in the last 5 years we don’t know about? What will we name this baby? I MUST DECIDE THIS RIGHT NOW AT 1:30AM OR THE WORLD WILL END.

It was non-stop for almost two hours until I found myself crying in bed and just wailing, “I JUST WANT TO GO TO SLEEP!!!” But, I couldn’t shut it off. I couldn’t turn off my brain to go to sleep. The only thing I could do was change the subject my brain was obsessing about. Pregnancy. Lost pregnancy. TV. Shoes. Carpet. Dogs. Soccer. Theatre. NON-STOP THINKING. I couldn’t do it.

So, at 2:30am I just got up. I quit fighting it an just woke up. I got started with my day on about 3 hours sleep. Which, in case you were wondering, did nothing to help my emotional state.

Last night I popped some Tylenol PM and slept peacefully until I woke up at 5:15am this morning. I know that’s not a perfect solution. But it will at least get me through today without as many spontaneous tears as yesterday.

The point of this entire entry? To tell all of you that have trouble falling asleep? I LOVE YOU. I am sorry your life is so difficult. One night of that and I wanted to kill myself. HOW DO YOU SURVIVE? I mean – I was so miserable I found myself praying. I don’t even believe in God, why was I praying? BECAUSE I WAS THAT MISERABLE. You people…even if you do nothing else that you a proud of in your life…if you survive with sleeping issues then you are a hero. I couldn’t survive one night without losing my mind. Hell, I couldn’t survive 90 minutes without giving up. I know some of you sit there for HOURS, channel surfing, reading, tossing, turning…HOW ARE YOU ALL NOT CRAZY?

Let’s hope that was a one night thing. Because if this becomes a new thing I have to deal with? My sanity won’t last a week. I GUARANTEE IT.


  • Monica

    I am so sorry you had a bad night! I have Sleep Issues, and I am a grumpy, short-tempered mom and wife as a result (at least, I am going to blame it on that and not on my personality in general). I can be falling asleep sitting up while reading, but the second I get in bed, my mind starts going a thousand miles an hour worrying about everything. And lucky me, I have both types of problems you mentioned…falling asleep and staying asleep. Some of the time I think I am CRAZY!

    I hope you sleep better tonight!!

  • Cheryl

    Up until this menopause thing I NEVER had trouble falling asleep. My occasional insomnia was of the variety go to bed, fall asleep immediately and wake up at 2AM WIDE AWAKE for the day. Now, with this stupid hormone thing, I have seen 1AM far more often than I am comfortable with. I’ve come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t fight it, I just get up and do something (mostly clean out the DVR lets be honest). Eventually my body becomes so exhausted it says “enough, we’re going to sleep now whether you want to or not” and I’ll sleep for like 14 hours. It really is inconvenient, but I find that the more I obsess about it, the worse it would get. So my suggestion as someone who has had both types of insomnia is don’t fight it. It won’t last forever, at least I hope to God it won’t.

  • melaniek

    I normally dont have sleep issues, but struggle with the ol’ restless leg thing several times a month (which I hear due to my family history will likely get worse as I age–good times)… if I distract myself (ie reading or watching a movie) I dont notice the restless legs, but if I try and turn off the movie or stop reading I lie there going “don’t move your legs, dont move your legs… OH MY GOD I HAVE To MOVE MY LEGS” so i always head to couch downstairs those nights so I dont disturb my husband. One extra night a month I just feel so wide awake I rarely fall asleep before 3-4am and wake up at 7…. the only plus is that after a couple of short nights of sleep my body lets me sleep pretty darn good for awhile. My doc has recommended tylenol pm if I feel the restless legs, but I keep forgetting to pick it up at the store.

  • Becca

    I had insomnia with my last pregnancy. I just couldn’t stay asleep, or fall asleep after a bathroom break. I don’t know why. It sucked. Good news, it did end with the delivery of my daughter, and I’m also very grateful that I don’t normally suffer from insomnia.

  • susie

    I have narcolepsy, which isn’t like in the movies exactly – it basically just means I fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow (or getting into any comfortable position, or in boring meetings). It usually means I can be assured of a good night’s sleep. Usually. Sometimes, my anxiety will ramp up at bed time, and it is just like you describe – I can be falling asleep reading but the second I put the book away, that ticker tape of worrying subjects starts up and Will. Not. Stop. And I get so DESPERATE! I start the praying thing (and I’m in the same boat as you, there!), and I usually get myself worked up enough I’ll start crying. It is such a ridiculous thing, and the whole time I just sit there berating myself because I have NARCOLEPSY! Sleep is my super power!! But there is no rational thinking in the middle of the night, not for me. Oh and when I was pregnant? What a ridiculous ride that was.

    I hope insomnia leaves you be! (The anxiety can take a hike, too!)

  • Melizzard

    Oh you took a visit to my world last night huh? Yeah, Sorry it sucks here. That’s me pretty much every night until it hits a wall and exhaustion takes over. Ambien is my friend although I try to use it in moderation only once a week or so.

    Pregnancy friendly way (my dr. was against sleep aids when preg) to try and combat it as a really really hot shower. As hot as you can take it – on your legs and arms. Something about vaso-dilating or something like that but my basic understanding is that it pulls the blood out to extremities and well basically away from your brain. Brain without as much blood says hey maybe sleep is a good idea after all.

    Also weirdly sometimes something like Tetris helps better than books or TV. Which can just give me a new topic to obsess over when trying to go to sleep again. (Note: At least an hour was spent last night fretting over the Amy Pond doom foreshadowing) A game that takes up just the right amount of concentration and yet is still kind of mindless and boring can work well to shut down the obsession loop.

    • zoot

      YES. Books are hit or miss with me. Sometimes they make it worse.

      And I can not TELL you how many restless nights I’ve had thinking about Doctor Who. 😉

  • Stacey

    sleep issues are fun. not at all. I go in cycles where I will be able to fall asleep and be asleep all night. Then there are the nights that I can’t fall asleep until super late….or I do fall asleep and am waking up every two hours and awake for 30-60 minutes in between. That is the worst. It gets to me at the very end of cycle (each lasting about a week or two. I hope it doesn’t last for you!!

  • Katy McDonald England

    I had insomnia while pregnant with Aengus. Partly because I had horrific nightmares when I actually went to sleep and was afraid to nod off. I eventually figured out that the crazy nightmares were secondary to taking fish oil and vitamin d supplements so I quite that mess and it was better.
    At what week in your pregnancies is the week where you stop holding your breathe and start getting excited? You do realize how many of us are holding our breathe with you and counting down, right? That much love we’re all putting out into the world to keep this very loved and wanted baby’s heart beating has to help in some way, right? At any rate, still sending all the love in the world and still praying.

  • Jo

    I can completely sympathize! I don’t regurally have trouble staying asleep but when I do, it’s hours of “what-if”, “but maybe” and the like… I’m so sorry you had such awful things to worry about. It’s always stress and worry that do it to me…

    I’ve found that I write down what I’m thinking, in that moment, in a little notebook beside my bed. Half the time, I can’t even read it in the morning but the act of writing it down gets it out of the endless loop in my head. That way, I can come back to it later if I need to, and ignore it if I don’t.

    I hope you find some peace in whatever way works for you! Hugs, and congratulations if I haven’t already said that!