Friday, January 15, 2010

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

(This is your brain on no sleep)


Aaaaaauuuugh. I am SO sleepy! Wide awake as can be, but sleepy as all get-out.

This sad but salient truth provides the perfect linguistic opportunity for an oxymoron, right? Alert drowsiness. Scratch that. It's more like drowsy wakefulness. And I'm not liking it. But as a 57-year-old woman, that seems to be my permanent state these days. In fact, my idea of bliss at this point would be to turn in at midnight, snooze until 7:00 AM, and wake up feeling...refreshed. That's right; seven hours of straight sleep is looking like the holy grail to me! With a little bit of Christmas morning thrown in for good measure.

Don't get me wrong, I pretty much conk out when my head hits the pillow. And I sleep soundly enough, too. But I wake up before I'm ready. Prematurely. With the birds. When it's still dark.

Yep, my eyes POP right open, for no apparent reason, like a baby when you put him in his crib. The old body is still immersed in sweet slumber, yet my menopausal brain (or what's left of it) is suddenly up and running. Not the whole brain, mind you...not the thinking part, anyway...but the brain stem part that controls basic functions and various reflexes. A zombie is born.

Okay, my largely female readers, I ask you now: Where is the justice in this? Admittedly, my husband is too busy to get enough sleep either, but here's the thing: He could if he felt the need. At any given time, he is able to tell himself...Self, we're going to sleep in tomorrow. He can then choose not to set the alarm (a device which I no longer even need), close the drapes, and stay in dreamland till at least 8:30. Sometimes, he even makes it till 9:00! I know, because I observe him. Through my wide-open, bleary (and yes, slightly covetous) eyes.

So, this is what I'm reduced to, my friends: unadulterated envy of my poor. overworked husband's sleep patterns. Not that I would ever wish the curse of pre-dawn awakening, with its legacy of drowsy wakefulness, on him or anyone else. I don't. This mid-life mama is all about the free exercise of slumber rights for every citizen of the United States. Free sleep for all, I say! Who needs tea parties when you can get on board with Sue's catch some z's parties? (Sorry red states, but hey, I just want a little bit of that sleep mojo comin' my way.)

And thanks, my fellow Americans, for your continued support.



Momza said...

Each night is a crap-shoot for me. I never know if I'm going to get some real sleep or not.
Looks like we're in the same club!

jen said...

I understand sleepless. You know I do.
What disturbs me about this post is that I'm only seventeen years away from not sleeping again.
There is no justice.

At least I have a darling babe to keep me company!

VK said...

I'm a good sleeper, but the hubby is not and so I feel your pain through him.
I do LOVE to sleep and am highly irritable when I don't get my 8 hours. 'Specially when I have a coud in my nouz like I do now.

Katie said...

LOL, I'm so sorry! The way you explained it is so funny, not that you can't get sleep is funny (you know what I mean!) My poor husband has difficulty sleeping as well, but a lot of it is just the medical school stress. What happens if you maybe try to exercise before bed? Maybe that would make you sleep longer...Oh, or take Tylenol PM, that works like charm ;-)

Katie said...

Oh yeah, one more thing, I wish my baby would sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours so I could start getting my sleep again! So in a sense I feel your pain!

Amy said...

I love how the first song of your playlist always coordinates with what your post is about. Clever.

Really, it isn't fair. I have decided for things to be just, in the next life men should have at least one day of experiencing what women go through. Hormones, pregnancy with all its joys of swelling and back pain etc, menopause, sleepless nights with the baby, the whole 9 yards. I am banking on that with all the hope of my heart. They need a little perspective. I guess to make it fair women could have a day to understand what its like to be a man, but I think that could cause a whole lot of envy... just thinking out loud here.

Jess said...

Can you tell my 7 year old that she needs to wait 50 more years before she is allowed to wake up like that.
I love sleep-every second I can get, so I can relate to the zombie like feelings that accompany less than adequate sleep.

Carolyn said...

I feel your pain. I was up at 5 this morning.

Between Asthma, Autism, and this week's ear ache I never know how much sleep I'm going to get.

Jill said...

I never have been able to figure out either why men seem to sleep so much better than us women. My husband can sleep anytime, anywhere. Once the house alarm went off and he even slept through that!
One thing that has helped me is 20 minutes of sun each day. Hard to find in the winter but we still have it a few days a week here.

Darlene said...

How can we be so different? You at least can go to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. I, on the other hand will lie awake for an hour or sometimes two, but once I do go to sleep, I can sleep a good eight hours or often more.

I've taken to getting up if I haven't gone to sleep for an hour and going into the living room to sit in my wonderfully comfortable chair and reading a book until I get good and sleepy, then I hurry back to bed before I start to really wake up again. This works for me. By the way, I too take Tylenol PM, but after I use it for a couple of days, it isn't effective until I go for a few days without it.

karen said...

I never know what I'm going to do. Sometimes I sleep wonderfully, and then I'll have a night or two when my mind races. I've learned I can't call my body my own these days. I feel your pain.

Karen Sue said...

For the most part, I wake up the same time everyday. No matter when I go to sleep...and I tend to go to sleep 1/2hour-15 min before the end of every movie I've watched in the last year.

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