Sleepless in Colorado

I miss sleeping. I never thought I would say that, because I have never been what you would call a big sleeper. I went to bet at a normal time (usually between 1opm and midnight), fell asleep quickly, and then woke up about 5 minutes before my alarm went off. That would be any where between 4 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., depending on what kind of job I had at the time, how much I had to do in the morning before work, etc. Most of my life, I’ve found 5 to 6 hours of consecutive sleep to be quite ample.

So much for those days. I still fall asleep quite easily, but STAYING asleep, aye, there’s the rub! Usually, G. and I will go to bed after the evening news (10pm here in CO), read or chat or snuggle for a while, and then I’ll feel my lids start to droop. I turn out my light, kiss G. good night, roll over and fall asleep. Only to pop wide awake at approximately 2:30 am. Often, it’s because I have to pee (another side effect of getting older!). By the time I get back from the bathroom, I’m wide awake, and getting back to sleep is hellacious. I’ve done the toss and turn thing, but now I pretty much just surrender, get up and take my latest book to the couch in the living room, and read till I feel woozy again.

If I’m lucky, that will be maybe an hour and I’ll get back to dreamland in time for 3 more hours of sleep. However, I wasn’t so lucky last night. I probably dropped off around 11pm, woke up at 1:30, and read until nearly 5am. THEN, when I tried to go back to sleep, I had both G. and the DOG snoring in my ear. Sleep? Forget it. I guess I dropped off eventually, and was awakened a little after 8am by light coming in the room around our opaque shades. Did I mention that I need a really DARK, QUIET room to sleep well? Fortunately, it’s Sunday today, and I know I can take a nap later, but often that is not the case.

I’ve tried it all–melatonin (helps some), Tylenol PM (too “druggy”, and I worry about my liver), sex (LOVELY, and really helps GET me to sleep, but I still don’t STAY asleep), etc. I don’t have health insurance, so I can’t get a doc to write me a script for the latest sleep drug, and not quite sure I’d want that, anyway. I HAVE taken one of G.’s Lorazepam from time to time, and along with a Tramadol, that seems to be the best solution. They help me STAY asleep; I don’t want to become dependent on meds for sleep, but I NEED sleep.

I guess folks would say I’m too picky. I can’t sleep with music on, can’t sleep with light coming in the room (well especially if it hits me right in the face!), can’t sleep with snoring partner or dog, etc. I TRY to ignore all that, really. Also try to get some mild exercise before going to sleep, yoga, etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Mostly not.

And, of course, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you might say “Well, you’ve got a lot on your mind.” Which is true, but I’ve always been able to find refuge in sleep, and not being able to do that is getting to me. Friends (older women) tell me it’s normal for this time of my life–part of the “change”. I tell them if it keeps up, by the time I’m 65, I’ll just be staying up 24 hours a day!

It’s almost 9am now, and I’m going to go up and have some coffee (yes, “leaded”). G. and I have talked about switching to decaf, especially if we want coffee in the afternoon or evening, but we haven’t tried it yet. Soon, probably. In the meantime, I think I’ll have to establish a regular nap time, if I can.




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