Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To sleep. Perhance not to sleep
I've been an insomniac all my life. Even as a child I'd lie awake half the night, waiting to fall asleep. I shared a room with my two sisters and I'd listen to them breathe (or snore) while playing little mind games to get myself through the night. I'd doze off and on and was OK living life on 3 or 4 hours sleep a night.

I'm still an insomniac. Only it's harder and harder to get by on so little sleep. And so, after a lifetime of yawning and dragging my way through the day, I've given in to sleeping pills. And I cannot tell you what a revelation it is.

I've tried everything. Cutting out caffeine. Hot milk. Warm baths. Holistic herbs and meditation. But nothing as ever worked. Now the little Ambien-wonderpill has made me fall asleep and I love it.

Friends, don't worry. I'm not an addict. I take maybe 2 or 3 a week, but those 2 or 3 nights have made a world of difference. I fall asleep, for the first time in my life, within 30 minutes. I sleep deeply (until the cat wakes me up at 3 am) but then I actually fall back asleep again fairly quickly. Again, for the first time in my life.

Without the pills it takes me anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours to fall asleep and then it's only for an hour or two at a time. I'll wake up, be wide awake for an hour or so and then drift off again for another few hours. This is honestly the very first time in my life when I'm getting continuous, quality sleep and I'm amazed at how it makes me feel. I have more energy. My back hurts less because I'm not tossing and turning and my muscles can actually relax for a bit. And it's easier to get things accomplished during the day because I'm not dragging my tired ass around.

On the nights, like tonight, when I'm not taking a pill I'll do my best to fall asleep naturally. But I know from 40+years of experience that it'll be a lost cause. I'll curl up in the darkness and try to shut my mind off. I'll do my best to relax. And two hours later I'll give up and watch a movie until I can't keep my eyes open (by which time the cat will be awake). But just knowing that in a night or two I'll be able to catch up on my sleep has made me much happier and makes the white nights easier to bear.

And, for those of you who are asleep, I wish you sweet dreams. I'll be having my own on Friday.


FinnyKnits said...

Oh Ambien. How do I love thee? Let me count the flights...This is my standby remedy for getting through any flight of 8+ hours.

So glad it's helping you get through the nights. It's a blessing.

Fo said...

As long as you don't start hallucinating those freaky glowing butterflies from the commercials...