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Apr 04

How do I sleep at night? I don’t. I use The Force to heal.

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Damn, I’m tired. Not just “I could go for a nap” tired. We’re getting into “delirious waking fever dream as entertainment” kind of tired. “Challenge a clown to a knife fight because I don’t like his squeaky nose” kind of tired. “Stab a tenant with a bic pen and use their blood to fingerpaint the epic battle” kind of tired. Shit gets more serious as soon as I get less serious.

I haven’t been sleeping well for the past few weeks and I’m not sure why. I’ve had chronic insomnia for many years and it always seems to come in cycles. This time around, it takes me forever to fall asleep and once I finally do, I have weird dreams. Then the husband alternates between stealing all the covers and freezing my ass out, hogging the whole of our queen sized bed and kicking my ass out, or draping himself all over me and roasting my ass out. Given the amount of chili he’s eating lately, I should probably be thankful that he’s not stinking my ass out. And even if I survive all of these obstacles and slip into slumber, the cat yowls into my ear as soon as he sees daylight, somewhere near the crack of 5:30am.

Back in the day, I was even worse – I’d be awake for days at a time, or I’d get 2-3 hours in a given night and then have to get up and go to work or school. I didn’t want drugs, but my doctor insisted that I needed something in order to sleep. So I’d pop a Sonata or an Ambien and I’d be good to go for at least 6 hours.  Unfortunately, as time went on, it wasn’t working and instead of lulling me into sweet, drug induced slumber, I’d be awake for days and then hallucinate as soon as I took a pill. Have you ever seen your bedroom walls melt into colors when it’s pitch black in the room? If I wanted an acid trip, I’d have become better friends with that crowd in high school, thank you very much.

These days, if you tell a doctor that you’re having trouble with insomnia, they want to know what’s bothering you emotionally. Thank you for so gently implying that I may be bugfuck crazy, but the only thing that’s bothering me is that I’m tired and I CAN’T SLEEP, ASSHOLE. There’s nothing wrong with my emotional state that a few hours of a little senseless violence against video game aliens won’t fix. Now give me my ambien and I’ll leave you to the imminent heart attack I passed in the waiting room.

It’s started getting very busy at work again, so I’m out of the office a lot for showings, which is usually good for being gone for 2-3 hours at a time. Now my time in the office is precious paperwork time that gets wasted by a lot of phone calls from people who desperately need to learn that life does not revolve around them. I can always tell that work is starting to overstep its bounds when it starts making its way into my dreams. Last night, it was about a tenant who was being insufferably whiny and belligerent, so I used force lightning to electrocute the shit out of her and shut her up. To be honest, I may be playing a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic whenever I’m not working, usually in lieu of cooking, cleaning, or crafting.

Keeping in mind that I don’t stay up all night playing video games, I eat decently, I exercise fairly regularly, and I don’t tend to consume caffeine after noon, does anyone have advice on how to zonk out for a few hours? Or have a mallet I can borrow?

14 comments

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  1. Jana

    Medical Mary Jane……or so I have heard.

    1. admin

      Yeah, that one’s no good. With my luck, I’d track down some random dealer who’d turn out to be one of my tenants and that shit would get all kinds of awkward…

  2. Ashley

    ^she has a point. Here’s a great article I came across yesterday http://blogs.yogajournal.com/doctorsorders/2012/04/03/sleep-well/
    Not sure if you’re into yoga or anything, but the basics are there. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep because I am mentally tense, then I stretch a little and realize that my physical body is tense as well. (any kind of forward fold is very soothing to the central nervous system, trust me, I was a fit of giggles this weekend in yoga class until the instructor told us to do 3 different types of forward folds. Then, no more giggles!) I like to do take a shower before bed and stretch my neck and shoulders which also are a great point of stress. Even just focusing on how your breath FEELS can be soothing. Like when you inhale you feel the coolness and refreshing sensation inside your nose and how it fills your lungs, when you exhale you feel the heat and your muscles taking in oxygen and letting go. OKAY, enough, I love this stuff so could go on forever. But the article is excellent!

    1. Jana

      Ashley – such a small world, I work right down the street from that Yoga place mentioned in the article!
      Jana recently posted..D for the devil doll that tries to kill meMy Profile

    2. admin

      I do yoga pretty regularly, especially at work when I sit in front of a computer without moving for hours at a time, but it’s nearly impossible for me to get the whole clear mind thing going. I’ll get to the brink of a blank mind and then take a sudden right turn at random tangent. Then I have to start back tracking to figure out how I got on that subject. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  3. Miesha

    I agree with the specific yoga poses, some are meant to wake you up and some are meant to calm you down. As kids, my mom used to dissolve anise cubes in warm milk. It’s a dutch product, Anijsblokjes made by De Ruijter. We only put one in and that was strong enough, though I think that they want you to use 4. Anyway, that helped us. You should already be aware of relaxation techniques with massage and I would assume there is some aromatherapy aspect that goes along with that. Acupuncture can help too. Also, melatonin, if you aren’t keen on taking the ambien.

    1. admin

      Eww…. anise. I hate anything that reminds me of black licorice. I may suck it up and buy a bottle of melatonin and just keep it next to my vitamins that I take every night.

  4. Jen

    Melatonin. Legal, natural, non-additive and great if you are a complete failure at the higher forms of relaxation (yoga, meditation). Melatonin – as a chronic insomniac I can’t say enough about how great it is. Wish some f*cking doctors would learn about it, but I suppose the ‘natural supplement’ companies don’t bribe *ahem* – I mean, educate and promote, as much as pfizer does.

    1. admin

      So that’s two for melatonin. Don’t knock the Ambien, though. That shit is amazing when it’s not making you hallucinate.

  5. Heather Rose

    I occasionally use an herbal supplement called Nitetime (I think? Its at home in the drawer, so now I’m not positive). But anyway, herbal/non-addictive tends to work best for me.
    A big thing for me has also been learning about ‘natural’ sleep cycles – back in the olden days, people used to go to bed when it got dark, wake up in the middle of the night, go visit neighbors/do housework for 15-25 minutes, then go back to bed until sunrise. Biologically, we’re not meant to sleep through the night. Just accepting that and forgiving yourself for not sleeping 8 hours straight is surprisingly de-stressing/liberating. Now if I cant fall asleep or I wake up in the middle of the night, I go wash some dishes or fold laundry and then go back to bed. Stay away from the screens at that time, though – the blue lights in your tv/computer actually wake your brain up more.
    Heather Rose recently posted..I’m not going to tell you the full scenario, but I need your advice…My Profile

    1. admin

      I don’t feel bad about not getting 8 hours. I feel horrible about not even getting 4 hours a lot of the time. I actually used to get up in the middle of the night and reorganize closets or clean the bathroom, or read, but then my brain goes back to fully awake and I am up for the rest of the day.

      I have an application running on my computer that automatically starts dimming my display at around 8:30 to sort of ween me off the blue light. For the life of me, I cannot remember what it’s called though.

  6. NATurally Inappropriate

    Dude, your insomnia is not caused by gaming. If you are having a good time, laughing and enjoying yourself then that shit’s all good. Now, I too suffer from insomnia–but it’s caused by my stupid ass anxiety/depression problem. When I have ‘shit’ going on, I take ambien for a little bit until everything settles down.
    NATurally Inappropriate recently posted..Screw you, job…and WTF WednesdayMy Profile

    1. admin

      I’m not going to quit playing or anything. I don’t even have nearly as much guilt as I should given that I haven’t actually done my whole chore list in 2 weeks (though I have taken to going into work 15 minutes later in favor of cleaning something before I leave the house).

      Bitch, I gots ta make level 50 so I can raid and shiz.

  7. Ashley

    @Jana, have you been there?? I’m sure it’s good, if she was in Yoga Journal, I’m sure it’s legit.

    @Mandi I know, I get very stimulated at night by just about everything. I’ve started doing what we call “the perfect ten.” Basically, in savasana (or in bed) breathe normally, on your inhale think OM and on your exhale the number one. So it goes “Om-one-Om-two-Om-three” so on and so forth. If you catch yourself thinking of ANYTHING else, start back at one. Needless to say, I’ve never made it past three, I get all excited and think about it. It is definitely a tough mental exercise, but very positive none-the-less.

    Melatonin is also really good. Calcium and magnesium supplements before bed will also relax your muscles.

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