Monday, April 09, 2007

Insomnia Ain’t For The Tired

Thanks to a nice new medication I am on, I haven’t had more then three hours of sleep for the last three weeks. It wasn’t too bad at first and the delusions didn’t come until midway through week two, but the last few days have really been tough. Since I’ve had all of this extra time on my hands, it got me to thinking about the best way to handle insomnia.

Initially, you’re really only faced with two alternatives: lie in bed and suffer through it or go downstairs and watch TV. I’ve tried both but figured after purchasing the Ronco Set it and Forget it rotisserie, a beautiful set of steak knives, Jessica Simpson’s Proactive acne fighting solution (I’m still not sure why I bought that one, maybe I’ll use it as a white elephant gift in the office next Christmas) and a tape set that will make me a millionaire in real estate with no money down, that staying awake watching TV all night was costing me too much money. Not to mention that I’m on some really weird mailing lists all of a sudden.


Trying to lie in bed isn’t a good alternative because around 4:00AM, I start accusing the alarm clock of trying to pick a fight with me and that usually wakes the wife up. I still swear that clock was giving me dirty looks last night though.

Then I did some research on insomnia and famous insomniacs at about 3:30AM one morning (ironic but appropriate) and learned some things that made my late night TV watching seem pathetic in comparison. Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while he couldn’t sleep and Thomas Jefferson drafted most of the Declaration of Independence while suffering from insomnia. Other notable insomniacs were Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens and that guy that played Ralph on ‘Happy Days.’

Actually, I made all of that up. I don’t have enough energy to research insomnia. Although maybe insomnia research is just the thing that would put me to sleep for at least eight hours. At any rate, last night I decided to put all of the extra hours to good use. The only problem is that judging by the neighbors screaming at me over the fence, I’m not going to be able to mow the lawn when I can’t sleep anymore. Ditto on the vacuuming around the house. When I realized we were low on ice cubes, I thought that emptying the ice trays would be nice for everyone when they got up in the morning, but I got a very similar reaction to the one I received from the neighbors. We’ll call it a ‘cold’ reception at best.

Finally, I decided I could blog all night as surely the sounds of me striking the keys on the keyboard wouldn’t wake up Lucy and Ethel. Did you notice that I didn’t leave comments on any of your blogs late last night or early this morning? Yep, too loud, so I began cruising the internet looking for the inspiration for today’s post. I thought I had found it when I came across the story of a 102-year-old California woman who became the oldest person to sink a hole in one on a regulation golf course. She died of a heart attack moments later.

Yes, I made the heart attack part up, but that’s all I could think of and it’s only two sentences. I tired to tough this insomnia thing out regardless of the fact that it’s hurting my job performance, not allowing me to help enough at home and that I think I struck a light pole while driving home from work the other night (at least that’s what the unexplained dent on the front of my truck looks like, although I suppose it could be a tree and all of this is just a bad dream like in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’). However, when the insomnia starts affecting the length of my writing (the quality is already suspect), I decided it was time to call the doctor.

Since I was too tired to actually go in for an appointment, the doctor tried to determine a diagnosis over the phone (I still don’t understand why I had to stick my tongue out). I was asked a lot of questions about stress, my diet, what I watch on TV before going to bed and anything else that might make it hard for me to sleep at night, like the fact that I try to sneak in frequent naps (and by frequent, I mean every 45 minutes) at work. I could tell the doctor was taking copious notes and she said she would consult with one of her colleagues and get back to me just as soon as she could. I told her to take her time because I wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it, although I don’t think she appreciated my sarcasm. My hint is that she actually hung up on me. Boy I can’t wait until I get the survey from my medical provided about her.

A few hours later the phone rang as I found myself standing in front of the mirror trying to force my eyelids shut with my fingers while going back and forth between singing the Beatles’ ‘I’m So Tired’ and mumbling to my eyes, ‘close you #$@##$%, close!’ The doctor said she did some research and it turns out that I need to stop drinking soda, coffee and tea (I call it my goodnight cocktail) right before I go to bed. Who knew? There’s no sleep deprivation warnings on those things. Oh well. Never mind…

18 comments:

Pickled Olives said...

I was hoping for something I didn't already know. I was hoping I might be able to sleep tonight. But ya got me. I'm glad you don't need to resort to meds!!

Patti said...

I'm afraid I have no suggestions for your insomnia. I for one am so tired that I fall asleep at the proverbial drop of a hat.

You did have me going with the Gettysburg Address and the Declaration of Independence stuff.
As you can see I am quite gullible.

Odat said...

awww...insomnia sucks....altho I don't know firsthand....cause as soon as my head hits the pillow, i'm in dreamland...I hope you get some relief soon...funny post tho, as usual!
Peace

Stacey said...

I can fall asleep just fine. Staying asleep is the bigger issue. I tend to wake up every 1-2 hours, and sometimes it takes me that long to fall back to sleep. I keep myself busy during the awake time by tossing and turning incessantly. Good thing I don't usually share a bed.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love your typo: " I tired to tough this insomnia thing out. "

I have been an insomniac since babyhood. I had to pretend I was napping because I knew I'd be in trouble if my parents found out I wasn't sleeping on command.

I take melatonin (Source Natural sublingual 5 mg) at bedtime. It usually gives me 4 hours of sleep, which I can't manage on my own. I don't know if it's contraindicated with any meds, though.

It's a rotten way to be wounded. Good luck, Michael.

Michael C said...

Pickled Olives: Sorry about that ;-)

Patti: Not as gullible as I am, believe me.

Odat: Sadly, there is no place marked dreamland on my map ;-)

Stacey: I can toss and turn with the best of them. In the morning my muscles ache from turning so much.

HeartsinSanFrancisco: How is it that the best line of my post was a complete accident. I even proofread it 3 times! Wait, I meant to have that typo in there. Really!

Awesome Mom said...

I listen to podcasts in my bed when I can't sleep. Often the droning voices will send me off to dreamland but if they do not then at least I am learning something.

captain corky said...

I never knew that Donny Most was an insomniac... And if I ever hear Sean "Puffy" Combs say that he uses Proactive to preserve his sexy again I'm going to strangle myself.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Insomnia seems to agree with your sense of humor...or should it be the other way around? I haven't slept properly in a few days either, though I blame that on my job. The good thing about having a night job is that your insomnia problem can be blamed on an already screwed up sleep schedule.

mist1 said...

I think the best way to fall asleep is to sit on the couch and wait for a show that you really, really want to see. That works for me every time. Sure I wake up disappointed that I missed my show, but boy, did I get some good quality sleep.

SGT DUB said...

Certainly the best remedy to getting to sleep is to curl up with anything published by the government. I can never make it past 3 or 4 pages before I'm asleep. Army manuals are a hit.

Natalie said...

When I can't sleep I read. Either I will fall asleep or I'll enjoy a story. Both are good.

Erica AP said...

Sometime I just count and eventually I get so bored I fall asleep... But arguing with the alarm clock could work too, I guess...

CS said...

I've been an insomniac as long as I can remember, and "I'm So Tired" frequently plays through my head. I'm in complete sympathy with you on this one.

Violet said...

i get insomnia sometimes too - it's horrible.

Anonymous said...

You could listen to my mother's knitting podcast - that's enough to put anyone to sleep.

Michael C said...

anonymous: send me the link. I'll try anything ;-)

Irene Ritchie said...

Hi I was just browsing through when I came across this. I also suffer from insomnia so I can relate. I thought your post was really funny. Just one question though, what did the alarm clock do to offend you so much? Hope you aleast can get some sleep.