Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Forgive me while I delve into some technical details of human physiology. I did major in bio electrical engineering.

The human body is divided into two major systems: the awakey bits and the sleepy-time bits. My awakey bits are fully functional. I eat and crap with reckless abandon. Also, I work and exercise and blog with adequate mediocrity. Everything appears to be fully functional.

My sleepy-time bits are broken though.

I'm not exactly sure what's wrong with those bits, but for the last month or two, I've just been sleeping like a baby, a colicky baby from hell.

Some nights there's an explanation for wakefulness. Maybe Daisy is coughing or perhaps Hank gets up to do whatever it is that Hank does at night (masonry?). Other nights there's no real reason why I suddenly find myself awake. Once I'm awake, I'm awake for several teeth gnashing hours.

Hank always asks me, "Why do you look at the clock when you wake up? Why don't you keep your eyes closed and happily drift back to sleep?"

That's a two-part answer. First, I HAVE to know what time it is. It's who I am. If I don't know what time it is, I'm lost in the space-time continuum. I'm nothing. Secondly, I can't "happily" do anything once I wake up. I'm PISSED! I'm mad about waking up again. Unless, it's just a dream that I've woken up, there's nothing to be happy about.

I can't figure out why I've been sleeping so poorly. The period of time kind of correlates to when we got our new mattress, but despite the torture inflicted upon the mattress during delivery, it still feels pretty comfy. I've tried to figure out if I sleep better if I don't have any alcohol, or if I eat less at night, but I can't pinpoint it.

I mentioned my sleeping woes to our friend Juliet the other day. We had this conversation:

Juliet: Why don't you just take a sleeping pill?
Me: I occasionally pop a benadryl, but not often.
Juliet: No, a REAL sleeping pill, a prescription one.
Me: I'm scared of them. I'm scared I'll get addicted to them.
Juliet: So?
Me: Well.... then I'd need to keep taking them.
Juliet: So?
Me: .....

She had a point. I could keep taking these damn things as long as they make them. I keep paying my health care deductible, I might as well start billing those bastards for something. Hell, I might start taking Ambien just for the hilarious stories to blog about.

Any ideas?


Will said...

Not sure how much TV you watch, but there is that drug that claims no knowledge of drug dependency, Rosarem. They're the ones with Abe and the chipmunk saying they miss the the guy in the commercial.

Mike said...

I watch my fair share of TV, but thanks to the miracle of Tivo, virtually no commercials. I'll check out the chipmunk drug though.

Anonymous said...

Well Mike I am not sure what the problem could be but on March 26th you posted this

"My life starts getting much crappier in 36 hours. That's about when the first (sub)contractor enters our house and begins systematically destroying all that is peaceful and good about my existence."

Just MIGHT have something to do with that..... 4th sister Helen

chess h said...

something similar hit me a few years ago, and it took me a while to figure it out... may not be the same cause, but the effect sure sounds the same.

All my life I've been able to pound caffeine at any time of day or night with little effect on the general trend of sleep-time or wake-time. But that few years ago, my helpfully-aging metabolism must have downshifted, and now if I have a significant amount of caffeine after around eight pm, there's about a fifty-fifty chance I'll wake up at night (one-or-two-ish) and not be able to get back to sleep...until, of course, 5:45 or so, when it becomes pointless to try.

It took me a while to isolate it, but caffeine was the one common element to all those incidents.

Mike said...

Hi Helen, as it turns out, the construction has been pretty peaceful so far. At some point in the future they'll literally cut a hole in my living room, but until then, it's all taking place peacefully outside.

Chess, yeah, caffeine was the first thing I looked at, but on most days I'm done with caffeine by 10:00am. Occasionally I'll have coffee at lunch, but infrequently.

Alexander Tarrant said...

Write down everything that is bothering you, or that you have to take care of the next day to get it out of your mind. Then you can sleep peacefully and you can put all that crap back in your head the next morning when you wake up refreshed!

I'm not sure what category this falls under... new age-y? stupid?

I just pulled it out of my rear end ... just a thought.

mox said...

Been up since 3:30 myself. And pissed about it, thank you very much.

If I find myself getting into the wakey-wakey cycle, I usually just pop a Tylenol PM before I go to bed at night and that takes care of it for me. Anything stronger than that and I'd be asleep for a week.

Mike said...

Alexander, that's what Hank often does before she goes to sleep. It seems horrible to me. Falling asleep the first time is the only part of sleeping that I do well, and I only do that by simply ignoring anything that might be stressing me.

A certain Colombian friend of ours recommends that I use this technique when I wake up in the middle of the night, but I'm not crazy about that either. Do I just whip out the pen and paper and write down, "Work harder!" or "Make more money!" ?

Mox, yeah, that's what I've been doing with the Benadryl. The Tylenol PM probably also has some sort of antihistamine ingredient. Maybe I just need to use them a little more often.

newnorth said...

I think the best bet is to hire that little angel thing from the old Golden COrral comercials.
Or anyone handy with a frying pan. Maybe Hank would like the job!

Mike said...

Newnorth, am I going to have to stop fast-forwarding through all the commercials? I guess it's either that or be baffled by comments in my blog.

newnorth said...


I don't know how to link it right so I don't know if it'll work. It's a really crappy comercial :)

Mike said...

Hey Newnorth, that link worked fine. You're right, that is a crappy commercial. Maybe if I watch it 1000 times, it'll put me to sleep.

newnorth said...

sorry, I'm bored so here's another video showing acceptable tools to knock yourself out with!(I wont comment again but i coudln't resist)


Sue said...

You could try sleepytime tea, or valerian tea which is stronger. Also, probably want to cut out all or most sugars from your diet by 12noon. That means sugar, alcohol, wheat, any carb that converts quickly to sugar. I've heard of other suggestions, more on the recreational side, if you know what I mean.

Who knows, it could be God knocking on your door, saying, "WAKE UP!"

Good luck.

The Tart said...

Tylenol PM, hot chocolate before bed and or s-e-x!

Let us know how it goes.

The Tart
; *

Mike said...

Newnorth, okokok, I'll ask Hank to smack me with a frying pan the next time we wake up. I just bought a cast iron one that should be perfect.

Sue, no booze, no wheat, and no sugar? No, thanks. I'll live with the sleeplessness. Now, this "recreational" option you refer to, THAT sounds good, whatever the hell it is.

Tart, those sound like great ways to get to sleep the first time, but I can do that myself. It's the falling back asleep that I'm no good at. Unless you were suggesting that I start prodding Hank at 4:00am.

Sue said...

But seriously - try valerian tea before you go to bed. Keep is by your bed and drink it if you wake up. It is herbal but strong!

Also, the no sugar, wheat & wine/beer is only something to play around with if you get desperate. My hubby had to give up beers in the evening because they kept him awake. If he gets enough exercise and doesn't drink or have big desserts at night, he sleeps fine.

Mike said...

Sue, I can't imagine I'll give up big desserts (I've got to maintain my girlish curves!), so Valerian tea it is!

Sue said...

posting again cause I want to see if I can get my lovely picture to appear w/ my posts.

If the tea doesn't work, think twice about the desserts. I mean try one week, or even 5 days without dessert and see if it helps.

Sue said...

one more try - thanks!

Mike said...

Sue! There you are!