First of all, I want to assure all the Judy Blume fans out there (hey–I’m a fan, too), that I do know she came up with the famous line, “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret”. I’m just borrowing the overall feeling of it for my own diabolical purposes. Besides, I’m pretty sure that Judy must have come up with that great line one night when she was tossing and turning in her bed, just like me most nights.
I suffer from insomnia. It is early morning here on Canada’s east coast, almost 6:20 AM, a time when a lot of hard-working folk are crawling out of their beds, preparing to face another day of toil and trouble in the fields or the salt mines or the call centers. I’m in the same boat as them, except for two small differences: I don’t have anywhere in particular to go today, and I haven’t slept a wink since early yesterday morning.
It’s not that I haven’t tried to sleep; I try every night, but it eludes me. I catch a glimpse of it every once in a while, the same way I see my shadow sometimes or I look up at the sky after a downpour and spy the soft colors of a rainbow just disappearing from sight. That’s the relationship I have with sleep.
I know that as people age they supposedly require less sleep than in their younger years, but NO sleep? Really? Somehow I don’t think that’s what nature intended for its aging population. Can you imagine large groups of old men and women walking around, zombie-like with arms outstretched and legs stiff, chanting ‘we want sleep, we want sleep’, through all their remaining days? Not a pretty picture–maybe a good movie plot, but not a pretty picture.
I’ve tried skipping a night of trying to sleep, thinking that when I did fall into bed the next night I would be snoring before my head squished the pillow, but that masterful plan didn’t work. Dawn was breaking again before I finally drifted off for a few hours of slumber.
I’ve tried relaxing my body parts one at a time, starting with my toes and working my way up to the top of my head; I’ve tried eating a piece of toast before bedtime, I’ve tried not eating anything before bedtime; I’ve tried counting sheep, counting stars, and counting all the ways ‘I love thee’. I’ve tried melatonin, prescription sleeping pills, and Bailey’s Irish Cream; I’ve played solitaire on my iPad, read a book, listened to soft music. In short, I’ve tried many different ways to encourage sleep to visit me the way it should, but it refuses to ‘play nice’.
Now what? Now here it is, 7:00 AM and I’m still awake.
Any suggestions? Do you have a solution that works for you when you can’t sleep? I don’t want to become a zombie!
“I want sleep, I want sleep, I want sleep.” Not a pretty picture at all.