Can’t Sleep?

I think it is that hormonal time of life, but insomnia seems to be assaulting my friends.  Me too. 

I wake up sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. and–boing!–I’m wide awake!

My girlfriend Lisa awes me with her discipline.  She just trains herself to stay in bed and stay relaxed, rest assured that she is getting rest if not sleep

My friend Val starts praying through her lists.  She prays for her relatives, her co-workers, her friends at church, her neighbors until she drifts back into never-never land.  I don’t think she has ever gotten to the place where she prays through the phone book!

Another friend never has two bad nights in a row.  After one sleepless night, she takes Benadryl.  I guess you’d call that the Better Living Through Chemistry approach.

Here’s what works for me:  I get up, grab my book or The Book, go to the living room and read. I figure if I’m awake I might as well read.  I don’t take a blanket, don’t try to get cozy.  My main goal is get very cold.  Icy feet, icy fingers, chilled arms, droopy eyelids.  When I’m good and cold, I go back to my warm bed and slip under the down comforter.  It never fails. 

Since I’ve been walking with Leslie I have fewer middle-of-the-night rendezvouses. (I had to look up how to make a plural of rendezvous; pronounce it vooz. I’m not convinced this is correct. *See comments*)  

Do you have times you can’t sleep? 

What’s your scoop on snoozing through the night?


17 thoughts on “Can’t Sleep?

  1. Yup, you’ve described the symptoms to a tee.  And I have taken all the approaches you’ve described above.  In fact, this morning when I awoke, I was sure that it was too early to arise, but I was *wrong* 🙂  Nice surprise!At any rate, the only thing I might want to add is that I try not to be anxious over the perceived loss of sleep.  Thankfully, I havent had a long string of sleepless nights to skew my perspective.Bonne nuit!

  2. About *rendezvous* – not sure if this is what you meant or not.  But the spelling stays the same for both the singular and the plural.  It’s only the pronounciation that distinguishes them….

  3. I had to laugh yesterday. Early in the morning, my dh asked me just how much I did sleep. Generally, six hours on weekdays. Then last night’s news had a report about how adults need more sleep than they are getting–eight hours. I really have too much to do to sleep more than six hours during the week, but I have to take Benadryl every night to insure I get those six hours. Otherwise, it would be four. 😦 I’m walking with Leslie too, after two cups of coffee and my Bible reading. I’m up by 4:15 and walking about 4:50. Kindred spirits again!Janie

  4. I know I sleep: I dream! My dh says I sleep: I snore! But I know I’ve severe sleep problems… and it’s a challenge: i never have a sealy posture pedic moment and wake up almost every morning dead tired… alas, it’s good to know there’re others with similar challenges (it makes mine smaller) – i do not take any medication… i have a loving dh… Carol, i so ENJOY your posts!  

  5. It happens to be at least once a week – sometimes more often than that.  Like your friend Val, I view it as my time to pray without interruption.  I do remain in bed, but I pray for individuals, for churches, for nations, and if I finish praying and am still awake, then I sing (in my head, so as not to wake my husband) hymns.  This morning I awoke at 5 and lay awake praying until about 6:45 – almost time to get up!  But I did fall asleep and slept until 8 and felt rested when I got up.I think you may be right about the hormones being responsible, but for almost 20 years I was up in the middle of the night with babies and toddlers and I wonder if some of the night awakening is habitual?

  6. Interesting…I have a meeting with a student and his parent in an hour — I actually had this meeting at least 5 times in my head last night when I couldn’t sleep! Praying for all of us!

  7. I’ve had insomnia for years……it seems like forever sometimes.  I’ve tried it all: Benadryl, 5-htp, valerian, GABA, Lunesta, Ambien, L-theanine, ….getting up…staying in bed…, praying…and praying..covering everything with a light in my room, white noisemaker, not watching TV, watching TV, reading, not reading. walking, walking and walking….and on and on it goes.  I’m in an especially nasty patch at the moment……….

  8. Funny you bring this up. My main problem is getting to sleep in the first place, takes me 1-2 hrs. at times. I just read an article on this, but also have gotten tips before now. My favorite thing is to take Melatonin 30-60 minutes before I go to bed. It’s a natural hormone, available at the health food store and also Costco. The Costco one is 3 mg melatonin w/ 25 mg theanine “for stress relief and a sounder sleep” – 300 for $6. Here are a few other ideas: I have a 4″ memory foam mattress I put on top of my regular mattress. Just read another article saying soft is better for your back than hard, too. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, something ab/ the pattern helps your brain adjust to this. A bed is ONLY for sleeping in and you know, that other unmentionable thing (ahem! we won’t mention certain readers-in-bed) . Don’t do anything stimulating right before bed like working/reading on the computer. Avoid caffeine and don’t eat/drink after 7 p.m. (this is a hard one for me, but I know it helps). Turn your digital clock away so you can’t see the time in the dark. Hope this is helpful.

  9. Solution #1–get through menopause and over the hormonally caused sleep disturbances.  At least that’s what worked for me.  I suffered for a few years and finally began taking Benadryl on a fairly regular basis.  Once I was through “the change” (at a very early 43 years of age!), I began sleeping well again.  These days, when I don’t drink caffeine I sleep incredibly well.  When I drink coffee, I have a sleepless night about once a week.  Oh, my lifesaver during those sleepless years was a daily afternoon nap.  I have never been a napper before or since, but during those few years it was the only thing that kept me going most days.Hope you get over your sleeplessness soon.Sandy

  10. The recliner and something lame on the tv, kind of mind-numbing white noise. A few minutes of that and I’m out. Luckily, the insomnia only happens during ‘hormone week’. A few times in the recliner, a few days getting past things and then I sleep very well, playing catch up!

  11. I struggled with sleep issues because my adrenal glands were so far out of whack in combination with some overwhelming emotional struggles in an important relationship (which, by God’s grace, have been properly dealt with).  I finally started taking Benedryl as it was the only thing that put me to sleep and didn’t make me sick and dizzy (some would argue that I’m already dizzy enough and therefore it doesn’t take much ).I’ve been seeing a naturopath since September and we’re working on my adrenals and some other physical issues.  I’m sleeping better, but still struggle at times as we work to find the sweet spot regarding the amount of my prescriptions.  I either lie in bed and toss and turn, or I sleep fitfully and toss and turn.  My mind simply won’t turn off.

  12. @LimboLady – While there are some great things in this comment, my friend, there are some heretical thoughts I must address.  I happen to believe that beds are specifically designed for reading.  I’m just gonna ignore the soft mattress error.  May God have pity on your soul.  (grin) (we’re good friends, people…it’s a JOKE)

  13. @secros60 – 43 Sandy!  Oh no!!!  So if average is 52 and I am most likely going to balance your numbers out, I can expect to be at this until–let’s see 52 + 9– 61!  Thankfully, I get to sleep just fine.  And when I’m awake it is very rarely more than 1-1 1/2 hours.  

  14. @sweetbriarpatch – Lynne, you can comment here!! What happened?  I’m so glad! I thank you for letting me know about your sleep issues.  I will pray for you.  My kids (in Seattle) go to Mars Hill Church.  The pastor, Mark Driscoll, blew his adrenal glands with stress and overwork.  He went long, long periods of time without sleep.  I cannot even imagine.  There is nothing so bad as not being able to sleep when you know your body desperately needs it.  I hope you continue to improve.  (hugs)

  15. Thanks, Carol!(I’m not sure why I can now post, but I’m so glad I can!)My adrenals have been shot, probably from birth.  My mom had mono when she was pregnant with me so her adrenals were probably stressed at the time,  and I’m betting mine never developed properly because a mom with poor adrenals very often means a baby with poor adrenals (my poor kids!).  Add to that the stress of my parents’ divorce when I was 7, the adjustments of living with step-parents and step-siblings, and I’ve been going downhill ever since.  It hit really hard when I contracted Epstein-Barr about a year ago, plus low thyroid and very low iron reserves.  I’d sleep-walk through my days and then not be able to go to sleep at night.The good news is that my naturopath agreed today to increase my daily cortisol medication, which will help a bunch.  We’re waiting a few more months to increase my thyroid med to give me time to really adjust and watching symptoms closely.We’ve altered our daily schedule so I can sleep until 9 and that’s helping a bunch, too!  (The timing of sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep for adrenal fatigue sufferers – recently, I was up sick until about 3 one morning, but then slept until 9:30 and actually woke up more refreshed than when I get more sleep but wake up at 7.)  I do appreciate the prayers.  Even with all that’s going on physically, I haven’t wrestled with depression.  His grace is so great, who can be sad?

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