To sleep, perchance to dream

sleep2

AGMA dreaming of sleeping through the night

“Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,                                                                         The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,                                                                      Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,                                                                 Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth

So it sounds like Bill knew how to get a good night’s sleep.

No surprise… No Monday Night Football or TV series to binge watch on Netflix. No glowing blue screens to reduce the production of his melatonin. No “mine is bigger than yours” dare and double dare between two narcissistic, megalomaniac bullies that threatens to wipe out humanity.

How about you? How you sleepin’ at night?

Once upon a time, AGMA slept like tRump at the G20. Like a log.

From my childhood through my 20’s, I was a 8 hour a night sleeper. Sometimes 9.

But of course, that was PC.

Pre-children…

Sleep patterns start going downhill when you’re pregnant.

The first thing to go was the tummy sleeping. As a child and young adult, AGMA was a tummy sleeper. However, this is difficult if you have a little human in your abdomen. They tend to take issue with being squished. Plus, you reach the point where tummy sleeping is like balancing your body on a volleyball.

I became a fitful side sleeper.

Then there were the wee hours (pun intended) trips to the bathroom. That little human needs more room as he grows. And the space formerly occupied by your bladder seems the perfect place for him to practice his downward dog.

Bladder volume decreases significantly. Bathroom visits increase exponentially.

Finally, there is the last month of pregnancy where no sleeping position is comfortable no matter how many pillows you try to stuff around the “hanging out” places

Then the baby comes and all hell breaks loose. Sleeping at night is replaced with naps that come in 2 to 4 hour intervals 24/7. The distinction between day and night is a blur. AGMA looked like an extra on The Walking Dead.

We had our second son when our first was 18 months old. This was a brilliant (if unintended) plan. We front loaded all of the baby induced sleep deprivation into a 3 year time frame.

AGMA was so exhausted one night that I didn’t hear my older son (who was 2 at the time) coughing and wheezing in the middle of the night. I didn’t hear Hubs get up. Nor did I hear the garage door open and close when Hubs took son to the emergency room. Nor did I hear them return from the emergency room. I found out about it all the next morning.

Oops…

By the time the kids are old enough to sleep solidly through the night, your sleep cycle is so mangled that you wake up in the middle of the night for no reason.

This lasts until they become teenagers and start going out on the weekends with friends. Now you can’t sleep because you have to stay up to wait for them to come home. This was pre-cell phone tracking. We used to have to depend on them finding a landline to get in touch with us if they were going to be late.

Which they never could seem to find.

So when they finally leave home (assuming they ever do leave home) for college or to live on their own, you are sad. Really. But you think that you will be able to finally get a good night’s sleep.

Nope.

What time is it kids?

“It’s time for perimenopause and menopause!”

Now AGMA’s waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. Or at a minimum, kicking off all of the covers to try to cool down. Then waking up an hour later to put the covers back on because I’m cold. Over and over. And over.

This went on for 6 years until the plumbing finally turned off.

TMI?

But at this point, sleeping though the night now was being thwarted by modern technology. WTF?

Those damned blue light screens… On your TV, laptop, phone and tablet. Google “how blue light affects sleep”. We do a number on our brain when we stare at those things in the evening.

It interrupts our Circadian rhythm. Not a good thing.

And as long as we’re talking about interruptions, Hubs doesn’t help AGMA’s sleep issues.

I’m an early to bed, early to rise type of gal. He’s a late to bed, late to rise kinda guy. So every night at 1:30 AM, AGMA’s roused by his bathroom ritual. And him feeding the cats.

But AGMA being AGMA, and needing her beauty sleep to keep me from being a raging bitch, has found some solutions.

Friends and family are truly thankful.

I take some natural sleep aids (Holy Basil and Tryptophan) that are non-habit forming and pretty effective. On rare occasions, I take a big pharma sleep aid if I have a long run the next day or am on an international flight, and really need to get a good night’s sleep.

AGMA bought an eye mask and ear plugs. Presto! Hubs doesn’t wake me up anymore when he comes to bed. I’m like Sgt Schultz… I hear nothing. I see nothing. I just hope our smoke alarm doesn’t go off in the middle of the night.

I started running. On run days, I sleep soooo much better at night.

AGMA needs to get better about the blue light stuff. My phone and my tablet both have those blue light filters that you can put on the the evening, but I don’t use them enough.

I still get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, but because of my running or natural sleep aids, I go right back to sleep when I get back in bed. Most nights.

And then tRump became president.

AGMA’s still trying to figure out how to get around the nightmares that one’s causing.

Is it 2020 yet?

16 thoughts on “To sleep, perchance to dream

  1. Right now, I am sleeping better. It does go by fits and starts though. DH stays up most weekend nights and watches TV. Shutting the door shuts off a little of the noise, flashing screen, and midnight refrigerator raiding, but not all. So, I can’t get to sleep. Most of the time he will fall asleep in his recliner while guns blaze and cars careen on the screen. I get up to tell him to go to bed and once I’m up, I’m up. There is no real winning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel your pain! Two nights ago I slept like a log. Last night – not so much. You might want to go the earplug/eye mask route. I sleep 60% better since I started using them! Again, I worry that there might be a sound I really do need to hear (smoke alarm, breaking glass – you know – that stuff…) but the earplugs don’t block out 100% of the sound. So far, so good… Hubs stays up quite late as well and I’m pretty sure he falls asleep on the couch before he comes upstairs. One of these nights I’m going to have to wander down at 1 AM to see what he’s up to… But I could regret it! Ha!

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    • Oh Irene – I’m so sorry… The only time I do that now is either when I’ve imbibed in adult beverages earlier in the evening or at the change of seasons. Drinking just heats up my whole body. And it takes me a spell to figure out how the covers, heat/AC and my PJ’s should work for the season change. But I do know that I am “warmer” than I was before MP. I turn the AC way down (for me…) at night in the summer. It’s cooler at night than in the day at my house. How strange is that?

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  2. Very humorous, AGMA. 15 years of rotating shifts (every week a new one) pretty much destroyed my sense of Time. I’m right with you about the effects of the blue screens. I use f.lux (https://justgetflux.com) on my iMac and the Night Shift setting of my iPhone and iPad to warm up the screens and counter the blues.
    Ω

    Liked by 1 person

    • Huh – 15 years of rotating shifts… Sound like being a mom! 🙂 But the results are sure the same – a whacked out sleep schedule! Changing every week must have been crazy!! I’ll have to look into that flux thing for my Mac. I was on my PC last night for like 5 hours straight (doing travel research) and I had a HORRIBLE nights sleep last night even though I ran in the morning and had a really busy day and didn’t turn the light off until after midnight!

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      • I am glad to be of service, AGMA. The flux program is available for Windows, Linnux and mobile devices. I hope it works for you.
        Ω

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  3. I got hooked on eye mask and earplugs over 20 years ago because I lived in a high rise and the sun would kill me in the mornings or during naps. My then-wife also snored like a train. My second wife also snores like a train, but I really have no excuse for the eye mask. But I’m so used to both I can’t sleep without them. It made for some awkward moments at the start of this marriage and especially during my brief dating period. It’s not exactly a manly look, but I’ve decided I really don’t care. Sleep is more important. – Marty

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    • “Sleep is important”…oh Marty – no truer words were ever spoken! I’m with you. At this point, I don’t give a flying fig what I look like when I sleep. I just want to sleep! And I get the eye mask thing… I wear it even when I know I won’t really need it – it’s like a security blanket or something! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You too, AGMA? We go to bed fairly late. I don’t even start getting ready for bed until around 11:30. I usually fall asleep pretty quickly, but lately I’ve been waking up around 1:30 for no particular reason. When I looked at the clock, I fully expected it to be around 4 or 5 in the morning, but 1:30?? What is up with that? Then, I lie awake for about an hour. And, I’ve been waking up again around 4:30, but that usually entails the need to pee. Menopause has been over and done with for a long time since my hysterectomy and subsequent hormone replacement, so that can’t be it. We all must be on some kind of psychic wavelength.

    I had lunch with my sole Democratic friend here in town last week. She’d been to the ER twice over the weekend with tachycardia and blood pressure through the roof. The doctors said it wasn’t a heart attack but more likely a panic attack. They gave her Ativan to take if it came on again. She’s a widow living alone with her two precious rescue Chi-weenie dogs and has no one to vent to when Cheeto Jesus regularly goes off the rails. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote a column about how Trump was literally killing him. Milbank heretofore has been a healthy 49-year-old, but since Cheeto Jesus came on the scene, Milbank’s blood pressure has skyrocketed. He dubbed the condition “Trump Hypertensive Unexplained Disorder.” You can read the article here, but maybe you should go lie down afterwards. 🙂

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/help-president-trump-is-killing-me/2017/09/15/7855fb66-9a10-11e7-87fc-c3f7ee4035c9_story.html?utm_term=.521b3f96c00f

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  5. Great article!! THUD…I think that explains a lot for me…. My BP has been unusually high this past year. I’m feeling pretty sure that my doc is going to put me on meds at my next exam. And I was always the person with the ultra LOW BP! I did get shingles last January and I know, absolutely, for sure that it was 45 that caused it. And the past two days I’ve started doing centering prayer again. I realized that I need SOMETHING to try to settle my spirit down. Centering prayer and maybe a bath with Calgon…

    Pre-eye mask/earplugs, I would wake up twice EVERY night. Post-EM/EP, most nights (not all) I only wake up once to pee. And last week, on Tuesday I think, I actually SLEPT THOUGH THE WHOLE NIGHT!! I can’t tell you how long it’s been since that happened. I had two Maragrita’s at dinner. Coincidence? Maybe not… I’m willing to give it another try to see if it happens again. Ole!

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  6. It’s 4 am, I’ve been up for an hour (not willingly) so figured I might as well just break the blue light rule. Searching “sleep” on WordPress seemed like a good idea and I saw this post. I have tried melatonin, estroven ( with black cohosh), Tylenol PM, nothing helps me stay asleep til my alarm. I think I’ll try the two natural aids you mentioned, it’s worth a shot!! Dang menopause.

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