Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Hamlet may have been thinking about bigger fish to fry when he stomped around talking about sleep in his big ol’ soliloquy, but honest-to-Pete … all I want these days (or nights) is a decent 7 to 8 hours of dreamy slumber.  Nothing more nefarious than that, just a chance to saw some logs, catch some Z’s or forty winks.  I’m just tired — literally tired — of not sleeping at night.


There once was a time when I was practically a championship sleeper, always joking that I could win trophies, if only slumber was a recognized sport.  Even when I travelled (when most normal people suffer sleeplessness) I never once had difficulty sleeping, it came easily to me.  Anywhere.  Anytime. [Ok. That’ not totally true.  There was one wretched night in New Mexico and, honestly, I blame that tossing and turning on the ghosts of spirits past.]  Travel actually provided some pretty great napping spots for me.  Aiport concourse?  No problem.  I’d curl up in a chair and snooze ‘til the nice lady behind the counter announced my flight number.  Train station?  Even better.  The high ceilings of train stations and the echo-y acoustics appealed to my sleepy senses.  I am THAT woman people talk about when they mention the ability to sleep standing up and somewhere, I have the photos to prove it.  Ever since I was 15 years old I could lean against a wall, close my eyes and I’d drift away … like a perfectly mellow 1976 Boston song.


About a month ago I was involved in a rather gnarly (I’m sorry.  You can take the girl out of California now and again, but apparently you can’t take California out of the girl) auto accident that crunched my ribs, irritated my liver and spleen and knocked my neck out of whack.  Since then, sleeping has been more than bit Barnum & Bailey for me.  I’m up, I’m down, I’m in another room and I’m helping people design houses with windmills and no blades and choreographing extensive martial arts dance sequences in my sleep.  It’s exhausting.  Not sure what memory chip got knocked loose between my ears, but I can’t string together more than 3.5 hours of sleep in a row now.  Needless to say, there is a Three Mile Island level of cranky in my house.


My doctor suggested melatonin.  Suggestions from friends range from hot bath, to hot milk to hot water bottle … as though teeth chattering is keeping me from a restful night’s sleep.  My trainer recommended a teaspoon of peanut butter an hour or so before I go to bed and I heart her for that, because peanut butter is akin to an excellent romance novel, to me – sweet and fulfilling on so many levels.  Still, all the good advice in the world hasn’t helped me.  I still can’t sleep.


Dale Carnegie said, “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying.  It’s the worrying that gets you, not the lack of sleep.”  Only, I am not worried about anything.  Well, not anything new.  Unpaid bills still pile up higher than dollar bills and if the wolves aren’t yet at my door, I know they already have the address.  Medical woes swirl around my head, whether my own, my husband’s or friends closest to my heart.  Worries have always been there, buzzing around my head and they are still as irritating as all get out – but not unmanageable.


So, what’s different?  I’ve tried to determine if it’s something in my neighborhood like a dog barking or a car zipping off to work, but that doesn’t seem to be it because the hours I wake up are always different.  I play digital clock bingo nightly as I call the numbers out: 1:14! 2:40!  3:00! with no prize to speak of, except lovely red eyes that make me resemble the theatrical trailer of Dakota Fanning in that Twilight movie (Big whoop.  My episode of Pink Eye — in both eyes — a couple of weeks ago had the same effect, chilling yet … cool on a gothic/emo level.  The kids at Hot Topic in the mall totally loved me.)


One supposedly helpful < cough! > person, who shall remain nameless (in the event they go missing or turn up in a pair of cement galoshes) suggested that age and hormones were to blame.  Pthh.  I will not even dignify that by rolling my seriously bloodshot eyes.


Not to despair, because I have decided to be proactive and have a plan to return to my glory days of sleep.  It has to do with practice.  Practice makes perfect, right?  Mark Twain once said that he had never taken any exercise except “sleeping and resting” and I believe I shall follow in his non-athletic shoe footsteps.  Starting tomorrow, I am setting my alarm to train in polyphasic sleep.  It is a concept of sleeping multiple times in a 24 hour period.  Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like a small corner suite of heaven.   Of course, if you look it up, you’ll see that it’s also a type of sleep pattern typically found in head injury or dementia … but I think it’s just the cup of tea I need to start training my way back to a full night’s rest.  So, wish me luck and cheer me on, because if the Olympics finally recognize this unsung sport – I’m makin’ team jerseys

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