Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dreaming of a Good Night's Sleep

Yesterday I went to Costco and bought two down pillows. I had a coupon for $10.00 off, which helped me justify the purchase. I have been sleeping so poorly lately I hoped if I had better quality pillows I could solve my insomnia. I had been blaming the light sleeping on the hot weather, but now that it’s cool that argument doesn’t hold. It’s the mattress I say, but we have one that is perfectly comfortable; it’s fairly new and we spent the money on getting a good one. I don’t believe in watching T.V. just before sleep so I always have a good book or magazines to read and I find just a few paragraphs in I’m nice and sleepy, so falling asleep isn’t the issue.

It’s during the night that I find myself waking up and aware of my surroundings.

I’m awake enough to think if I turn on the light and read it will help, but I don’t want to wake my husband and it’s nice and snuggly under the covers. So, I lie there until I can fall back asleep, only to wake again and again until I know it’s time to get up. I just want a good night’s sleep, you know the kind – when you wake up ready to go and feel rested. That hasn’t happened to me in a very long time.

I know I’m not doing as much physical activity as I used to, but even that doesn’t solve the problem. I will go in the yard and dig, plant, water; I’ll do a one-hour workout or a Yoga class, both of which makes me feel good but does little to aid in my sleep pattern. No, I am pretty sure I know what is causing this, I’m getting old!

I’ve read that women of my age experience this sleep deprivation, due to changes they are going through. I once read an article that highlighted women going through the menopausal process found their artistic talents late at night when they couldn’t sleep, producing masterpieces and writing their first novels.
Menopause: A time of life often feared and disregarded in our culture, is paradoxically the richest in female potential and a gateway to full self-realization.
As I lie there in the dark I think to myself, what am I in the mood to create? All I want to create is a good night sleep! I don’t want to shuffle from bed to use the bathroom, much less tap into talent that doesn’t have the good sense to show itself during the light of day.

The sleep aid Ambien is a wonderful product, one that I have turned to on occasion and which takes me into a sleep that nothing can disturb. I won’t rely on it though for a number of reasons: I’ve always been afraid of the addictive quality of drugs, I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to be so sound asleep you can’t wake up during an emergency, and when you take the pill two days in a row, the next few nights sleep are more wakeful than ever.

I haven’t figured out my sleep issues, but I’d rather let my body work it out naturally. If it gets too annoying perhaps I will give in and become a night person and start a new career as a painter or potter. Or maybe I’ll just clean the house and for the first time in my life have everything clean and in order. That’s a stretch. Maybe I’ll just turn on the light and catch up with my reading. My husband doesn’t seem to have trouble sleeping whether the light is on or not.

Sweet dreams.


gaelikaa said...

I loved your comment on the menopause. I think it's true. I'm forty six, and I've never felt so creative.

I hope you get the sleep you deserve, Lisa!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Have you ever tried Qi Gong? It is an ancient Chinese method of breath work/ movement that is really relaxing... I always do qi gong if I feel I cannot sleep...

Valerie said...

Been there and done that, Lisa. I found the yoga style of relaxation helped in the early days. Empty the mind, imagine a beach ball rolling, try to stop it.... that sort of thing. Now I just close a black curtain. Sounds like rubbish? Well it isn't, honestly. I did quite well at 'trying to stay awake' ... you can bet your bottom dollar you'll fall asleep. The thing to remember is: don't worry about it! Good luck.

ajgallion said...

You know, this might sound hokey, but on occasion I've used hypnotherapy/relaxation CDs and they usually send me right to sleep. :)

Glenda Council Beall said...

I agree with the hypnotherapy/relaxation CDs to help with sleep. Most women I know go through this waking in the middle of the night thing. My sister who has relied on Ambien and other drugs for sleep fell several times and we think it was due to being groggy from the sleep medication. Now she uses a CD given to her by a therapist and she says it not only helps her fall asleep again but also helps with the aches and pains she has developed in recent years.
Ambien should not be taken for long term, I'm told, but she is totally addicted to it for going to sleep.
Good luck with the insomnia. Just remember, you have lots of company.

Jack Matthews said...

I know your caution about Ambien. The doctor prescribed it to me with a warning to not take it every night. When I do take it I can tell a difference the next day...I am a bit down. But at least I am rested. Our backgrounds in anthropology are similar. So also our reaction to poverty and oppression. Good blog.