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Insomnia Strikes - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Insomnia Strikes
Why is it that my friends are not updating their journals? Why is it that the only email I'm getting is spam? Why am I still awake? Why is my stomach upset? Why are my feet so cold?

It's almost 4am.

Every night around midnight, I agonize, questioning my body. Am I tired? Will I be able to sleep? Should I try taking something to help me sleep, or should I just crawl into bed and try to sleep on my own?

It's 4am.

The problem with insomnia is that it is unpredictable. It is often very hard for me to tell, when I'm heading to bed, whether or not I will be able to sleep. I don't want to take a sleep aid every night, because their effectiveness will wear off with frequent use (not to mention the damn things are expensive!), so I don't generally like taking one before I at least try to sleep on my own. But if I toss and turn for too long, then I worry that it is too late to take something, that I will find myself groggy in the morning and have trouble waking up. Of course, I am always groggy in the morning. I always have trouble waking up. But there is a difference between still-drugged-groggy and just normal grogginess.

It's after 4am.

Around now is the time that I start to consider just staying up all night. I won't have trouble waking up, if I don't go to sleep, right? My alarm will be going off in 3 hours. I could just take a long hot shower, have a nice leisurely breakfast, and get to work early. Yeah, that seems so easy, somehow, around this time of night. But it never works that way, somehow.

4:44am....at least the numbers line up in a row.

Generally, right when that seems like the best possible course of action, that's when I find myself a little bit sleepy. Eventually I fall asleep, and invariably I am finally in a deep and peaceful slumber when the alarm sounds. I then stumble through my workday in a daze.

4:47am

But I know that pulling an all-nighter isn't the answer either. I would still stumble through the workday in a daze (or at least most of it). "In the morning, your body resets itself," I used to claim in college. "The sun rises, you eat breakfast, and you wake up just as though you've slept." But I'm no longer a college student, and even back then it was never quite as easy as I liked to claim. My body will reset itself, yes, but it certainly won't last all day.

It's almost 5am.

Time to crawl back into bed. Maybe I'll sleep this time....at the very least, I can warm up my feet. Tomorrow will be a long day.

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Comments
ms_hecubus From: ms_hecubus Date: May 25th, 2004 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel your pain. Lately sleep aids making me a little loopy, but that's it. I don't even take them often. Gah! My body is going to stay up whether I want it to or not, I suppose.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes I enjoy the loopiness. (:

Actually sometimes mine work great, sometimes not. It certainly helps if I haven't taken them in awhile.
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: May 25th, 2004 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Gee, I actually slept for 7 1/2 hours last night for the first time in years, I hope I can keep it up, of course, I am feeling really tired this morning.
mysteryfem From: mysteryfem Date: May 25th, 2004 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I suffer with insomnia really bad, have done for a few years. It is annoying. Sometimes when i go to bed i think to myself "i cant do it, i cant sleep i dont know how to manage it anymore" lol.
In the end i do sleep but it takes ages. Most of my lj entries are done like 3.30am or something heh.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's so frustrating, especially worrying about whether or not you're goign to sleep, then worrying just makes it worse!
lahabiel From: lahabiel Date: May 25th, 2004 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like you're used to getting around more during the day, or exercising. Your injury doesn't allow you to tire yourself out sufficiently during the day.

If I wasn't so busy, I'd come over and lecture on arclength parameterization on smoothly-defined curves. A fascinating subject, through which we can relate rate of motion along an path to quantities such as curvature, tangential and normal acceleration, and .... zzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZ

;)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually I've always been soemwhat of an insomniac. It comes and goes.

haha, that probably would help yes! I remember doing a lot of sleeping during high school calcuseless.....

netmouse From: netmouse Date: May 25th, 2004 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Why is it that my friends are not updating their journals? Why is it that the only email I'm getting is spam? Why am I still awake? Why is my stomach upset? Why are my feet so cold?

tell me about it... actually, 8:30 am is not so different from 4 am in this regard, at least in my experience.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope your feet are warmer now. *hug*
swerve From: swerve Date: May 25th, 2004 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
This is my brain on Topamax. I can write a few sentences here and there, but that's about the extent of it: sleep and baseball. I think someone shaved twenty points off my IQ while I wasn't looking. Guess that's why they call it Dopamax.

(hug)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sleep and baseball aren't bad things....although I hope you'll be able to wake up eventaully and feel better. *hug*
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: May 25th, 2004 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Seasonal?

You have not mentioned sleep problems since last fall, is the insomnia somehow connected to the season?

You could review your journal entries.

I was on Yahoo until about 2AM last night.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Seasonal?

If I complained in my journal every time I was having trouble sleeping, my journal would be boring boring boring!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: May 25th, 2004 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Seasonal?

But an accurant record of your insomnia you could use for diagnosis.

Maybe keep a record for your eyes only.

You could see if it matches up with other activities in your life as causal factors.
operatic From: operatic Date: May 25th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope you got at least a little sleep last night. *hug!*
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup, about 3 hours. Surprisingly, I'm not feeling too bad today though! Thanks. (:
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: May 25th, 2004 10:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Melatonin

Give melatonin a try. 1 mcg of it always knocks me out, and usually that amount doesn't impact my morning time (although I'm slightly more likely to hit the snooze). Plus, it always gives me very lucid dreams (last night I dreamt I met a few people off LJ I had never met in person...).

Anyway, any health food store should have it. I wouldn't use if habitually, but it should have less bad side-effects than a tranquilizer, since it works with your natural sleep system (it's a hormone your body naturally produces as part of the sleep cycle).
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Melatonin

I have a jar of melatonin I got somewhere...haven't tried it in awhile. I didn't find it to be reliable...but maybe I should give it another try. 1mcg? Will have to see how much mine are.
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: May 25th, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Melatonin

Oops, I of course meant *100* mcg. I have pills in both 100 mcg and 300 mcg doses. 300 mcg always knocks me out, but is sometimes too much for me unless I know I have a good 10 hours to devote to sleep :-).

It doesn't work for everyone, though. I only suggest it because I favor the "natural" route over the more hardcore drug route :-).
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: May 25th, 2004 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't want to take a sleep aid every night, because their effectiveness will wear off with frequent use (not to mention the damn things are expensive!), so I don't generally like taking one before I at least try to sleep on my own.

What sleep aid are you taking? I found Ambien to be nicely effective and side-effect free, but damned expensive.

My psychiatrist in Austin switched me to occasionally taking Trazadone. It's technically an anti-depressent, but taken occassionally it works well as a sleep aid, making me groggy as all get out.

Sometimes I'm groggy the next morning, sometimes not. I think it depends on how big of a dinner I ate.

And the stuff is cheap. 30 tabs for $5. And I typically only take half a tab. I think I've been nursing one bottle of the stuff for over 6 months now.

Personally, I find that having the hammer-of-God sleep aid is helpful psychologically. Knowing that I have a pharmaceutical back-up makes it easier for me to relax and let sleep happen naturally.

Though, the best thing is having a hobby to drain my stress into. Have I mentioned I bought a new motorcycle? Tires should arrive tomorrow. Vroom, vroom.

Bought a bicycle yet?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Ambien. I like it a lot, but it's hugely expensive on my new insurance plan. hmm....I don't have a psychiatrist; I wonder if a gp would be willing to let me give Trazadone a try? Or maybe an ob/gyn??

I'm happy that you're so excited about your new motorcycle. Yay! Hopefully the tires come soon.

Actually I'm going bike shopping again this evening. Think happy-bike-thoughts for me!
wouldyoueva From: wouldyoueva Date: May 25th, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know what you mean about Ambien. It was about $3 each when I was on them. But I discovered that taking half a pill worked too and I wasn't groggy the next day.

The only side effect I had from Ambien are very low key hallucinations, very calming but I don't know that most folks think of hallucinations as a feature rather than a bug.

I was on Trazone every night for depression but it stopped working for me. I'm still bummed about it. It was very nice knowing I was going to get a good night's sleep every night and vivid dreams.

Sonata processes out of the body very quickly so if you can get that, it might work for you. If it's 4 am, you can get a few hours of sleep and not be hung-over the next day.

If I know I can't be tired the next day I take one Benedryl and half a Unisom. That's enough to put me to sleep and I figure each of them is half of a normal dose. Also, one time I took that combination I had one of the three best dreams I ever had, so I keep hoping it will happen again.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 26th, 2004 08:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep, I generally take just half-pills. That works out to $1 per night's sleep, with my co-pay. I suppose when you look at it that way, it's not so bad, actually.... Still don't want to take them all the time though, or they'll lose their effectiveness.

That's for all the suggestions! I'll have to make a list and talk to my doc, next time I see her. Maybe we can try some different stuff.

...a good night's sleep every night and vivid dreams.

That sounds nice!!!
juliebata From: juliebata Date: May 25th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Heck..

4am for you is 3am for me, and I'm always up at 3am- you could call me! I'd tell you all about my day, and you'd be asleep in seconds!

-Julie




renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 25th, 2004 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Heck..

heeheehee! fachless always said her journal entries should help with that too. I think both of your lives are probably more interesting than you think! *hug*
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