I have lost my ability to sleep

I can’t sleep.

I’ve used to pride myself on my ability to sleep soundly.  I once slept through a hurricane in the Outer Banks.  The girls in my college dormitory never kept me awake.  My husband’s snores never bothered me.

And now?  I go to bed at 1:30 a.m., arrange myself carefully in my nest of pillows, close my eyes and lie awake.  Sometimes a parade of unhelpful thoughts march through my mind.  Oh yes, I do need to send off the paperwork to the tax guy.  I mustn’t forget to make that phone call.  Why haven’t I scheduled my mammogram and dental cleanings?

Then I put a halt to those thoughts.  I roll over, carefully so I don’t disturb my slumbering husband.  I have to lug my body pillow to the left of me, so my roll is something of a three-point-turn.  Finally, back in the pillows, this time facing the left and my clock radio which emits a yellowish light.

I rotate the clock radio away so the light isn’t in my eyes.  I tuck the covers under my chin.  I must breathe fresh cool air all night.  Feet must be under covers, nose must be free.

At that point, if I’m very lucky, I sleep.

But this week, at that point, I begin to hack up a lung.  I try to muffle the sounds so the snores continue their rhythm.  I settle back down and begin to cough again.

Lather, rinse, repeat, every ten minutes.

Finally, I wonder if the DayQuil will help and I stagger to the bathroom to swallow those gigantic orange capsules.  (We have no Nyquil.  The cough syrup I found in the cabinet expired last November.  I am doomed.)  It’s past 3 a.m.

Then I wake up and it’s 7 a.m.  so I must have slept.

Tonight–soon–when I crawl into bed, I will remind myself that tomorrow I should buy some cough medicine . . . and then I’ll remember that I forgot to schedule my mammogram . . . and then I’ll decide lying on my right side is what is keeping me awake, so I’ll make a quarter-turn, lug my body pillow to the left, make another quarter-turn, nestle my head on my down pillow, make a final quarter-turn and start coughing.  And so the adventure that used to be Sleep begins.

I just can’t wait.

7 thoughts on “I have lost my ability to sleep

  1. You’re 45, right? I was right around that age when the perimenopausal insomnia started rearing its ugly head. For 3-4 years I’m not even sure I slept, ha! Or should that be ‘boo hoo’?! Anyway, I’ve discovered the most marvelous stuff in the world in the past 6 months called Menoquil for menopausal symptoms. All natural. No side effects. And, Mel, it really works. It would be relatively spendy if I took the 4 pills I can take each day but I find one just before bedtime, sometimes an additional one early in the morning if I wake up with that familiar ‘edgy’ feeling, does me just fine. I dunno what is in it that causes you to just ease on down into sleep, but it does. I hardly ever have a sleepless nite any more. I noticed improvements within a week or so of starting them.

    I buy a bottle with 120 pills every 4 months so it equals out to around $10 per month. Worth. Every. Penny. I’ve recommended it to friends and they’ve been having good results from it, too. Helps with mood swings, nite sweats – which REALLY plagued me – and hot flashes.


  2. That stinks. Sleep is such a great thing, when it can be had and when it’s good and deep. I don’t remember the last time I slept soundly and woke up truly refreshed, but I usually don’t have trouble falling asleep at night. Staying asleep is another matter. Hope you find something that works for you.


  3. I have always had trouble sleeping. The fan noise helps some but I have to have the TV on with The Waltons or Green Acres or something mildly quiet to keep my mind occupied. I set the sleep timer on the TV for 30-60 minutes & hope I fall asleep before it shuts off. If I don’t I find myself tossing & turning thinking of everything I did or need to do. It’s awful & it wont shut off!! I try to remember to take melatonin & sometimes I take Tylenol PM which makes me sleep really sound & also helps the backache.

    I hope you sleep better tonight!!

    P.S. I have taken expired cough medicine to help my coughing to calm down for sleep. I did not die.


  4. I could have written this post word for word. It is like you can hear my thoughts. By the way when the coughing strikes I always go sleep on the couch (so I can sleep more upright)and I take a meletonin and nyquil, if that doesn’t work it’s time for another round of anitbiotics. So fun!


Leave a Reply to MissKris Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s