Monday, January 9, 2012

Desperately Seeking Sleep


I am in such desperate need of it and yet it continues to evade me. It has been a week now and I am starting to  beyond desperate. With three sleep challenged monkeys I have probably only slept thru the night a handful of times over the last 10 years but I usually manage to patch together a decent night's sleep. Luckily, I can coerce StinkBug into a nap once a week and you can be damn sure I join him! By nature (and unemployment) I am a night owl but by the time Friday rolls around I usually fall into bed exhausted by the time 11 o'clock rolls around.

It all started over the holidays. Between Big Yankee's visit and the kids's being out of school we just did whatever the hell we wanted. Since the monkeys were staying up later this meant we HAD to stay up later  if we wanted any chance of time alone. Seeing as we have have been separated by 1231 miles since August we were desperate for time together...alone. No more details or images necessary I assume? With another parent at home I had many opportunities to sleep late. I may or may not have slept until noon on more than one occasion.

The monkey's went back to school last week so regular routines and normal bedtimes are happening once again...for them. My body and brain however, are rebelling with all their might. I do my standard evening routine and still I lie awake at night...tossing and turning and becoming increasingly agitated by the minute. I have been operating on 5-6 hours of intermittent sleep for the past 8 days. I am cranky, impatient, groggy, and drinking too much caffeine to name a few.

So what can I do? My options are the only adult here I can't go to bed until they do. We barely make bedtime as it is so pushing their's earlier won't help. In fact, it would likely backfire as things would be more rushed and increase the likelihood of meltdowns-both theirs and mine. I managed a nap once this week but trying for more than that isn't very realistic. I can't help but think the naps could be screwing up my nighttime sleep even more. 

I have resorted to taking Benadryl twice now in the past week. Though I wake up a bit foggy it does work it's magic but I don't want to rely on it. There was a time last year I was taking OTC sleep meds 5 to 6 nights a week in order to get some zzz's. My doctor was aware of it and assured me it was fine but when I got to the point where I absolutely could not fall asleep without it that was my wake up call. Luckily some things in my life changed a bit and over time I was able to wean myself of sleep meds completely. While I NEED sleep I am afraid it would be a slippery slope.

How much sleep do you get a night? What do you do when you can't fall asleep?


Kate Sins said...

Oooh, I really feel for you right now. I can fall asleep anywhere, any time as long as i'm horizontal. But with two boys, 1 & 3 who don't sleep so easily it's painful. I'm chronicaly sleep-deprived and drink far too much coffee.

For those rare times when i'm stressed and wake in the middle of the night, I read. I pick a book i've read a million times before and just read until I drop off.

I hope it gets better soon.

Jill of All Trades said...

So sorry for the sleeplessness. Have to say it will come back to haunt when you hit menopause. I remember those days with the wee ones. I don't really have any advice but to say one day you will sleep again and it will pass. I'm now fighting a couple of nights of the "M" of not sleeping. Good luck and you do need some of those naps, maybe power naps.

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

I go through bits of this too. The girls pretty much stuck to their routines over break with just a late night here and there but the hubs and I thought we were 18 again and stayed up all night. The girls are at an age where we can sleep in during the morning if we want but I usually feel guilty if we both are. Still, it was 8:30 before at least one of us was rolling out of bed. Now we are both having a hard time. My suggestions is computer or tv at least 30 mins before attempting to go to sleep, a cup of Sleepytime tea and a book that you have read before and can put down without having to find out what happens next. Hope you find something soon!

Carrie said...

I don't even have kids and I get like that. It's sheer misery to need sleep.

Normally, a glass of wine will do it for me. Knock me out like a light. But I've been fighting a hideous cough so I've been on meds.

So, it's been NyQuil in my wine glass this last weekend. And it's worked juuuuust fine.


Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Ugh, that sucks! Once you get in crappy sleeping habits it's so hard to get out again! And I sympathize with not doing well, I'm totally out of it after a couple of days of slightly less than average z's!

kvetchmom said...

Oh, that is the worst! I'm so sorry. Have you tried Melatonin? Maybe once the kids are asleep you have to have your own bedtime routine (hot bath or shower, reading in bed, chamomile tea)? (This is sounding more and more like a bad commercial isn't it?) I hope it gets better soon.