Monday, March 9, 2009

Who needs sleep? ME!

I assure you that for the last 12 minutes I have thought up this entire post in my mind while tossing and turning in my bed; striving for optimal comfort and hoping to drift softly to sleep. Why am I not asleep? Why?

My mind is filled with thoughts. Thoughts that buzz noisily like a room filled with bees. Bees with no flight plan, no direction. They bounce and spin off of one another, splintering my thoughts into a thousand different places.

It all starts with Jack. Jack wakes up and smiles at me in the morning and makes everything okay. But at night...oh at night...
I lay there. Quiet. Trying to stiffle my sniffles. Trying to turn ever so gently as not to crinkle the sheets. Can't. Get. Comfortable. Oh no! He moved. He's still moving. Uh oh. His breathing is getting louder and he's starting the uncomfortable begining of a cry. Great.

I am a creature of routine. I like to know what's coming next. Just ask Travis, my brother in law. He's been watching the new season of 24 - a show that Jared and I are not watching until his dad records the whole season on his TIVO and we can go on a 24 watching binge. Left alone with Travis, do you think I didn't ask if Tony Alameda really went rogue? I had to know. And now I do. Mwahahaha...

So, not knowing if i'll actually get sleep when I go to bed makes it nearly impossible to go to bed. I wonder with ever breath and every wiggle: "is this it? is he waking up? I don't want to get too comfortable if i've gotta get back up." Then when he does wake up - 'cause you know he does- I get him back to sleep, but then I can't get ME back to sleep. I wonder again: "did it take? is he really back to sleep? I better wait a bit just in case." I watch the clock. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. "Is it safe yet? Oh, good grief, if I fall asleep now i'll only get 6 hours of sleep!" The clock becomes my enemy. I race against it. Fall asleep NOW and you'll bet 5 hours 53 minutes and 37...36...35...34 seconds of sleep!

Then, I make a critical mistake. I think. No, not "I think" as in "I think I made a critical mistake," but "I think" as in thoughts flood my mind like the 9th ward after Katrina.
I let one little thought in and it snowballs. You ever get out of bed to pee in the middle of the night and tell youself not to think. Sometimes I try not to open my eyes lest I be inspired to think. The fact is, the longer you are awake, the more opportunity for thinkage. And once thinkage happens, you're doomed.

"I must remember to remember to call Rooms to Go tomorrow and give them our new address for delivery. Oh, and find the warranty information on the bed we bought two years ago since the mattress is sagging and its a friggin' $2200.00 bed. Why does my nose get stopped up when I lay in the bed, anyway? Am I catching a cold? Maybe there's mold in the air in here. Is that why Jack isn't sleeping? I need to find a dentist on my health plan. Did I e-mail my uncle back? I think "withered moss' is what we'll go with in the living room, but what should I do about our bedroom. When will grass turn green again? Did I sound stupid in that comment I made on so-and-so's facebook page? Will Jack start walking soon? Did I hold Sadie too much? Is that why she took longer to walk? Am I doing a good job balancing the two kids? I wonder who they'll grow up to be. I wonder if Lexi and Troy purposly picked a house with a fireplace so she could decorate it during Christmas. I hope Britney is doing well. I miss her. Daddy's working in Iraq right at this very moment. Will Jared ever find the time to study? Am I selfish?"

The thoughts keep coming and I lay there like I'm in my car watching the longest train in the world passing across the road to sleep. Will I ever get there? Yes, I know I will. Anytime soon? God, I hope so.


Matt said...

I have the "thinkage" problem as well, though it normally comes around time for finals. All of the old exams I study, endless pages of hypotheticals, fact patterns and scenarios flow through my mind like a torrential downpour of useless, mind-numbing information.

I don't worry about not getting to sleep because if 2 1/2 years of law school has taught me anything at all, it's this: "You can survive without sleep." Since my first semester of 2:00 a.m. bedtimes and 5:00 a.m. alarm clocks, it's become an ingrained part of my life.

Well, I guess "life" isn't the exact word one should use to describe a perpetuity of zombie-like existence that is the reality known to all who are sleep deprived. Maybe it is the only "life" we can ever know. Maybe.

Maybe not. I have hope. Soon, classes will end, finals will come and go, and the bar exam will be no more than a memory. Jack will grow older and sleep will once again find you, eagerly awaiting its return.

Stacy Hutchinson said...

Isn't it irritating? I have insomnia when I'm pregnant. My mind races like crazy. I'm usually up for about 2 hours every night.

Lexi said...

You poor dear! I suffer from over-muddled thought processes at night too.

It stinks because you tell yourself to stop thinking and the telling of yourself to stop thinking sparks new thoughts that keep going... and going... and going. I swear those thoughts feed off of each other!

Sometimes I'll keep myself awake thinking about the silliest stuff- and you'd think "Just stop thinking about it!" But it doesn't work that way- believe me I've tried.

Well, here's one less thing to wonder about at night- we DID get a fireplace so we can decorate for Christmas. You know me too well! :0)

Plus, I've ALWAYS had a fireplace- growing up in Alaska does that to you. I didn't NEED one in Louisiana since it never really got cold enough to use, but I DO need one here because it really DOES get cold here. But decorating was the primary motivation- at first! :-)

So now you can leave space to wonder about something else!

DixieJo said...

let go! so you get woke if Jack wakes up - go to sleep. Don't let yourself think. Everytime you think "anything" look into the blackness behind your eyes - and try and see farther into it and breath deep, steady breaths. Also try Aveeno lotion with lavender.

why all the advice? Because I am the pot and you are the kettle! :) I have a hard time sleeping too.

Good luck.

Anna and Dell said...

Oh I can so relate. I do the same thing. My worst hours are between 3 and 5. If Lizzie wakes anytime in that window I'm up until Dell's alarm goes off-- granted that's not long after 5. Thinking is a dangerous curse for mothers of young children. And I totally race the clock too. "Sleep now. Now. Come on Anna. Now." tonight I'm trying yoga.

Holly said...

I had a kind of bad time last night, too. Luckily both babies are sleeping through the night, so I didn't have babies to worry about. I started a new birth control pill :( and Jamie mentioned that she saw a commercial that said something about it causing high potassium, and that was all it took. Jamie told me early in the day, and I didn't give it a second thought until time to sleep. I had to get up and research it until I was satisfied that I wasn't going to die from a stroke in my sleep :)

Sometimes I have to get up and write things down, too so that I can let go of them in my head and finally rest. Unfortunately, I have my most creative thoughts at night while I'm trying to go to sleep, and if I don't write them down, they are certainly gone in the morning.

One thing I do, that mammaw taught me when I was little, is tell my body to relax on part at a time starting with my toes. It usually works, sometimes before I make half way up, but sometimes it takes a few times over.

Oh, good news, I got a new laptop, and it has an integrated webcam, it is turned off, but once I figure out how to turn it on, we are going to do some skyping!!!

Suzie said...

Wow, I felt like I was reading something that I had written. My nights are just the same! The more I try not to think, the harder it is to stop. I'm always amazed and slightly annoyed at how quickly my husband can fall asleep, and stay asleep.

retrobec said...

Ditto! It is a curse, especially for women. I used to have the hardest time falling asleep, and had the same exact "thinking" problem as you, until the last few months. I've discovered that if I read for about a 1/2 hour to an hour, I get drowsy and can't keep my eyes open. I'll stop reading just in time to turn out the light and drift off in to oblivion...

Unfortunately, while you still have a little one waking up all night, you might just have to wait it out. It sucks, I know! Owen didn't sleep all night until after he was a year old. I was a "zombie mom" for the first year of his life! I hope you don't have to wait that long. Good luck!

Omi said...

hehe...i'm not even sure it has much to do with kids, cuz i have the same problem too but it started way before kids came into the picture.

i find that if i start to read before bed, i almost always fall asleep within 30 mins.

but sometimes li'ke Holly said, that is when i have the most creative/ ingenious thoughts, and i must get up to write them down, and it does help me stop "repeating" my thought over and over so i "don't forget to do this" but the most soothing thing for me, is to just let myself think of something i would enjoy, for instance, it's fun to dream about houses for me, because we don't have one, and so i'll just day dream a bit and sooner than i know, i'm asleep...cuz the more i tell myself to go to sleep the more awake i get...mind games...

Omi said...

by the way, congrats on the purchase of your 1st home!!! that's awesome! good luck with all the finishing touches!

Jenn said...

I love the way you describe this "thinkage". I think that is the only thing some nights I know how to do while laying in bed. Sometimes sleep just doesn't happen immediately. Nothing satisfies me better to fall asleep on the couch and be "let" to my bed. It's irritating, but honestly when else could the thinkage kick in??? HMMM... cause during the day there is no time for this thinkage to creep into my days. Love you miss you!