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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tales from the Sleepless; or Have You Always Looked Like That?

It appears that I’ve given up sleeping.

And I used to be such a fan.

I take a prescription sleep-aid, of course.  What middle-aged American female doesn’t?  And so I fall asleep.

But I don’t stay there.

Whatever the reason, I am awake.  I am awake and agitated.

For hours.

I roll.  I kick.  I sigh heavily.

Nothing helps. 

And so I begin another day by staring at myself in the bathroom mirror.

“Who,” I mouth at my reflection, “are you supposed to be?”

I stumble through the work week trying to appear alert.  I focus, during meetings, on keeping my eyes open only to suddenly recall a brief fad in junior high of painting eyes on our eyelids. 

My snorts of laughter are met with the concerned frowns of my fellow workers.

I shrug. 

Sleepless Pearl cares not.

And it’s odd, but 2:51 seems to be my new preferred wake-up time. 

A more superstitious, gothic-ly minded woman would affix a reason to this.

Perhaps something wonderful once happened at 2:51 and the house has never forgotten.

Perhaps something wonderful once happened to me at 2:51 and I remember only when I’m unconscious.

Perhaps I was murdered in another life at 2:51.

Oh, no!  What if I was murdered in another life at 2:51?  What if I will die at 2:51?

Worse yet, what if my bed-side clock is off by 10 minutes and I’m actually being prompted somehow about a two-for-one sale that I’m missing out on?



It’s easy to confuse me when I’m tired.





37 comments:

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl, you poor bunny. Does yoga not help? You know, I think perhaps you're not getting enough exercise. You know, before bedtime, deep breathing and such; I seem to remember it helps. Once we're married (shush, secret) I'm sure we'll be able to sort something out, perhaps a combination of both. I stand ready to help. Indigo x

JennaQuentin said...

Thanks for the chuckle! I love sleep so much. I only give it up for hungry newborns ;) On the odd that I'm up worrying, I love singing to myself, reciting things I've memorized and just thinking and praying for folks. Sweet dreams!

Mandy_Fish said...

Maybe you're meant to live in a different timezone?

Simply Suthern said...

Not that the results aint the same but at least I know what is keeping me awake.

3rd shifter heading out
2nd Shifter coming home
That 3rd piece of Pizza
Hairball production 3:15 AM
Cleaning up said hairball

Next time I'll ring you up
We'll chat

Mel said...

Oh, I feel your pain, or your fatigue. My wake up time is 2:30. And 4:30. Sometimes 3:30. Always 5:30, when the rest of the house gets up. They wonder why I am not too chipper in the mornings. You can explain it, but no one can understand it unless they sleepwalk a mile in our shoes.

I haven't found anything that helps, so I'm just trying to pretend it's normal to be this exhausted. I hope yours is just a brief phase and you get a good night of sleep soon!

Shelly said...

Like a jilted lover, I've been abandoned by sleep as well. We used to have such sweet times together, tender nothings whispered in my ear, gentle caresses for no reason at all...and now, now? I'm lucky to catch a glimpse of it every now and then. Sleep, sleep, wherefore art thou, sleep?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Ah yes, me ol' mate menosomnia. Fellow zzzzeprived of the world, let us unite. At any given time one or more of us will be awake together, regardless of the indicated hour in our region. Put up a 'flag'. Know that you are not alone...........

Let's call it ZZZem-afore.

...and that, m'dears, is what happens in THIS menosomiac's brain... YAM 8*\

Joanne Noragon said...

And I thought it was only me.

Silliyak said...

When I've had the specific time wakeup thingy, I thought perhaps I was seeing the clock (during REM) and my brain says "Aren't you supposed to be up?" Try turning any clock you might glimpse away from you. If that works you'll revert to bladder call insomnia. The only thing funny is younger people who will read this not realizing that here lies their future.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Pearl I have suffered from insomnia my entire life. I use a sleep aid as well and while it helps me fall asleep it doesn't always help me "stay" asleep. Frustrating isn't it? I often wake up at 3 or 4 and can't fall back asleep.

jabblog said...

Yes, me too! I resort to mind games - 'how many words can I make from misappropriation?' or 'let me try doing Sudoku in my head' or 'using the alphabet in order name two flowers or trees or ailments'. Sometimes I fall back to sleep through sheer boredom . . . and then I get cramp.

Z said...

I mentioned my early hours wakefulness recently and I was sent this link - http://slumberwise.com/science/your-ancestors-didnt-sleep-like-you/

Apparently in days gone by, many people found it natural to be awake for a protracted period during the night and this was a recognised practise, something that's been forgotten since the time we started using artificial light and therefore went to bed later. I don't sleep more now, but I feel better about it. Getting up for a while helps, because then when I get back into bed it feels as if I'm starting the night again. But sometimes I drop off ten minutes before I'm due to get up.

vanilla said...

2:41 Click on Pearl, why you little. . . and get two chuckles for one click. At a minimum. Guffaws, maybe.

Delores said...

One of THE worst things..not being able to sleep. I feel for you.

Pearl said...

I have recently become aware of the fact that people used to sleep from, say, sun down to midnight, then rise for a couple hours, then go back to sleep.

I may have to incorporate this idea into my life, because this laying in bed fussing thing isn't working for me.

I also like jabblog's ideas. Except for the "cramp" bit. I've already developed a facial tic from lack of sleep. No need to add "cramp" to it!

jenny_o said...

Hmmmm... you don't sound confused to me. You sound as sharp as a tack. But maybe you get MORE creative when you're sleep-deprived. This was my first thought.

My second thought was oh god oh god oh god PLEASE don't let me start having insomnia. I usually sleep like a rock/log/dead person/whichever (please don't hate me) and when I don't get enough I feel like I have a persistent flu/heart condition/body-of-a-centenarian/whatever ...

I'm so sorry you are losing sleep and I have absolutely no advice but I hope it stops.

Ian Lidster said...

Aw, my dear, I am so happy you wrote this. Not happy for your insomnia but because I've been going through the same thing and it's driving me nuts. You make it to 2:51? I'm impressed. Mine is usually an hour earlier than that with a bladder clarion call. Pee and then go back to bed and I lie there and lie there and lie there. Fuck! I've gotten afraid to go to bed.

wellfedfred said...

Here's alink to the BBC Newsmagazine in which the 2-sleep versus one-sleep situation is discussed:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

it seems you'r primeval side is coming out.

imbeingheldhostage said...

My theory is that the world has shifted somehow. My husband is just about the only person I know that isn't doing the all-night tossing and turning thing lately (and I hate him at about 2.51 am as he snores away).

Elephant's Child said...

Oh snap. And nightly I am reminded why sleep deprivation has been used as a torture in so many cultures. It is.

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

I'm sure it's just some murderous demon ghost that's trying to resurrect itself every night at 2:51. I wouldn't worry about it.

Gigi said...

I've only had a couple of bouts of insomnia and it was horrible - so I feel your pain.

I've heard somewhere that lying in bed and trying to will yourself back to sleep is the worst thing to do. I think you are supposed to get up and do something - like read - for a bit and then go back and try again.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I had the same problem. I decided that I would train myself to only sleep 5 hours a night. I stay up writing half the night, and then when I go to bed, I fall right asleep. I was groggy at work either way, so figured I might as well make it my choice. I used to wake up at 4:44 every morning. I am one of those gothic, weirdos that had attach meaning so I looked it up on the internet. Freaking angels are with me all the time. I knew it!! Hope you sleep tonight Pearl!

Lin said...

Ugh. I'm sorry for your affliction. :(

I always hate it when you start thinking as you lay there. Everything in the middle of the night appears so much worse than in daylight.

Try not to think as you lay there, Pearl.

Timothy Hecht said...

Sometimes I skate in my sleep. My wife has the bruises to show for it. It gets worse during NHL playoff time.

HermanTurnip said...

There was a time when I often found myself waking up at multiple times throughout the night. But I think that had to do with work stress more than anything else. What I found to remedy this was exercise. As your lawyer I recommend a long walk or a brisk run in the evening.

Linda O'Connell said...

That happened to me when I went through the "change". I figured my 2:30 a.m. wakings were from alien visitors. Lord knows I felt like an alien each morning.

sage said...

I generally wake at 3:15, but that would be 2:15 in your timezone...

You know what people used to do when they woke for a few hours in the middle of their long nights of darkness... the nerds wrote or studied the universe, but most didn't get out of bed ;)

Rose L said...

I, too, am plagued with bouts of sleeplessness. I sometimes want to doze off at work around 3 pm. I have dropped off only to have my chair roll a bit and waken me. So far I have not fallen off but worry someone will see me.

River said...

Were you born at 2:51am? Your mind could be recalling the moment you opened your eyes for the very first time.

Launna said...

Oh Pearl, I fondly remember sleep... I used to have it...I think... lol

Golden To Silver Val said...

One word for you, Pearl. The middle-aged woman's best friend: Nyquil. Take a shot of it just before getting in bed. It works!

Z said...

Nyqul is powerful stuff, great if you've got a bad cold but not supposed to be taken long-term unless your doctor says so - at the least, do check nothing else you take has the same ingredients, especially acetaminophen, and it's contra-indicated with various health conditions and medications. If you drink more than a modest amount of alcohol, it can lead to liver damage.

Nick Wilford said...

I like the 2 for 1 line - great punchline! Seriously I hope something changes because that's no fun. I was actually born at 2.50 so like someone said, maybe it's that.

Daisy said...

Pearl, what does your doctor say about this? I fall asleep 2 seconds after my head hits the pillow (don't hate me) and then wake up two or three times for a bathroom break. Maybe you are in training for elderhood and fussy bladders? Anyway, I'll think of you when I get up and send some sleepy vibes your way.

Daisy's Barbara ... Daisy sleeps most of the time!

broken biro said...

Are you sure your clock hasn't stopped at 2:51? My watch stopped at 8:15 once and I kind of liked always knowing without looking that was what time it was.

Daisy said...

I hate missing out on two for one sales! :) I hope you get a proper night's rest soon.