Sleep. Now. *

At about 1:30 in the morning, I was still awake.   At around 1:30 in the morning, I’m almost  always awake.   I track my sleep with the Fitbit on  my wrist-  it’s not a perfect tracker, but it does a pretty good job of noting when I stop tossing and turning.   My regular sleep patterns look a great deal like this one, except Monday was extra horrific because of Daylight Saving Time.  The blue lines indicate restlessness (tossing and turning) and the red line indicates I was completely awake.  If it’s a work day, odds are pretty good that my sleep didn’t break much more than six hours.

I have good intentions, I really do-  I generally brush my teeth and get into bed before midnight.    There’s always a lot of tossing and turning, though.  Sometimes I just can’t get comfortable.  Sometimes I can’t get my brain to shut off.  Once in a while, I use an over the counter sleepytime pill (diphenhydramine, usually) to help out- that’s why there’s a big swath on Monday with no indications of restlessness.  The image to the right is a pretty normal night.   I don’t know if it’s the bed, or the extra electronic light in the room where I sleep, or the temperature, or all the things that are chasing my attention, or some combination of the above, but the lack of good sleep is starting to grind me to a pulp.

I started this post at about 1:30 AM last night, intending to say a whole lot of other stuff about how much it sucks to not be able to sleep.   Since I started thinking about the blog post, I continued to be wide awake until about 3 AM.  Then I conked out until work called me at 5:45am with an emergency.  I made the mistake of caffeinating myself in order to solve a technical problem, and was able to go back to sleep for another hour after.  My total sleep for last night: 3 hours and 39 minutes.

Being on call for work is a temporary condition, and they very rarely need to wake me up from a sound sleep.  The rest of the scenario from last night is all too common, though.  I’m partway through my relocation to Orlando, and my to-do lists have their own to-do lists.  I need to find a better way to shut my  mind off so that my body will actually go to sleep.

* – “Sleep. Now.” is a line from Dark City, and also the title of one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack. It’s a pretty groovy little tune. You should check it out.

What do you do when you can’t fall asleep?

5 thoughts on “Sleep. Now. *

  1. Lorrie

    Read. I read much less than I used to so my brain almost sees sleeplessness as a reward so I can catch up on quality (and lack of quality) reading time.

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  2. Bunny

    Boy, I can relate. We did get a sleep number bed and that made a real difference in my quality of sleep. But I can’t seem to tune out my head. I’ve tried melatonin (groggy in the morning) diphenhydramine (gives me lucid dreams–not pleasant) drinking milk or having a bowl of cereal (sometimes that helps, sometimes not) and reading until my eyes won’t stay open. Varying degrees of success. So frustrating to lie there and not be able to nod off. And it’s circular. The more you worry about it, the less likely you are to fall asleep. I know it’s not good for me not to sleep, but I refuse to take anything stronger, too many side effects. I joined a 24-hour gym, and it’s not unusual to see me on the treadmill at 2:30 in the morning. (Of course, I’m retired, so a weird sleep pattern or lack thereof isn’t as much as a problem.) If you find something that works, I’d love to hear about it.

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