Let’s call this a stream-of-barely-conscious-consciousness, OK? It’s early in the morning, I’m awake after being awake a good portion of the night. Insomnia has returned.
I’ve struggled with sleep since the third trimester of my pregnancy with Jax–in 2009. Before then, I slept easily. I could–and sometimes did–drink a cup of coffee (none of this weak decaf stuff I drink now) and be asleep a few minutes later. I could sleep in a car, on a plane, in the rain…
In my third trimester, Jax was most active around 3 in the morning, nearly every night. I couldn’t sleep through the movement. My sleep became lighter, and things I easily slept through before (e.g., my husband’s snoring, my dog curling up at my feet) drove me insane because they woke me up and/or kept me awake.
We can skip the part about how sleep changed for the worse after Jax was born, because goodness knows I’ve blogged, tweeted, and posted on Facebook plenty of times about my little non-sleeper.
But now he’s almost 4 years old. And I’m co-sleeping with him in his comfy-but-tiny twin bed. My reasons are numerous, and I’m not listing them here, though I’ll tell you why privately if you’re curious.
My insomnia doesn’t have much to do with Jax at all now.
Now I can’t sleep because it’s too warm in the room. Or because I’ve had 2 beers (or glasses of wine) and the sugar is keeping me awake. Or because I heard a noise outside that woke me. Or because my to do list for tomorrow is way too long. Or because I’m thinking about someone who probably isn’t thinking about me in the middle of the night! Or because my mind is racing with a thousand other thoughts. Or because my dog barked at someone walking by my corner house.
My anger about being awake in the middle of the night is a big deal. I quite literally have to give myself a calming talk when I’ve been awake for hours and feel like punching a hole in the wall.
I’ve been prescribed a sleeping pill, but I don’t like to take medication unless it’s an emergency. Since April when it was prescribed, I’ve taken in 3 times. It takes an hour to kick in and doesn’t have a long half-life, which is good because I can take it very late at night and not feel terrible the next day but bad because it seems to give me maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep at most. But taking it tends to give me an added boost of anxiety because I worry about all the potential things I could do in my sleep and not remember–the package insert lists a few: sleep-driving, sleep-eating, sleep-sex.
If I show up at your doorstep in the middle of the night, please just toss me a pillow and blanket and tuck me in?
Since the last terrible bout of insomnia in April (which lasted for 10+ days–I stopped counting), I’ve been taking 3 mg of melatonin around 9:00 every single night. I had 2+ months of amazing sleep. The kind of sleep that made me feel like myself again!
On Friday, I told my friend about my fantastic sleep. I even said, “I haven’t had any insomnia in months!”
There is a joke on Twitter about talking about sleep and the consequences of this slip-up.
I don’t know why the melatonin seems to have stopped working. Was it really the reason for my good sleep the past 2+ months? I’m also wondering whether my new pattern of insomnia for up to 2 weeks every few months is going to be the norm for the rest of my life. Will I spend day after day feeling like a zombie, snapping at the people around me, feeling guilty about it, crying at my desk, making poor choices because I’m too tired to think straight, having anxiety because I’m worried about not sleeping, and so on?
I don’t know what to do now that I can’t count on melatonin. Keep taking it anyway? Stop? Rely more heavily on sleeping pills? Get a hotel room so I can catch up on my sleep completely alone and distraction-free for a night? I feel like I’ve done everything right (limiting my sugar, nearly eliminating caffeine, rarely drinking more than 1 alcoholic beverage per night and avoiding doing so too close to bedtime, getting exercise daily, eating well, and so on). So now what?
If you have experienced insomnia, what are some of the things you’ve tried, and have they worked?