Thursday, February 25, 2010


I like some of the things about Cliff's four-day, ten-hours-a-day work-weeks.  I like the fact that we have three-day weekends to go on motorcycle trips to St. Louis or Arkansas.  
But I hate it that Cliff gets home at 3 A.M., because at least half the time I wake up when he comes in.  He's quiet as a mouse, doesn't turn the lights on; he does all he can do to keep from waking me.  It just doesn't work.  
When I entered middle age I began having trouble sleeping through the night.  Oh, I have no problem initially going to sleep when I hit the sack (usually before 10 P.M.); I'm out almost as soon as my head hits the pillow.  But I wake up two or three times during the night; sometimes I go back to sleep, sometimes not. With Cliff coming in at 3 o'clock in the morning, I guess it's so close to my internal clock's wakeup time that I just can't go back to sleep.  
I never allow myself to get out of bed until four, and once in awhile I do go back to sleep.  More often, though, thoughts will come into my head that only make me more wakeful.  
This morning, for instance, I started thinking about my scheduled appointment with the orthopedist Friday. After walking around that tractor show last Saturday, looking constantly for a place to sit down, I came home and made the appointment.  I was pretty darn sure I was ready for a new knee.  
But lying in bed wide awake at three o'clock, it suddenly occurred to me that the six to eight weeks I'd be recuperating would take place at one of my busiest and favorite times of the year:  Springtime.  Even if I were to get into the operating room next week, I'd be out of luck during March and April when it comes to gardening and motorcycle riding.  And believe me, with the winter we're going through, I need those activities badly.  
Of course, while I'm in bed wide awake pondering such problems, at some point I start thinking of coffee.  I try shoving the thought away, but it won't leave, and I almost salivate thinking how good my Eight-O'clock Coffee is going to taste.   I peek at the clock and see I still have a half-hour until I'm allowed to get out of bed, and I start pondering my grandchildren's affairs, wondering how any of them are going to survive in this messed-up world.  I shove that out of my head and start thinking of stupid things I've said and done in the past that I wish I could take back, even things from my childhood.    
I've talked to a lot of folks who have trouble sleeping through the night; it seems to be a common problem with women middle-aged and beyond.  At least I don't have to go to work all blurry-eyed any more.  I suppose that's the bright side.  
If I have several problem nights in a row, I will take an over-the-counter sleep aid, and that often gives me a decent night's sleep.  I don't take Tylenol P.M. like many folks do because I don't have pain... only sleeplessness,  And I don't take sleep aids often because I don't want to develop a dependence on them.  Besides, they leave me feeling rather groggy for a couple of hours the next day.   
So here I sit blathering away on the keyboard, trying to decide if I should cancel my appointment with the orthopedist, or if I should go ahead and consult her, perhaps telling her I want to wait until November to do anything major.  
I'm going to go get another cup of coffee while I'm figuring that out.


Anonymous said...

Guess I am not so weird after all...because other than looks and where we live...we could be twins!!! Sleep...all way...haven't for years...but have found the more I fight it..the worse I make I just go with the flow!! works for me!! hugs from Ora..

MissKris said...

It's funny you should blog about this today because I've been awake since 12:30 am and up since 1:30! Too keyed up after some personal issues yesterday to go back to sleep. I think I mentioned Menoquil to you before and it does wonders to help me ease into sleep at nite, just one before bedtime. All natural ingredients, no side effects. Most nites now it's lights out within 15 minutes of lying down, and if I do wake up in the nite I usually slide right back down into sleep. Might be worth a try! Ironically, even another blog friend had a sleepless nite, too! Must be epidemic amongst us women of a certain age, haha!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm glad you did look on the BRIGHT side there. Thankfully you don't have to go off to work. Soon I'll be able to say the same. The first week of April is the last for me and I'm looking forward to it for sure. I wake up sometimes for the bathroom, but go back to sleep. Sometimes I just need to turn over and give my hip a rest. I'm sure I'd hold off on that surgery til late fall when you have to be inside anyway. Nice weather, sunshine and all are just to precious to miss out on. We've been waiting all winter.
Take care and enjoy that coffee. I'm at work and am going now to put on a pot of coffee here.

Debbie said...

You and I have the same lives! I've been married for 31 years and he's been on nights for the last 15
I have no sleep schedule anymore and I can't say it's done much for my health. I find myself doing the same things you do. The word 'insomnia' got my attention on another blog. I think it gives me too much time to think:)

Toon said...

Try a magnesium supplement once a day. It aids in muscle relaxation and we don't get enough of it. Melatonin is wonderful too if you don't mind the weird dreams.

Your son said...

It amazes me how many of our female friends don't sleep worth a damn. I get up at 6 and check facebook to find posts from all hours from several of our friends. Deb has had that problem in the past, but not lately. That is one problem I'd have to get help with, because I don't deal with a lack of sleep very well.

Lindie said...

We never had a tv in our bedroom but after my husband died I got one. I wake up about 3 every night and turn it on and since I have several old movies on the DVR I just put one of them on and close my eyes and listen to it, since I know the story, I just go right back to sleep. I get at least another 2 hours of sleep anyway! On the knee thing, I know what you mean. I was about ready for my knee surgery but I have two grandchildren graduating in May and my therapy will still be going on if I have it soon, so think I will wait until fall. If my knees will allow the wait, I guess!

Anonymous said...

Oh Donna, Big sigh~~ First off, this is the positive side. You walk daily and your weight isn't an issue. The not so positive side, you maybe be out of commission for 6-8 weeks. My Mom had the surgery and broke her femur. As a result, her platelets being so low she died. I know ya'll enjoy your rides and gardening and flowers. Do you think this is the time to schedule it? It's your decision just think about all your options.


Tipper said...

I enjoy sleep so much-that I feel bad for anyone who has insomina. My husband has suffered from it his entire life. Me-he says it's 30 seconds till snore : )and I hardly ever wake before morning.

Hope you get some rest!!