Tuesday, 20 November 2007

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Lol well sleep has always been an issue for me or for people around me. For the most part, its more of a problem for other people who seem to think that me being awake all night is bad, simply because it isnt the same as the majority of the population. Doesnt matter at all to them that my best work is done at night, my housework is more consistently up to date when done at night, and that I am by far a safer driver at night, not that I am unsafe during the day, but you try getting up only 2 hours after you went to bed at night and see how safe you feel you are, are your reflexes slower? Thats what I worry about when dragging myself out of bed at 8.30am to do a school run.

My lack of sleeping to societies ideals of acceptable hours is not from lack of trying.

My father apparently tried his damndest to get me to sleep each night, reading book after book, using all the tricks like warm milk, dimmer lights etc, apparently in the end he gave up, fitted out the loungeroom with a comfy chair for him, plenty of toys and books for me and locked the both of us in there so he could doze in the chair secure in the knowledge I couldnt dissapear or harm myself whilst i ran round him in circles all night, building towers with blocks and "reading" to myself. This is what has been described to me as my nightly activities as a toddler.

As a child and older teen I spent most nights awake, reading or simply laying there. For many years terrified of the dark, so totally unable to fall asleep without a light. I would fall asleep shortly after dawn and then have a full on day at school to come home and nap somewhere during the afternoon (anywhere in fact, i fell asleep in a tree and rolled out of it, only a metre to the ground, but I still remember the shock of waking up hitting the sand in the sandpit face down).

After having children, my nighttime wakefullness was useful, with my first child not being able to wake himself to go to the toilet until he was 8 years old, I spent many hours either changing wet sheets and wet sleeping child or carrying (and then puppet walking as he got bigger) a still sleeping child to the toilet as well as catching the errant sleepwalker to make sure he didnt pee in the dishwasher or next to the toilet etc. My daughter while being able to toilet train herself quite early, often needs asthma reliever medication during the night and the errant sleepwalker was quite severe with his night time asthma as well as night terrors, so being alert and awake all night was much easier than trying to sleep and getting broken sleep.

This however was not "normal or acceptable" in the eyes of my ex, and got me quite a bit of harrassment, put downs and even punishment (having him not speak to me for days etc). It also went against the grain of family members who considered me lazy and abnormal for sleeping during the day.

Currently my night time wakefullness serves a purpose, the study for my degree, which is not easily acheived with kids awake and asking questions or bugging each other, or even just playing and occasionally requesting snacks, so it is much easier to study after they have gone to bed.

My dbf is more accepting of my sleep patterns, although gets irritated when he wants company and I cannot keep my eyes open no matter how i try. He does accept it helps with the study but at the end of the semester, when i am on "holidays" expects me to be around more during daylight hours.

This is where the tricky bit comes in, Sleep Retraining. It takes several days to turn my pattern around at the best of times, often it takes longer. This time around it is taking longer, it appeared to have worked after just 5 days, and then after 2 nights of "normal" sleep, my body reverted (partly in blame is the power failure that turned the fan off, which woke me early and then I couldnt go back to sleep that night).

So at the moment I am getting tired at 11pm, but cant actually sleep. Lying down is restful for the body, but my brain goes absolutely haywire which eventually ends in me having to get up. The worst part is, that this is the first time in years that I havent HAD to be awake most of the night due to Mr Moo having nightmares, asthma attacks, sleepwalking, bedwetting, toileting or anything else and I STILL CANT SLEEP!! It is totally unfair lol.

To this end I am about to retry a naturopathic/homeopathic remedy, one which covers hormones and a few other things, I can't tell you exactly what is in it, other than it was personally made for me based on blood work, history etc and was meant to try and help balance things like pms, but had the shocking side effect of knocking me out within 20 minutes of taking it (something that none of the heavy duty sleeping tablets ever managed). This unfortunately happened right before exam week in june, so had to be stopped, but now that I dont HAVE to stay awake and study, I shall be once again becoming a guinea pig to see if it can help me sleep, and fix the rotten hormonal imbalances that have been plagueing me for years.

I will bore you all with the details of its success or failure at a later date. At the moment I am heading back to bed in the hope of 2 hours sleep (I did spend until 5.30am in bed, I just havent managed any sleep). Thankfully DBF can take DD to school for me this morning. LOL now I just have to work out how to get housework done on a regular basis during the day without getting sidetracked.

1 comment:

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