Ever since I hit The Big M (menopause), The Sandman has been like a long lost friend who remains mostly lost. Haven’t seen him in a while, but I have fond memories. I once relished eight good hours of sleep after he visited. Now I’m lucky if I get five.
Oh, the joys of insomnia. In fact, I’m writing this on my laptop in bed at 3:18 a.m. At least I’m accomplishing something constructive tonight (if you call this blog constructive).
The thing I dislike most about The Big M is the disruption in sleep. Night sweats were a breeze compared to this. So you wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat like pretty much everyone who lives in Florida this time of year. What’s the problem? Simply change your nightie then go back to bed.
The operative words in the previous paragraph are: you wake up. From that we can safely deduce you were once asleep. And that, to quote Martha Stewart, is a good thing.I tell ya, when The Sandman neglects to visit, all sorts of changes occur. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I’m a crank-pot without sleep. You’d have to ask my animals and any friends I have left. But I can definitely say my energy level is lacking.
I’ve talked myself out of working out at the gym for months now and even though I’m participating in a 35 mile rolling-hill bike ride in mid-August, I’ve yet to get out there and actually ride; I just know those knolls will feel like mountains to me.Somehow, I still make it to tennis three days a week and chase that little yellow ball, but jogging takes too much energy. “I’ll do it later,” is my favorite saying when I’ve had little sleep. Later. Don’t you just love the sound of that?Needless to say, I’ve become a mass of fleshy mush with nary a muscle in sight. Hence, I avoid all mirrors and expunge bathing suits whenever possible. Nobody deserves to witness cellulite jiggling along with me like jellyfish stuck to my thighs. (You can thank me for not including a detailed photo here.)
Back to The Sandman…
So I’m always late to bed and late getting up; however, every now and then life says, Oh no you don’t! On those occasions, I rise with all the other worker bees and pretend I’m a responsible human being. Sometimes I’m able to pull it off. Most times not.
Usually I’m in bed by midnight but The Sandman is often busy elsewhere. My routine: I watch Letterman till 12:35 a.m. Still wide awake, I either do some writing or read on my Kindle. An hour later I’m getting sleepy but still not ready to slumber. So I do a Sudoku puzzle then turn off the lights around 2:00 a.m.
Sometimes I’ll fall asleep quickly, but usually not. I’ve tried Sleepytime tea, soft music, no music, no TV, no reading, no writing. Still, no sleep. And when I do finally enter that blissful state of unconsciousness, I wake up at precisely 3:11 a.m. I ask you, what’s that all about?
Then the cycle starts again. I read, write, watch TV. But there are only so many infomercials I can tolerate. I’m simply not in the mood to buy Ginsu steak knives at 4:00 a.m. Who is?Yes, I believe I’ve scoped out every program on TV between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 a.m. and I’m here to tell you it’s mighty slim pickins.
I miss Clark Howard. He had the most informative TV show weekdays from 3:00 to 4:00 a.m. I soaked up his money tips while the rest of you were getting that oh-so-important REM sleep.
So although you may be more rested, I bet you don’t know the optimum time to buy airline tickets, how to get free or discounted prescription drugs, or where to shop for the best computer deals. I, on the other hand, do.
But then my man Clark got moved to when I’m finally drifting into la-la land. That’s right. While you’re coming out of your deep, relaxing sleep, I’m finally falling into mine. Trouble is, there isn’t much night left.
By 4:00 a.m. I’m finally fast asleep, but with the hour I grabbed previously and the four I get once I’m dreaming, I’m not what you’d call “sharp” by 8:00 a.m., when I need to be up and at ‘um. But hey, isn’t that why lattes were invented?I don’t think I’m asking for much. Just once in a while I’d like to wake up after eight full, glorious, uninterrupted hours of dreamy slumber, wipe the sleep from my eyes, and relish in the knowledge that The Sandman hasn’t forgotten me after all.