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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Howling at the Moon

I love sleep--really, really love it. I need about 7 hours a night to function well and I reward myself with naps when I can--which isn't very often. Sunday afternoon is nap time and we are as religious about it as we are with going to church. There is no doubt that my best days follow a good night's sleep. It's important to me.

Well, I'm having a hard time sleeping this week. It's like I'm just not really sleeping--I'm in this hovery dream state where I'm annoyed with myself because I know I'm not getting rest, but I'm watching this weird thing play out. But it's been three or four nights and I'm tired dangit!

I think it might have something to do with the full moon--I noticed in November that I had a hard time sleeping during the full moon and now I'm having a hard time again which gives me permission to obsess. Stay with me here;

I worked as a night-shift CNA in high-school and through the old folks I took care of I learned a great respect for rhythm--rhythm of the daily routine, rhythm of the human body, and rhythms of the world at large. There was a disorder called Sundowners, where Granny and Gramps who were sweet and wonderful during the day, would literally go crazy when the sun went down. I didn't beleive it till I saw it--and holy schmokes was it scary. Not all old people were affected, but probably 30% of the people in my nursing home were thrown off by some version of Sundowners. Most just got confused, but there were a couple that became freaking ax murderers (especially the guy that really had been an ax murderer). On regular nights it was annoying, but during the full moon things were just bonkers. We CNAs would check the schedule at the first of the month to see who was scheduled to work the Alzhiemer's unit over the full moon--we deserved time and a half, but never got it. It would build in the days before the moon was full, then explode that night.

So, I'm thinking that might be what I have--except that would mean I should be sane come morning.

So maybe I'm watching too much TV--I really, really, really like TV and become really sucked in these last few weeks. I spent three days watching extreme wieght loss stories--fascinating. Today, I'm watching back to back Presley Biography's and all I gotta say is, what the *#$% were Priscilla's parent's thinking. They really thought their 17 year old daughter that had been in love with Elvis for three years stayed at the next door neighbor's house when she visted him in LA? Duh. Anyway, when I try to sleep all the stuff I've watched on TV is blurring toghther with holiday things that really happened. I don't like it. I'm tired and cranky. And lest you think my house is in shambles and my WIP is covered in cobwebs--I'm a master at using commercials to my advantage and I write while I watch TV. But it might not be healthy.

I can't take Nyquil. The last time I did, I was awake for the next 18 hours. I'm really funny with medications--they don't affect me the way the label says. Basically I stick to anything Tylenol, but I take half the dose. So Tylenol PM is a good thing, but I don't want to take that every night for the rest of my life.

So, people, help me out here. I wanna good night sleep tonight and I'm running out of ideas, but the moon is waning now (I think--it's hard to see with the clouds that keep snowing)


Momo Fali said...

I can't take Nyquil either. It keeps me up all night. I have suffered with insomnia for the last 10 years, and other than Ambien (which I took last night and STILL didn't sleep), the best thing is Benadryl. They help a lot.

Good luck! I hope we both sleep soon!

Annette Lyon said...

Advil PM? Seriously, no brilliant ideas here.

But this might explain why I've had a crappy week of sleep myself.

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

I have a brilliant idea. Take melatonin. It's natural, they sell it at GNC, and it works. Your brain makes it to make you go to sleep. Just use the 3mg. I use the 5mg but that was when my other meds made me stay awake.

Remember, depression causes insomnia. You could have SAD, which also causes insomnia. That's what I think I have. I started taking Wellbutrin XL and love it. But you can't take the generic. Get name brand if you decide that's the route to go. One of the things Wellbutrin was made for was SAD. Think about it.
You sound a lot like me.

Anna said...

I wish I could help you. I have a 4 year old that I swear sits up in bed and waits for his clock to say 7:00. He has been told that he cannot come to my bed until the clock says 7:00 (unless sick or bad dream). The other night he sat from his bed yelling for me. I checked on him, and he told me he wanted to come to my bed. It was 6:45. He woke me up to tell me that he wanted it to be 7:00.

And, I'm having a baby tomorrow. Yay!!! So there goes what sleep I have been getting. Not that you get much sleep those last few days of pregnancy....

Ward said...

No help for you Josi, sorry, but if you're up watching TV check out Psych. Have you seen it? Ward and I seriously love it and we never love TV. We are even checking out past episodes from Blockbuster. It makes me laugh and maybe if you laugh hard enough you'll get tired enough to sleep. I can't wait to come next week. I'm really planning on it, if they haven't fried my esophogas (sp?) to pieces. Anne

Melanie Jacobson said...

Wow, Josi! Wer'e on the same trippy wavelength, I think, because

1) I posted about my awesome TV commercial efficiency today and

2) I've been doing the same weird hover dream thing.

I guess that gives your moon theory some credence. Or at least, I'm going to give it some!

Brooke said...

I wish I could help you, but I have the same dumb problem. I love my sleep, but can't get any. Good luck with that!

Karlene said...

Lately, I can get to sleep but can't stay asleep. I have to get up MULTIPLE times to go to the bathroom. It's worse than having a newborn. Seriously, one night it was every two hours on the dot!

But the moon thing. I think you have something there...moon controls the tides, which is water, which is...never mind.

Wish I had some good ideas for you.

ali cross said...

That was fascinating Josi. I mean, about the Sundowners and the full moon keeping you from getting your best rest. Neat. I think I smell a story in there somewhere. And ax-murderers. Cool.

And ITA with the rest AND TV, lol. They are like my secret vices that I don't tell anyone about. Except for now, I guess, lol.

But I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions for how you can get a better sleep. I wish I knew.

Good luck with that!

Crystal said...

um, so basically you are admitting your an old person who "wacks" out at night but relatively sane come morning except you are especially bad because you are cranky come morning...hmmmm. PLUS you have somewhat pathetic addiction to lame t.v. shows during the day--well except for commercial breaks where you check in with reality? I'm seriously concerned.

I just read "Austenland" by Shannon Hale--SO GOOD! Do you know her or read her stuff? Let me know during your commercial breaks ;)

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

I forgot to mention that you can buy Melatonin at Walmart too. It's just that GNC sells a timed release one. Some people like that.

My little niece who has autism has to take one every night or they can't get her to go to sleep.

Anyway, it's worth a try.

Carolyn said...

Warm bath, warm milk, and chocolate. Plus a few songs that make your insides melt.

I'm happy I found your blog. I love your writing. It is hard to find people that make sense to me and keep me reading.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who doesn't believe in the phases of the moon should work either in a nursing home, which you have, or a bank, which I have. Either one will prove the weirdos come out with the full moon!

I'm with Carolyn - warm milk is the best thing in the world for helping you sleep.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I agree with the melatonin idea. It works wonders. My son used to wake up every night around two or three and not be able to get back to sleep and I'm talking a thirteen year old. We finally put him on melatonin for a couple months and then took him off. It regulated his sleep enough that now he hardly ever needs it.

As for the moon thing, I remember my mom working for a hospital that was located on the border of an indian reserve. She said full moon nights were always like something out of a horror movie. More accidents, more stabbings, more crazy people, etc. The rest of the time things were normal and quiet. Strange.

Luisa Perkins said...

I'm late to the party, so I hope you did better last night. When I can't sleep, I have to go with it. Usually I'm not sleeping because I'm obsessing over a story idea.

I get up and write until I'm sleepy--which sometimes isn't until the next day. It's very bad, but at least I feel like I've made use of the time and the inspiration.

I know: not helpful AT ALL.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I've never heard of sundowners. That would make a good story.

And I too wondered what kind of parents Priscilla had. Elvis must have paid them well.

As for sleeping, I can't help you. I'm having sleep problems myself.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Unisom (don't take a full tablet, start with a half or a fourth). Costco sells the generic brand.

I hope you get some rest soon ... and I hope I get some, too :) !!