If you can't sleep, then don't sleep
Equally insomniac Thomas Edison didn’t even bother having a bed, and merely reclined in an easy chair in his lab in hopes of grabbing at least a little shut eye.
I might add, despite the bleatings of ‘sleep experts’ that both gentlemen lived to a very venerable age and were pretty darn functional throughout.
Margaret Thatcher said she only need three hours per during her tenure as British PM, although her daughter has revealed that Mum, at age 83 has sadly gone rather dotty. I don’t think extra shut-eye would have prevented that, however.
This convoluted intro is just my means of saying that I had a nasty bout of insomnia last night. Maybe logged three hours max. This isn’t a normal occurrence for me, since I generally sleep OK, albeit I awaken ridiculously early.
But, last night was one of those nights. We turned in about 9 just to watch TV in the bedroom. After our bout of Criminal Intent, we turned to our books and read for about a half hour. By 10:30 my eyes were glazing over and sleep was at hand, I knew it was. I ‘knew’ wrong. At 11:30 I was still awake. It was then I decided that, rather than disturb my partner by any restlessness, I would depart for the other bedroom. By 12:30 I was still awake. And so it went.
At about 1 I went and got a glass of milk. No effect. At 2 I exited for the living room couch. I lay there and I lay there. There was so much light from the streetlamp that I had to go and get my sleep mask. And then there was traffic. I live in a quiet residential neighborhood. WTF were people doing cruising about at 2 a.m.?
How was I to get to sleep? I no longer drink, so I couldn’t use booze. Heroin is noted for its unavailability in our house. I took a Tylenol. I don’t think that made one iota of difference. It was all infuriating. I wasn’t feeling particularly stressed. My mind wasn’t racing. It’s just that the elusive Zs had no desire to manifest themselves for me.
Then I went to sleep for a while. I knew I had because I had a weird dream about my second wife and my stepdaughter. Neither of them was particularly nice to me in the dream. So, I awakened about 3 and, since I’d been asleep I assumed it was safe to go back to bedroom #2. It was, and I went back to sleep until about 6:30 and then was fully awake.
Did I get sufficient sleep? Hardly. Will it kill me? Unlikely. But, it has left me feeling a bit trashed for the day. Now, of course, I am already trepidatious about tonight, and have brought to mind an old adage about sleeplessness. It seems to answer the question about insomnia:
“If you can’t sleep, then don’t sleep.” Isn’t that easy?
Meanwhile, if you suffer from insomnia, what do you do to get to sleep?
Labels: The curse of wakefulness