Yup, I’ve got it and I’ve had it most of my life. My mother said it was because I was born a night owl, whatever the hell that means – apparently it’s genetic or something. But unlike the fact of being ‘trained’ out of being left handed as child (lest I grow up to be a maniacal killer or something) there wasn’t any Dr. Spock on this.
When I was kid, I used to just daydream at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I’d imagine myself in all kinds of mystical and magical places. From William Tell’s dinner table to the Taj Mahal. I led a rather exciting life in my imagination as you can probably guess. And just as I began to her the chirpy little birds begin to wake is when I would finally drop off. Only to be shocked awake by Ma yelling for us to wake up. Breakfast was waiting, school was waiting, life was waiting. Me, I was nodding.
I also used to try reading under the blanket with a flashlight. That didn’t work out too well because I could never really get the right angle on the flashlight and we had those weird blankets that had that kind of open weave so the light was just broadcasted in a kind of prism pattern on the wall and could easily be seen at the bottom of my door. Then Dad would be grumbling about how kids ought to be asleep. Other times I’d sit in my window and watch the moon, as though it would do something like a little Fred Astaire number or perhaps a song. Ever wake up with you face on a cold window sill on a winter morning? Nope, not a pretty sight.
As a last ditch effort I would sneak out to the livingroom with my lame blanket, jack up the thermometer and sleep on the floor next to the heater vent. Something about intense heat could always make me nod off. As a teen I slept my way all the way through American History and Civics – who knew I’d grow up to be a rabble rouser and a political junkie???
Over the years I’ve more or less come to grips with the fact that I just don’t sleep all that much or all that well. Which for a while worked. Still I could never give up the ghost of finding some solution to it. I started running in order to help my sleep dysfunction – it did help and was really great for my thunder thighs and big ass – but then a car accident messed that up. Don’t you love it when a driver on crack doesn’t see you and forces you and your old Buick through a red light? Mighty exciting. Well then, talk about not being able to sleep – yeah that took couple years to get back to sleep after that but I must say the xrays of my reverse vector neck were quite pretty.
Eventually I kind of found a system of getting some sleep. A certain combination of vitamins, cutting back on caffiene, drinking more water, exercise and watching really boring television seemed to work pretty well. Some nights I could manage to get as much as seven hours.
Then there were those good years when all of sudden I could actually sleep for no reason at all. Those were fine but when they started and when they ended I couldn’t tell you. This year hasn’t been good for sleep. Too much excitement. Too many changes and this and that. But especially these last few weeks. It’s a good excitement and I’m happy about it but is it right that happiness should keep you up nights? That just seems unfair if you ask me.
Anyway, feel free to leave any tips, tricks or remedies you may know of – I’m desperate, and will try just about anything. Meanwhile, I’ll try crawling back into bed and see if I can just pass out from exhaustion.