I love sleep. Almost as much as I love eating. I’ve never had much stamina or stay-up-late superpowers. When my brain says it’s time, I don’t simply drift off slowly to sleep, I crash into it. I plunge off the cliff of consciousness deep into the land of nod and usually stay there for at least seven hours of zzzzz. And now that my kids are older, their night time interruptions are few and far between, fortunately.
But the irony is now I am my own night time disruption and it is so, so annoying.
It started a few months back and happens roughly every five nights. I crash into sleep as per normal but awake about two hours later – and cannot fall back asleep. I usually lie there staring at the ceiling for about three hours until, somehow, sleep welcomes me back for what little remains of the night. It sucks big time.
Often what prompts my waking is my active digestive system or a cramp in my foot or calf (or the twitchy threat of it.) My heart starts to race as I stress about whether I’m getting sick. My mind plays cat and mouse with the cramp that’s threatening. It says “Don’t move a muscle.” But muscles ignore it and twitch.
Then my brain kicks in. And the opportunity to roll over back into slumber evaporates. Sometimes even there’s a tune running on repeat in my head and I can’t find the off button. Of course, like an idiot, I then turn to my iPhone, to Facebook and Twitter for distraction.
I’ve read many advice columns about insomnia and how to deal with it. I only drink one cup of caffeine a day, first thing. I try to eat dinner before 8pm. I know more exercise would probably help but I’m a yo-yo exerciser. I should probably snack on a banana and milk before bed time to boost potassium and calcium intake and ward off the cramps.
I don’t want to take any medications. On the rare occasion I’ve tried a Tylenol PM or similar, it has the opposite effect on me and makes my heart race. I’ll probably find a herbal remedy of sorts.
But seriously, this sucks. All I want to do is sleep and sleep well. I welcome any advice.