August 07, 2004

Sleep Medicine.

I don't have anything much going on to blog about, so I figured I would just ramble at the keyboard for awhile, and see what comes out.

I had a bad bout of insomnia last night. I should have been in bed at 11:00 PM, but asit turned out, I oculdn't get to sleep until around 2:30 AM. This happens to me at least two or three times a month. If I'm lucky, it only happens for one night, but if it's a bad one, I'll go on three hours of sleep a night for up to four days. This is no good for my health, but there isn't anything I can do about it.

"Sure there is" you say? Well, I've tried over the counter sleep aids, and they don't help. I've tried drinking myself to sleep, and that doesn't help and gives me a hangover. I flatly refuse to go see a doctor about this, as they would put me on all kinds of medications that would mess me up in completely different ways. So I just deal with it.

"Why don't you blog when you're just sitting there not sleeping?" I didn't say that I wasn't tired, just that I can't get to sleep. Normally when these bouts hit me, I am so comlpetely brain fried by them, that all I can do to any degree of effectiveness is to stare at something. Book, TV, whatever. Basically, anything that requires a minimum of active participation from me. Blogging is out of the question.

"No. Seriously. Why don't you go see a doctor?" Let me put it to you this way. The last time that I had a complete "Soup to Nuts" physical examination was in the year 1989. "What!?" Yup, 1989. (If you hadn't already guessed) I don't like doctors...or Insurance companies. In my opinion, your average sawbones out there really has no vested interest in thier patients general well-being, but they will certainly attempt to fix the symptoms of most ailments. With drugs. That and they'll attempt to tell you how to change your life in order to fit thier definition of "living better" while going on and doing the things that they tell you not to do themselves. (I have first hand experience with this type of behaviour. My Uncle was an Orthopedic Surgeon. I remember that as he was in the process of dying from emphysema, he would alternate between a puff of his oxygen, and a puff off his cigarrette.)

Another thing that I dislike about doctors in general is the fact that they have allowed the insurance companies to dictate to them how they should conduct thier practice business. Try to pay a doctor in cash sometime for the service he/she has provided to you. You'll find that it is nearly impossible to do. They want your Insurance Company to pay them, instead of you. Unfortunately this has allowed the IC to dictate to the doctor what services they may or may not provide.

Wow. I didn't intend for this to turn into a diatribe against the medical profession, but I guess that's how my mind works sometimes. I guess if I'm not getting any rest, I might as well put you all to sleep.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at August 7, 2004 10:24 PM

I've had the same problem for almost 15 years now. It's kinda funny, given the fact that my job is to train people on better sleep and how important it is.

I also will not go to the doctor. I don't want that medication - I'm too afraid of getting addicted. I'll go for as long as a week on a couple hours each night. Then, on a Saturday nite, when I don't have to be up the next day, I'll end up taking a vicodin and crashing for 12 hours. That ain't so good either, but at least I get some sleep.

There is nothing worse than sitting up in the middle of the night, so tired your eyes water and just wanting nothing more than to sleep. Blissful, peaceful sleep.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this. If I learn anything new, I'll be sure and share it with you!

Posted by: Tammi at August 8, 2004 11:31 AM

I have it too. It's been getting worse, but it started about 3 years ago. My Dad has it. Always has. I remember hearing him roam the house, looking in on us kids, checking doors and windows. Looking back, he was just trying to find something to do!

I figured it was an age thing, to be honest. I'm 38. It started around age 35 or so. Also, I don't know about you, but my mind doesn't settle. I can be so tired, my stomach burns, my eyes are watering, but my mind is still racing. I don't do the caffeine thing either. It just is what it is.

Posted by: Boudicca at August 8, 2004 11:54 AM

I've been this way pretty much my whole adult life, so I'm not sure that age has anything to do with it. I've always wanted to be able to invent a PCS (Primary Cranial Shutdown) switch, so I could just turn my damn head off for awhile. Hmmn, Maybe this whole insomnia thing is caused by atually having some intelligence?

Tammi: It seems to me that you are a perfect example of the old wheeze "Those who cannot do, teach". ;^)

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at August 8, 2004 02:26 PM

As an ex - teacher, I HATE that saying. I can't drive, for example. Would YOU get in a car with me teaching you? Sorry I'm ratty. Sleep deprivation. Doesn't it make you mad when people say "Oh I sleep nine hours a night!". No one would tell a deaf person that they themselves hear perfectly well! Grrrr

Posted by: Sally at August 8, 2004 03:23 PM

Wow Sally! I thought that this story
was true until your comment. I think they may need to up the dosage in your town. ;^)

It wouldn't surprise me at all to hear some of the people I work with attempt to explain thier perfect hearing to a deaf person. Some of these folks are complete knuckleheads.

Get some rest if you can. However, if it's not possible, you are always welcome to vent your spleen in my comments.

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at August 8, 2004 07:47 PM

Johnny-Oh - you MUST be tired. You forgot to put the URL in that link tag in the previous comment :-)

There's always reverse psychology. If you can't get to sleep, just lay there and try NOT to let yourself fall asleep. Repeat to yourself that you MUST NOT drift off. If you catch your eyes closing, pop them back open. NO SNOOZING!

I don't know if it works for insomnia, but when I lay down "just for a minute", not intending to nap, nothing makes me fall asleep faster :-)

Posted by: Harvey at August 9, 2004 01:12 PM

Thanks Harvey. I guess it didn't like my html. Just copy and paste folks.

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at August 9, 2004 05:55 PM

I can identify with this all the way. I can go months sleeping fairly decent, and then for about a week and a half or a little more, I'm lucky to get 2 hours a night. Never have figured what is to blame, whether stress, diet, blah blah blah...
I'd like to believe that your theory about it being caused by intelligence was right. But I'm not sure that I would then fit into your theory at all!! :)

Posted by: That 1 Guy at August 10, 2004 12:56 AM

Thanks Johnny - Oh! I'm drinking 10 pints of water a day now! Sleeping like a baby...

Posted by: Sally at August 10, 2004 06:37 AM

Sally - Like a baby? So you're waking up every 2 hours, crying, and wetting yourself? :-P

Posted by: Harvey at August 10, 2004 02:21 PM

Okay, I'm really late to this. I have started to comment twice - and both times got sidetracked by work.

Maybe this is a family thing... I have my bouts of insomnia as well - LOL. I usually sleep about 5-6 hours a night - tops. Only if I have a migraine and take medication, do I sleep longer. BTW - re sleep meds - I'm glad you don't take them! They get you to sleep, but you don't dream - proven fact. You sleep, but the quality is very low. Once you go off the meds, you generally have really intense dreams that interfere with your sleep pattern too.

Anyhow, when I can't sleep I have a stretching routine that I will do - all lights off naturally, and it takes about 15 minutes. Once I do that, I can usually go back to bed and relax enough to sleep some. If you want any details - let me know - I'd be happy to share. *grin*

Since I never ever fall asleep immediately on going to bed, it generally takes me until about 2:30 or 3 am to figure out that I need to do the stretching to get any sleep at all - you'd think I'd just do the routine every night. Yeah, that would be smart... no I'm not that smart... LOL.

Posted by: Teresa at August 12, 2004 03:30 PM