Sunday, March 7, 2010

Can't Sleep?

I’d been in bed since ten o’clock. It’s now eleven thirty-nine. For some reason, I can’t sleep.

My days typically start at 6 a.m., or 7 a.m. on the weekend. With three kids, a husband, and a dog, I’m busy taking care of their needs, plus my own, which results in nonstop movement until I go to bed at night. While I have the option to take a nap, I don’t. I prefer to go full speed all day with an immediate crash as soon as I finish reading a chapter or two of a good book while lying in bed, preferably by 10.

It’s Saturday. Today began with group training for an upcoming 10k. We started at 8 a.m. and ran over seven miles. Afterwards, I did an errand, came home, cooked breakfast, ate, showered and shampooed, folded laundry, ate leftovers for lunch, helped squeamish first child use the neti pot, talked to my kids and second child’s friend who slept over, put more air in the tires of two bikes for second child and friend, helped third child wrap a birthday present, took third child to the corresponding birthday party, searched high and low for old dance recital pictures for first child’s Spanish assignment, decluttered by trashing more of the useless paper in my office - piece by piece, wolfed down a quick mini-meal, picked up third child from the birthday party, trashed more paper, put on PJs, got in bed, read my book, turned off light…this is the part where I was supposed to fall asleep within two minutes.

It didn’t happen.

So I was lying there, tossing and turning, trying to figure out why I couldn’t sleep. Each child came in at five minute intervals and kissed me good-night - a comfort - but not enough to send me to dreamland.

Today, my husband and I realized we are going to have to make a big family decision very soon. I was thinking about it. Is “this” contributing to my sleeplessness?

The long run today and the constant movement, plus yesterday’s very busy day, which included horseback riding – is “this” the reason? Am I over-stimulated?

I also took third child for a horseback riding lesson yesterday (at a separate time from my lesson). I was thinking about that, and if I can keep it up. It’s another activity added to “Mom’s taxi-cab” route. Plus, first child is starting lacrosse on Monday. Gotta get on the phone and get the carpool organized.

All these thoughts going through my head…but you know what? I’m just plain ol’ hungry; like a baby who hasn’t had her last feeding. Soooo…I’m heading downstairs to find something filling, and then I’ll try it again.

What causes you not to be able to sleep?

Page down to the previous post, "Smiley Face Happiness Question" or click here, and give some thought to what your overall personality is like.


Anonymous said...

Too many things, too numerous to mention all?
1. aches and pain
2. hot flashes-ugh
3. fretting about some embarrassment, unhappiness, anger, disappointment.
4. worrying about my child.
5. indigestion.
6. spouse snoring.
7. dog waking and barking.
8. that "spinning thoughts" feeling.
9. excitement
10. a trip or important appointment the next day, necessitating having to get up extra early (ironic, eh?)
11. sinuses...
the more important question: what helps me sleep?
1. hot chocolate.
2. exercise during the day.
3. working in the garden.
4. having made something that day (a craft, a bean trellis)
5. and, the best way to fall asleep........well, this is a family blog.
garden gal

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Anita, what keeps me up at night is my 3 1/2 year old talking or yelling out in her sleep. I find that I lay in bed half awake listening for her while also being ready to spring into action to quiet her down before she wakes up my hubby.

I know I shouldn't, but it does keep me half awake, other thing that keeps me awake is thinking about what to blog about Lol!

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

my brain, like yours, seems to run in a full circle all the time. sometimes i have to turn the tv on, down loooow, to give me some noise to listen to to doze off. then i will wake up and turn it off and go back to sleep and sleep until morning. just need the 'white noise' i guess to clear the brain!

Bernie said...

Hope you can sleep tonight, nothing worse than not being able to fall asleep.....:-) Hugs

Anonymous said...

I'm torn between menopause and a snoring husband. I adore my husband but not when he's taking down the rafters. I'm in menopause and I'm trying very hard not to take any meds.

All in all, it could be a lot worse. There's worse things than not sleeping.

Unknown said...

What keeps me from sleeping is my mind racing. It really takes reading a book until I'm relaxed and tired enough to go to sleep. Even then, I have to just not over think things.

Hope grabbing a snack did the trick.

Buckeroomama said...

Iced tea past 3pm... and editing photos and blogging!

Cathy said...

Hello Anita
I normallly sleep quite well but apart from the man I share the beed with playing steam trains with his nose the only other thing that would keep me awake ( and its my own doing as well) and waste an hours sleep often at 2am - is I lie there wondering, do I need to or don't I - will I fall alseep or won't I - should I get up and do a pee lol
Take care

Robin said...

Awww that stinks Anita..maybe calming down with meditation or soothing bath helps quite a bit..otherwise Im not too good on helping others sleep well..hubs doesnt and I do..except for 1 or 2 nights around ..ya know.."flo"..when Im worried though that keeps me I try to write it all down and save a time to look at it..ya know the "worry time" deal with it then rip it up..that used to help...not sleeping seems very rampant lately..hence all the sleeping aids..but do they really work..??

One Photo said...

I have to read in bed, for at least 15 minutes before I try and go to sleep at night. I love reading but since becoming a Mom I get little or no time for that. So when I get into bed I am looking forward to reading a good book (currently The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and in so doing letting all the thoughts of the day just gone by leave my head as I immerse myself for a little while in someone else's world. If I don't read then you can be sure sleep will prove elusive - I start going over the things that happened that day, or writing a mental "to do" list for tomorrow of all the things I forgot to already put on the "to do" list etc etc. So for me, reading is the key to a good night's sleep. The other thing that works is several glasses of wine which is what I had last night on a rare MNO (having pregnant friends means you don't have to drive!). I always sleep really well then, however the headache this morning is not to be recommended!

Anita said...

GARDEN GAL - I laughed throughout reading your entire list, and then some! My family probably wondered what was so funny. You ended on a 'good' note. :)

MENONEWMOM - Isn't it interesting how part of the mom's job is to keep the kids quiet so the dad can sleep.
Well, I guess if we need his paycheck, we gotta keep'em happy. :)

I think out blog subjects too, in some of the strangest places. :)

KALYNN - No TV in my bedroon...maybe I need one for the occasional sleepless night. :)

BERNIE - thank you...yes I was back to my good night's sleep the next night. :)

MARLA - Yep, menopause can getcha. :) I went through a phase of waking up 2 or 3 times, but the phase lasted less than 6 months. Hope your 'phase' will end soon.
Now what do you do about the husband's snoring?
hmmm.... :)

CHOCOLATE - Yes, my "hearty" snack did the trick...after typing my draft for this post.
Thanks :)

BUCKAROOMAMA - I don't do the caffeine either. My cut off time may be a little later though - about 6 p.m.

CATHY - lol...yes, the "wondering what we should do" takes about an hour. Why don't we just get up!
Fortunately, I'm usually a good sleeper.

ROBIN - Thankfully, I don't get hit with the sleeplessness often, so I haven't had to use anything. But I have tried the hot bath when I want to guarantee falling asleep.
Gotta give those tips to my husand though...sometimes it takes him a while to nod out.

AGING MOMMY - Glad you have a few "fun" sleep aid methods. :)
Gotta write that book title down for a future possible read.


Anonymous said...

Right now its my big ol' baby belly that keeps me up! Other than that, I do need some unwind time like you to be able to go to sleep and normally I then just fall asleep!

Kate said...

I liked this post. It's reassuring to know that my life is not the only crazy, chaotic one on the planet. I often hold the promise of reading my book secretly all day as I'm rushing around and then fall asleep after reading a paragraph! But I do often wake in the small hours and then I cannot go back to sleep!!!

So what keeps me awake at night?

1. My awful sciatica
2. Hot flushes
3. Anxiety - specifically about my cancer returning, generally about everything else!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a bad case of "Brain-Race". Your mind won't rest causing you to lay there wide eyed staring at the ceiling. I get this sometimes too. As a counselor many of my clients experience trouble sleeping. It sounds like for the most part you have pretty good sleeping hygiene. Something that might help you when you experience this is some deep breathing. As you inhale say the word "calm" as you exhale say the word "relax". If your mind wanders, redirect it back to the exercise. Another good tip is to start at your head, tense all the muscles on your face then relax them, follow up by doing the same with your shoulders on down to your toes.

If this doesn't work for you, getting up and then trying again is usually a good practice. I liked that you got up and blogged because that not only gave your body and mind a chance to reboot for sleep but also got some of the things on your mind into written form where they were expressed and hopefully released from your mind.

I hope that helps and good luck =-)
Sleep well

Rebecca S. said...

Now that my kids are getting older, I am waking up earlier. I think I am generally well rested - for the first time since before I had babies. I just don't seem to need quite as much sleep as before. One night I'll sleep for 8 hours and the next I'll sleep for 6 1/2 and that'll be enough.
I have to maintain a delicate balance with the caffeine, though. If I'm doing lots of physical labour like tree-trimming, and house-cleaning I can afford more caffeine, but post-run coffee seems like an injection of speed into my bloodstream so I have to avoid that. I also have to take a break from coffee every so often because the caffeine seems to accumulate in me and affect my sleep. Reading at night is key as many of your commenters have said already, but I also find a bath with a few drops of lavendar oil calming.
Life is hectic right now - your days read a lot like mine, thus the commiserating long-winded comment!

Dorraine said...

I'm sorry to hear about your sleep troubles. Gosh, you wore me out just reading your post. I'm past those constant running days with two out of the nest now, but some days are certainly busier than others.

But still, there are nights I worry about everything under the sun. It's hard to shut down. I think that's pretty normal. At least for me it is.

Hope you get some rest tonight. ZZZZZ....

Claire Gibson King said...

Ahh, I hate when that happens. It is just the worst. Maybe you need to read a really bad bad that it makes you fall asleep. Sometimes you just have those kind of nights...I try not to get myself to worked up about it when it happens. I tell myself that at least I am resting and that I know I will be fine the next day and that the next night with hopefully be a great night sleep. Good luck tonight and sweet dreams...xo

Hilary said...

Coffee after 4pm will have me up all night. School related stress, however, now that I"m no longer in school, I'm drifting off to sleep pretty easily. Snoring -- hate to put him on blast, but my DH is the WORST when it comes to snoring. Being too hot -- I get night sweats like I'm outside exercising in the noon day sun. I'm likely to drown one night. Some how, though, in the midst of all of these things, I manage to get about 6 to 7 hours a night. Not always uninterrupted, but that's another comment for another day.

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

Since I hit perimenopause I am the house ghost at night. I blame it on hormones and after some study, found out that I was not too far off. Working with a doctor right now to get things back on track. I know how you feel not being able to sleep! ugh!

Abby said...

I think it's ironic that the times when I have trouble sleeping are the times where I need it the most - when I'm busy and overworked!

For me, I think it's when my brain is overstimulated. If I'm relaxed, I can sleep even if I've had caffeine not long before bedtime. Sleeplessness usually happens when I'm thinking too much. Luckily, that hardly ever happens!

Anita said...

TRISH - The birth of your daughter is going to extend your night awakenings. But she's number 3, so you already know that. :)

KATE - Yes, you have plenty of company. :) And also, remember, we're all survivors in one way or another.

ANONYMOUS - I'm glad people go to school and learn how to help and give advice. :)
A couple new tips in there that I hadn't heard of.
On behalf of everyone that has sleeplessness - thanks. :)

REBECCA - I can relate to what you've said. Generally, I'm also well rested. A few years ago, it became a MUST. I began to think a little more about myself and my needs, which will benefit my family, too.
A well rested and happy wife/mommy is much easier to live with. :)

DORRAINE - I'm back to sleeping well! The busyness and exercise is working again to put me directly to sleep.
I don't want to rush my children into adulthood, but I do love it as they get more and more independent.

CLAIRE - Good idea! I'd forgotten about the affects of reading a boring book. :)

HILARY - You're still fertile! You're not supposed to have night sweats. :)
Interrupted sleep? Hmmm...Perhaps you'll blog about it? lol

NAKAMURAS - Perimenopause does cause unpredictible "things." :)
Oh, the joys of being a woman.
Hope your body levels out soon.


Anita said...

ABBY - I can relate. Relaxation "is" probably what it all boils down to.
And, I think you've got something there with that "not thinking too much." I gotta work on that. lol


Cindy said...

Worry is what usually keeps me awake, I'm ashamed to say. I shouldn't worry. Nothing I fear has ever come true.

yonca said...

I usually sleep well if there is nothing stuck in my head or a bad dream:( This makes it hard for me to relax and go back to sleep again.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Maybe you're too exhausted to sleep!

As I aged, got to where I didn't sleep for two nights before my period arrived. Older - sleep issues have grown, but you were right to get up. They say if you're not asleep in 20 minutes, best to get up.

Hope you're sleeping now.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

I'm just not a sleeper. Never have been.

angsiaufang said...

I had a problem with putting my mind off at night too. Eventually I found out if I just put my body as tired as my mind... phew... I can faint quickly at night. ;)
I have to admit, you are really one busy mommy my dear! :)

Unknown said...

I definitely think the over-stimulation and the busy nature of your day can contribute to your inability to unwind....

I've suffered from the same thing and recently started taking a medication to help with it....I was a little worried about it at first, but if I don't get my shuteye, I can't function....

Annie Z said...

Good that you worked it out in the end! I can't eat late at night, 'cause then I can't sleep. It would have done the opposite for me. It is mostly a churning head that won't stop that causes insomnia. And if it turns into a pattern, I'm stuffed. Gotta get on top of it quickly!

Happy Gramma said...

Does that ever sound familar? I have come home so many times after being up all night,(sometimes 2 nights)with a mother in labor and childbirth, fall into bed and lie there wide-eyed!There is nothing more frustrating! I think, for myself, that I get too wound up and then I can't unwind.
Happy Gramma

Anita said...

HAPPY GRANDMA, that does sound frustrating! A tired body, but a mind that won't let it sleep.
Guess that's the price of being a part of the beauty and birth of a new little one.
Hope you can figure out a remedy some day.
Thanks for visiting and commenting. :)