Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Is Everyone Sleeping But Me?

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I've always been a champion sleeper.  I slept through the night at only a couple months old and I've yet to outgrow napping.  When I was younger, I could polish off twelve hours of sleep with less effort that it takes some people to finish seven.  And I've never met a moving vehicle I couldn't snooze in.

But for the last couple of years, as I've started wading into the murky waters of middle age, there have been nights when sleep eludes me.  Thanks to the random updating power of Facebook, I know I'm not alone.  Many of my peers have posted things like "1 a.m. and still wide awake! Don't know why.  So frustrating!"  Or, "Woke up at 3:30 and couldn't go back to sleep.  Will there be enough coffee to get me through the day?!"  (My friends are always worried if their coffee will come through for them in a jamb.  I don't drink coffee, so I know I'm on my own.)

And when I wrote "peers" above, I meant women.  You never see a dude post "I've tried everything and just can't fall asleep.  Guess I'll fold the laundry for my wife since I'm awake anyway."  As a matter of fact, if you see that post, get right with the Lord immediately because the end is surely nigh.

Women have a lot more trouble powering their brains down at night.  Probably because there's so much more voltage running through ours, and there are multiple processes to shut down.  It isn't even necessarily worrying that keeps us up.  Like last night, I was watching TV and got tired and droopy-eyed around 10:00.  I checked on the kids, brushed my teeth, and burrowed into bed.  Then my conscious started acting like a two year old!  You know how a toddler can come back out of the room like a dozen times after you put them to bed, with each excuse being more trivial than the one before?  My mind was doing that last night.

First it went through tomorrow's (today's) schedule.  Okay, so I'll get up and make breakfast for everyone and pack lunches and pick out clothes.  I'll drop the kids off at school then come back to the house and run three miles.  Then I'll have to shower real quick, no time to do my hair - as always, and drive over to the church for that meeting.  Then I'll come home and pick up the stuff for Stretch's end of the year party and head to that.  Oh, gotta remember to talk to her friend's mom about a playdate.  Then I'll have a couple of hours to put away dishes and vacuum, but I need to stop by the store and exchange those shorts first.  Hey, I wonder if there are any cute tops at Loft?

Then my mind pulls the classic toddler trick:  I'm thirsty!  After a cold drink, ideas start popping into my head for that meeting at church.  At first very applicable ones, like team building exercises and announcements we need to make for Sunday morning.  Then I start writing commercials in my head and casting friends' kids in them.  I begin to imagine we have some kind of special effects A/V genius on call at church who can make a very moving video montage that will get everyone giving more to the Backpack Buddies program.  Suddenly my imagination is borrowing from Michael Jackson and friends "We Are the World" video, circa 1985, to end world hunger.  CONSCIOUS, GET BACK IN YOUR ROOM AND GO TO SLEEP!

Things go on like this for a long time.  I start to worry I won't get enough sleep and to calm my worries, I look at the clock every forty-five seconds.  Oh no, it's almost midnight.  Oh no, it's 12:01!  Now I need a new plan for tomorrow.  Okay, I'll get up and make breakfast; the kids can just buy lunch.  I'll drop them off at school then take a quick nap before the meeting.  If I don't exercise, I can skip the shower and just put on a little make-up.

At like 2:00 in the morning, I decided I should take an Advil PM thinking surely it would help me sleep.  WARNING:  Do not take a sleep aid if you have to wake up in five hours!!  I was only semi-conscious when I got up and fed the kids.  Who knows what they wore to school today.  I wore pajamas when I was dropping them off, I do remember that.  I gambled big on Coke Zero to keep me awake during the important parts of the day and used the rest of my time to sleep it off.  Now I'm worried that I took too many cat naps today and I won't be able to fall asleep tonight.

Where oh where is the easy slumber of my youth?!  Has it gone the way of my elbow skin elasticity?

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