Sunday, January 16, 2011

Insomniacs Unite-and Help Me!

by Leann Sweeney

As I write this, I could fall asleep. Problem is, the time is six-thirty PM. If I close my eyes now, I am guaranteed another night of waking up at one AM, two AM, three AM, or maybe even all of those AMs. So, I will take my chances, stay up as late as I can and hope I fall into a dreamless slumber that lasts for --gosh, I'd take 6 hours in a row. Even 5.

Last night it was the dog. First the neighbor's dog, left outside to bark his head off. Cute dog, not so cute noise. My dog sleeps in the utility room and she heard that dog barking and joined in. I turned up the volume on the book I was listening to and that helped for about an hour. I did fall asleep. But then I had to go to the bathroom. And what happens? I open the bathroom door off my bedroom--no, I didn't smack myself in the face with the door, not this time anyway--and was jumped by my own happy, rambunctious ADHD labradoodle. She got a get-out-of-jail-free card and she was thrilled. And she nearly knocked me on my butt.

Why was she in the bathroom? Oh. My husband couldn't stand her barking at the outside barker and decided to put her farther from the noise. In the bathroom. Sheesh. So I round up the dog and bring her water and her pillow back to the bathroom (husband neglected to do that) because outside barker was still going incessantly strong. Couldn't those people HEAR THEIR FRIGGIN' DOG????????????? Sorry. Apparently not.

Now, I have to add that Rosie the labradoodle loves, loves, loves my husband. And since she was now close to us, every time my husband sighed, snored or even turned over, she woke up and started whining and scratching at the door. Unlike my human children, who at this point would have been swept up and tucked between my husband and me so we could all get some sleep, the ADHD labradoodle thinks any time with us is playtime, chew time, eat time, any time but sleep time.

Besides a hefty dose of Benadryl (for the dog, maybe BOTH dogs, even for me) got any suggestions on how I might get a decent night's sleep? I suppose I should offer up all the things I have tried: drugs (prescription and non-prescription, including hormone replacement, valerian, melatonin, chamomile, antihistamines--if it says anything on the bottle about sleep, I've tried it.) I've given up coffee. I've done deep breathing. Played relaxation music. Used masks that block out every sliver of light. I wear a night guard. I have a regular bedtime. I've even had a sleep study and guess what they found? I DON'T SLEEP. Duh. Knew that. But the CPAP mask woke me up twice as much as whatever is making me wake up anyway. And the plastic seal gave me a rash all over my face.

I can fall asleep, for the most part, especially if I listen to a book being read by someone with a British monotone. But how do I STAY asleep? Or am I asking too much of the universe?