Man, I feel the way I used to when I was up all night partying: eyes like sandpaper, stomach queasy, everything a little off. Except I’m not in my twenties and I wasn’t having some fabulous time, just NOT SLEEPING like every other night now that I’m a certain age.
How the heck did this happen??
I mean, I knew I was going to lose some of that sleep elasticity as I got older – that ability to shortchange myself on sleep some nights and make it up on others – but it feels like every night, no matter what, I’m just not able to get enough sleep. And it’s killing me.
Doctor says it’s hormones, which is oh so helpful. The same hormones that could turn me into a crazy lady once a month now make me crazy every damn day. Who set up this system, anyway??
Half the time I can’t fall asleep: I drop into bed, exhausted at the end of the day, then lie there and watch the minutes tick by as I try to fall asleep. The other half I wake up in the middle of the night, desperately needing to pee (thanks a lot, bladder, for working so hard while everyone else is sleeping), which forces me to get out of bed and take care of business. Even if I keep my eyes closed and pretend I’m still sleeping, I’m usually awake for the next hour or so, counting how many minutes of sleep I can still get if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW. Which doesn’t help as much as you might think.
And then, of course, I fall dead asleep fifteen minutes before the alarm goes off. Now that’s refreshing.
Funny thing is, I used to be a total night owl: doing my cleaning at eleven at night, going to bed at 2 am, sleeping in. That was a great schedule for my body clock. But I shifted to join the working world, and then kids and now age have completely altered my sleep schedule. And it’s not even that I want the old schedule back: I would simply like to sleep seven (or even, god forbid, eight) hours in one whole chunk, and wake up feeling like a normal person. A normal person who’s a whole lot younger. Yes, that would be ideal.
And then I talk to my grandmother, who at ninety-eight gets up every freaking two hours to pee, and has for years, and I think, man, I guess I’m lucky to string four or five hours together.
But I don’t have to like it.