Something that frustrates me beyond belief is that, occasionally, I get insomnia. It usually happens after some major change occurs in my life, and that change can be physical, emotional, or even spiritual. When school begins in the fall, I can usually count on at least one week of insomnia. It also plagues me after daylight savings time, around Christmas, following spring break, and every time I feel emotionally stressed--in short, it happens way too frequently.
The cycle can thusly be described:
1. Samantha goes to bed...lays in the dark, looking at where she believes the ceiling is (but really has no idea if it's there or not, since she's pretty much blind, and the room is dark).
2. One hour later, Darrin is snoring, and Samantha is wrapping a pillow around her head, gnashing her teeth.
3. Two hours and five unnecessary trips to the bathroom later, Samantha goes to the computer and works on her seminary lesson. Usually she finds friends silly enough to stay up late, who will chat with her, but if not, she amuses herself by putting random words into Google to see what will come up, and works on her Spanish (although she insists, "no etiendo espanol").
4. One or two hours later, Samantha feels guilty about keeping friends up, so she pretends to be sleepy and signs out of chat. Then she sits on the couch, reading the dictionary and watching the weather channel.
5. Two hours before Samantha has to arise to get ready to teach her seminary class, she decides to try to sleep again. She alternately dozes, and shoves Darrin to make him stop snoring. When the alarm rings at 5:00 a.m., Samantha feels relief that she can stop pretending to sleep, and be with live, breathing, awake people.
After about three days of the cycle, I find myself feeling sleepy during the day. I don't want to nap because I want to save that sleeping thing for night. A week later, the sleepiness becomes intolerable, and sometimes I'll allow myself to catnap. There have been times, however, when I've found myself dozing off during a piano lesson--once I was talking when it happened. Another unhappy side-effect of all this is that if the cycle continues more than one week, I have episodes of sleep-walking when I am sleeping, which negates the quality of my rest.
Usually, if the insomnia continues ten days or more, I end up crashing. Sleep comes unexpectedely, and I have no choice but to allow it. I always pray it doesn't happen when I'm driving or teaching. I have been known to pull off the street and sleep for an hour, to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. This has happened within ten blocks of my house. Knowing this can happen, I try to be very cautious. Unfortunately there are some side-effects of not sleeping that inhibit my good intentions.
Lack of sleep has the following effects on me:
1. Irritability--since I'm rarely cranky, this takes its toll on my family. I hate it.
2. Procrastination--this is something totally out of character. I'm never late with a bill, my house is always tidy, I make menus and have dinner ready in a timely manner, I prepare in advance for lessons, presentations, and client meetings. In short, normally, I'm anal retentive about life. However, with prolonged lack of sleep, I just don't care. Nothing gets done, and my life becomes chaos (which doesn't help me want to sleep).
3. Apathy--My house could burn to the ground and I'd have a difficult time caring. This insomnia episode, my daughter's bedroom became so messy we could not open the door. This is not acceptable behavior. We have "one place" for everything we own. Tabitha believes there are 101 places--and she collects things like gum wrappers, used tissues, and nail clippings. Normally she would have privileges restricted until the room was clean. This time I told her, "Well, I hope you figure something out...otherwise you'll need to sleep in the hall." I guess she did, because I never saw her asleep in the hallway.
4. Emotionalism--I am not an outwardly emotional person. After prolonged insomnia, I find sentimentality in grapes, gym socks seem beautiful, and the cracks in the pavement break my heart. My sense of humor becomes a little bizarre as I find myself laughing at a nicely bubbling pot of water, the sound of my blow dryer, and the smell of pickles. I know at that point, I'm losing all control--sleep needs to come, and soon.
I experienced three bouts of insomnia, each separated by two days of regular sleep, from the end of August until today. This morning, as I got ready for seminalry, I felt an overwhelming need to sleep accompanied by nausea. I made it through my seminary lesson, drove the carpool girls to school, came home, threw up several times, and slept until 2:00 p.m. When I awoke, life had new meaning. I taught piano lessons with fervor and direction. I made a wonderful dinner for my family. I spent an hour playing with my daughter. I had meaningful conversation with my husband. I made phone calls, paid bills, and ran five miles.
There is no point to this post. But I thought, since I now have so much energy, I just as well empty some of that into the black hole of my existance. Oh yeah, and I'm so happy!! -L- would accuse me of being manic...or some other medical crazy word. I just think I finally got some sleep...life is so good...sleep is amazing...