I can’t sleep.

It’s been months since I’ve slept more than five hours in one stretch. There’s no rhyme or reason to it either. I do all the things you’re supposed to do to get a good night’s sleep – I exercise, eat right, go to bed at the same time, avoid caffeine, read a book before bed instead of watching TV, stay away from my phone and computer before hitting the sack, etc. and so on. Now I’m going to try omitting sugar from my diet to see if that helps. If not, I’m going to have to talk to my husband about us sleeping in separate beds because I wake up every time he moves or makes a sound… like breathing.

I did tell him once that his breathing was keeping me awake at night. “I can’t stop breathing!” He said. “You’re haven’t even tried!” I yelled back.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve had trouble sleeping. I was always afraid of ghosts, monsters, aliens and anything else that might try to attack me at night. In ninth grade I saw The Last Temptation of Christ and it scared me so bad that I was afraid to go to bed for the next year. I would go to bed before the sun sets, which went completely against my teenage body’s biology and so I would lay there for hours before finally conking out. I would also frequently sleep with the lights or radio on. Whenever I woke up early (which was pretty much daily) I would just lay there until I heard my dad wake up before dawn before I could relax and go back to sleep.

Perhaps all those years of poor sleep habits just trained my brain to sleep poorly for the rest of my life.

I have boards on Pinterest and Flipboard dedicated to information about sleep well but they just make me more anxious. Apparently, not sleeping is not only going to make me tired, cranky and less productive but my brain is not cleaning itself out and I’m going to get Alzheimer’s. I’ve worked with Alzheimer’s patients before and the thought of my daughter finding me peeing in the corner of a 7-11 because I think it’s the bathroom is enough to, well, keep me up at night.

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