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Monday, May 2, 2011

Lack of Sleep, Part 1: Me as a zombie

So I've been a bit negligent in my blogliness lately.  Had good roll for a year or more, but then ... things got in the way.  I choose to not elaborate ...

I will begin again, however, by discussing sleep.

Sleep.

Yes, sleep.

Over the last couple of years my sleep somewhat suddenly began to evade me.  I don't know why.  I rounded up all of the 'usual suspects': caffeine, work stress, home/family stress. eating habits, drinking habits, daily schedules, anything and everything that my wife and I could think of.  Nothing struck home.

All of my life I've seemed to have an anti-caffeine fetish (meaning, confusingly, that I can't think of the right word right now and that caffeine doesn't appear to do anything to or for me).  I drink oodles of caffeine-loaded drinks before, with and after dinner.  Coke.  Pepsi.  Mountain Dew --- YES, Mountain Dew!!!!  No effects.  No sudden alertness; no nervous twitches; no need to run around the block 5 times; no need to eat whatever is in the refrigerator at 2 a.m.  Or perhaps that last one I am confusing with the drunken munchies.  Regardless, caffeine seemed to do nothing to or for me.

As for stress, there was a time a few years ago at work that ... well ... that is so far in the past that I cannot even remotely imagine that it would still be an issue.  And work is going really well now and has been for quite a while.  Home life, well, we've got two great and very normal kids.  But nothing unusual or stress-inducing that I can recognize.

Eating and drinking: I got nothin'.  I try to finish eating dinner well before bedtime.  And I really just don't drink.  A 6-pack a year, give or take.  And no drugs, aside from those that my doc recommends.

I've tried going to bed early.  And late.  And perfectly in-between.  I've tried getting up early.  And late.  And perfectly in-between.  I've tried going to bed with and without the TV on (contrary to what my wife thinks).  With and without the radio on.  With and without reading a book.  Different pillows.  Different sleeping positions.

I've tried everything I can think of.  But I seldom get a "good" night's sleep.  I usually either roll around in bed for quite a while, sometimes for hours, before finally drifting off, or else fall immediately asleep, only to wake up just a few hours later thinking "Crap, I've only been sleeping for 3 hours!" and then lay there for hours until sunshine appears, or my alarm goes off.

And strangely, even when I do manage to get a "full" 6 or 7 or 8 hours of sleep (well, 8 hours pretty much never happens), I don't feel at all refreshed in the morning.  So even my sleep isn't doing what it is supposed to do when it does come.

And, therefore, there have been some days during which I just feel like and act like a zombie.  Not fun at all.

Been speaking to my doc about this, for a few years now.  Some of the drugs (prescription or OTC, that is) do nothing.  Some at least seem to get me to sleep for 6 or 7 hours, but, again, not a good sleep at all.  So my doc finally said "There's a very good, well-thought-of sleep doctor in the area.  Why not give her a whirl?"  (OK, my words, but you get the drift ...).  And so a whirl I gave her.  Which leads me to part 2: Me as a guinea pig.

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