For reasons I mostly don’t understand, for the last couple of weeks, I have been going to sleep, waking up anywhere between three and four and a half hours later, and then being unable to go back to sleep. I stay in bed for as long as an hour, then finally get up and check my e-mail, or, rarely, watch TV for an hour, then go back to bed, pretty much in time for the alarm clock. I usually DO fall asleep in that brief time between when my wife wakes up and when she returns from the shower; I know this because I am likely to have quite vivid dreams.
The annoying thing is that I’m often too unfocused to write a comprehensible blog post, to even start one. Yet the IDEAS are still there, which is actually worse.
I’ve experienced this condition before, for a day or two, and I can operate OK in the short term. But in this extended bout, not so much. There was a First Friday event I plugged in this blog, and which I remembered at 2 pm Friday. But by 5:30, when it was time to leave work, I totally forgot, went home, and at 6:20, I was too tired to go back out.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve tried having a glass of wine, or having nothing to drink; different times of going to bed (yeah, I know you’re supposed to go at the same time, but that only applies when that’s working.) I had been staying off caffeine until the last few days when I feared dozing at my desk.
Saturday afternoon, with absolutely no energy, I watched a little of the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Meredith and Derek are exhausted with a new baby. On another show, Parenthood, there’s a couple with a new, crying-all-the-time, infant. Then it hit me: the last time I was THIS tired was nine and a half years ago
I HATE using them, but, in desperation, I took one of those OTC medications that are supposed to let you sleep for 3 or 4 hours, and it DID work.
But my friend Jon said that had a better idea – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 see hear feel. You open your eyes and note five things you see, 5 things you hear then 5 things you feel. Then 4, 4, 4, then 3, 3, 3, et al. Always worked for him. Well, not for me; I found that it was so focusing – where am I at, 4 hear or 3 feel? – that it made me alert, and even the pill didn’t help.
To boot, I must have slept wrong one night, because the back of my neck aches much of the time lately.
My problem is, paraphrasing John Lennon (whose birthday is today), I have a tough time turning off my mind, relaxing, and floating downstream.