Insomnia, But Not For Long

I woke up at 3:44 this morning and was unable to return to my dreams. Alert and focused, I could have executed any scientific or mathematical problem set before me. I gave up on sleep and trudged downstairs, checked email (none), set up a couple shows to record on my HDR, and ate an Entenmanns' Rich Frosted Donut. It was after five before I went back to bed and slipped in and out of that weird quasi-sleep. Maybe I should have stayed awake. I feel more tired now than I did at 3:44.

But the end is near--I visited the sleep doctor this week. It's just wonderful to visit doctors; after all, they're really the only ones interested in listening to your tale of woe. Sometimes I think I'll forget something so I type it all up into a little story.

Sleep Doctor asked me about my sleeping history. It goes something like this: shared a room all my life with sister and couldn't sleep if I even heard her breathing; rented a house with sis and bros--the bros stayed up all night, clanging pots in the kitchen, watching COPS, and slamming doors; married a man who snores and has his own sleeping problems. Then I described all the little strategies I use to encourage sleep.

The doctor shook his head in sympathy. "You are an insomniac," he said. "Classic insomniac." He didn't give me a handout like the other doctor did: Keep your room dark. Go to bed at the same time every night. Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only. He gave me a prescription. "Just use it when you need it," he said. "You will not become a drug addict or a junkie. I don't believe you'll be killing people for pills."

And I won't. And soon, the red cracks in my eyes and the purple eye-bags underneath will fade, cognizant thinking will be restored, and my box of donuts will last longer.


courtney said...

Insomnia is a harsh harsh mistress. Glad he gave you something that will help! Hope you'll be reacquainted with those Zs soon.

(my spam word was eegadc! I choose to read it as, Egad, C! Your blog totally knew I was here!)

Church Lady said...

I hope you find relief soon. You must be feeling miserable.

I don't have insomnia, but I do have a lot of trouble sleeping right before my period. I think it's related to hormones.

Hang in there!

Danette Haworth said...


I like your description: a harsh, harsh mistress. Thanks for your well wishes with the Zs!

Egad, C! I just discovered the nurse forgot to call in the prescription. Foiled again!

Church Lady,

Yes, I'm dragging. And I'm looking quite haggard as well. Even my hair is tired.

Anonymous said...

I heard that your husband doesn't snore at all. That the real culprit is a rare hearing disorder you have that you won't have treated!! ;>0

Danette Haworth said...

Oh, Anonymous, you crack me up!

courtney said...

Ack! I mean egad indeed! I hope you get your perscription soon! On a long weekend too--I don't know if that would affect anything but if it does: boo to that!

Danette Haworth said...


I was so ready for sleep, couldn't believe that in three days, the nurse hadn't called in the prescription. It's like when you pay for Priority Shipping on Ebay but the seller doesn't go to the post office for another week and a half.

In any case, a quick (and assertive) phone call yesterday has hopefully done the trick and sleep shall arrive soon.

My brother told me that one of the major drug companies used to have this slogan:

Better living through chemicals.

Egad, C! You'd never hear that today!

Mary Witzl said...

I'm an insomniac too, and I have been one all my life. My parents suffered as much with me as I do with my two children who are also insomniacs. Oddly enough, only my father was an insomniac; my mother was a champion sleeper. But insomnia is really a genetic condition -- I am convinced. No matter what I tried, my children only slept a certain number of hours.

The only things I would recommend to you are yoga breathing, lavender oil and loads of exercise. Those seldom fail me, but even if I do sleep, I only need about 6 good hours as opposed to my husband's eight or nine. And I have pills too, for when I am desperate and nothing else works. And I have never become a junkie!

Danette Haworth said...

I feel for you, Mary!