Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate

How do you sleep?
Do you sleep well?
Consider yourself lucky.

As I grow older, I find that sleep has become a precious commodity. I have found solace in drugs, Ambien became my friend for a while but also as I grow older, I just can't handle the pharmaceuticals anymore. How many who knew me in my adolescence would keel over if they heard me say that now?
Ambien makes me groggy and anxious when I take it for any length of  time. I have tried everything. A drink before bedtime? Nope.

When I was a kid, I used to go to sleep by getting out my mind eraser and slowly erase all of my thoughts and eventually, I would drift off. I guess things are a bit more complicated now.
When I was a very young child, my mom used to give me things to think about before I went to bed.
"Think of an ice cream bridge and on the other side is your favorite flavor. Now, you have to cross the bridge before the ice cream melts and you can't step too hard or you will step through the bridge and fall off".. or some ridiculous thing like that. I must say, it worked when you were eight, but not so much now.

"Deadlines and commitments, what to leave in, what to leave out..."

I find as I drift off ever so slightly, I will dream of people I haven't seen or thought about in years.

Since childhood, I've had this recurring dream of Abraham Lincoln. I have dreamt of him maybe 30 or 40 times since I was a kid. We've went fishing, driven through the Florida keys, ate dinner together and we have done a number of different things together. Consistently and with great regularity. I'm not sure what the connection might be only that my dad was born in the same town he was.
I would take a bit of Abe at this time.

All I know is that I will lay in bed all night, just dozing off enough to have real detailed, freaky and stupid dreams with people in it that just don't make sense. I had a dream the other night with someone in it that I had not thought of for 30 years. I will remember them when I wake up for a day or two, then they are filed away in the memory chip.

The routine is, I will lie there, doing everything and anything I can to sleep, changing positions, then the thinking wheel in the master cog gets started and I realize all the stuff I have to do whether it's work related or whatever.
Then, the endless movie loop starts, accompanied by the ceiling fan.
I'll doze off, start dreaming, then wake up.
Lather, rinse, repeat Then look at the clock and realize it's 4:17 am

You'd think that the following day, you'd be so tired, you'd fall right off, but alas...we repeat the drill the next night.
Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.
I would guess I've tried that.
I wonder what incredibly strange movies in my head will be showing tonight.
I'm sure Tarrentino or Fellini would be proud.

Popcorn anyone?


bkgrigsby725 said...

No suggestions unless you know lamaze!! There used to be relaxation exercises to do in lamaze (Don't know if women still do lamaze during childbirth anymore) - anyhow, the initial stages of labor is when you need to RELAX! I mean, everything has to be relaxed to the point where you're not aware of the location of your body parts! So you get your body into a good, comfortable position. Then, beginning at your toes, concentrate on that body part to RELAX! (I kind of tell each part - in my head - "toes, relax, toes, relax,.... until I'm confident they're relaxed.) Once you think that part is relaxed, move to the next part (foot, ankle, calf, knee, thigh, hip...). This doesn't always work, but most times I'm asleep before I get to my head!!!

Give it a shot - if it don't eork, then go back to your ice cream bridge!! It's the same concept - you're thinking about something other than the fact that you're not sleeping!!

Good luck Randy!!!

rusheddoc said...

I'd say something similar to the above. Delving into meditation may be helpful (I'm guessing you already tried that), even some type of yoga or even Tai Chi. Sometimes getting the body to relax allows the mind to calm. DIMS (disorders of initiating and maintain sleep) are a BIG category of sleep medicine. A lot of times a sleep study is not very helpful for those who cannot seem to fall asleep. However, for those who can get to sleep, but awaken later, it may be tied to periodic limb movements of sleep, or even mild apneic events. I would have you consider getting a sleep study just to rule out those very treatable problems. Just my 0.02¢ - Matt

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