Tuesday, November 06, 2007

So tired...

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How is it possible to feel so tired and yet the body refuse to claim the amount of sleep it needs?

You would have thought that if you’ve reached a point in the evening where you are struggling to keep your eyes open; where you are having difficulty just standing upright; and your words are slurring as though you’ve had too much to drink; that your body would just sleep for as long as it needs to fully recover if there are no interruptions.

At least that’s what I would have thought.

And yet, for no reason I can fathom, at 4.30am I lie awake, unable to go back to sleep, but not able to fully wake up either. It’s not like my mind is racing and I’m completely alert - I still feel tired, desperately tired, almost sick with tiredness.

For the next 2 hours I float about, periodically drifting into dream states for a handful of minutes, only to resurface, aware of my breathing, Maggie’s breathing, a car driving past in the distance.

Eventually, just before Maggie’s alarm goes off I sit up, propping the pillows behind me and switch on the light. It takes several minutes before I can fully open my eyes.

All I want to do is go back to sleep

But that’s all I’ve been wanting to do for hours and it ain’t gonna happen.

A couple of months ago I filled out a questionnaire the doctor gave me about energy levels and sleeping, and one of the questions was how often I feel fully refreshed after a night’s sleep.

I started at the question for a long time, startled by the implication.

You mean to say that it’s possible to feel refreshed after a night’s sleep? Does that actually happen? I mean, is there a section of the population for whom getting up is a refreshing and pleasurable experience?

I have absolutely no idea what that must feel like.

Tonight I’ll go through it all again.
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22 comments:

Dr Maroon said...

Take an ovaltine and shut up.

savannah said...

i hope maroon didn't sent you a bill for that prescription, sugar! what does your real doctor say? i know this sounds weird, but it worked for me: change your bed pillow(s) i tried different densities until i found the type that i could finally lay my weary head on comfortably and sleep without disturbance through the night!

Tom P. said...

Have you tried melatonin?

Kim Ayres said...

Dr Maroon - and I guess you sleep like a baby?

Savannah - don't let Maroon hear you question his Doctorhood. He once threatened to withhold payment for lunch when I questioned him about the title of his doctorate.

Tom P - I'm seeing the specialist in 2 weeks about the whole Fatigue thing, so hopefully options will start coming up after that

Mauzy said...

I popped in to ask if you have tried melatonin too. Works wonders for me and Jeff.

Julie said...

I have problems falling asleep sometimes. When it happens, I sing a childhood song in my head and repeat it until I actually fall asleep.

Nights like you're talking about are few and far between for me. And they mess me up for days. I hope your doctor has some ideas for helping you sleep better.

Brave Astronaut said...

My mother used to tell me (when I was up far too late) that the best sleep is the sleep you get before 2:00am. I never knew what she meant by that.

When in college, I pulled the occasional all-nighter. It is amazing to me now that I could do that then and yet getting up in the middle of the night or not sleeping well during the night results in one dragging during the daylight hours, until you get back into bed to try it yet again.

There is always the pharmacological option, but I am sure you are wary about that given your other options. Warm milk always works in the movies. Barring that, you could conk yourself on the head with something heavy. :)

Carole said...

I went to the doc about this very problem and he gave me a prescription for Lunesta. I went to sleep gently, woke up 7 hours later, felt fine, except for a bitter taste in my mouth. I thought it was great for a couple of days. But when I would go without it I couldn't sleep one minute. So I took it for a week, every night, and this is creepy and weird I started getting weird sexual urges. After realizing how happy it made my husband, I quit taking it and am back to my usual 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

Tom said...

I can't sleep without our little turbo fan cranked up on high, but when it's buzzing, I sleep straight through the night. Have you tried any kind of white noise makers? Or you could ride your bike a few miles before bed.

Mary Witzl said...

Welcome to my world! I'm a chronic insomniac and have had this problem virtually all my life. I've been to the doctor and I've tried every remedy there is, but finally I've come to think that this is just me. I think I get about four good hours of sleep on my best nights. Waking up refreshed would be a novelty.

For what it is worth (and this is not much help, I'm afraid), I did go through two years of perfect sleep when we were running an inn. I was on my feet fourteen hours a day and almost never stopped working. I hardly ever had a bad night's sleep during that time.

PI said...

Leslie Kenton's 'Beat Stress' is good.
'An excellent hydrotherapy technique is to take a pair of cotton socks and soak them with cold water. Wring them out well and put them on your feet. Cover the socks with a second pair of dry ones - either wool or cotton- and retire for the night.'
One thing she stresses is to try not to stress about sleeplessness.
'Lack of sleep is not going to kill you, but worrying about it for long enough just might'
Sleep well hon.

Kim Ayres said...

Mauzy - I'm reluctant to try anything that might either exacerbate or conceal whatever's wrong with me before I see the specialist in a couple of weeks, but I appreciate your input

Julie - thanks

Brave Astronaut - I shall start keeping a hammer by the side of the bed...

Carole - you stopped because it made your husband happy...? I don't suppose you want to reveal some of the weirder ones do you? It's ok, we're all friends here...

Tom - unfortunately I couldn't ride my bike more than a few hundred yards...

Mary - I did wonder, when you said you'd just had breakfast when I called round at 3.30pm yesterday

Pat - hmmm... I think wrinkley prune toes are more likely...

The Birdwatcher said...

I have never woken refreshed after a good nights sleep, but then I did not feel any better for giving up smoking. I often lie awake till four or five. Its why I listen to the radio. It drowns out Mrs BW's snoring.

restaurant Gal said...

I have a joke I share with my friends--Call me at 3:00 a.m. because I'll be awake. The joke? We are all up at that hour, although we never call each other! I hate sleeplessness. I, and so many others, have lived with it for years and years.

Freakazojd said...

I hear you on the sleep issue. I was so excited to have some quiet time to myself last night that I stayed up WAY beyond what my brain told me was acceptable. I should have listened. I feel like regurgitated garbage today. Ugh. That aside, I'm not sure what ails you - if I do get a proper night's sleep I'm ok. Have you gone to a sleep clinic? Might be a good idea...

Mary Witzl said...

Pat has a point. Often people can't sleep because their room is too hot. And the trick with wet socks sounds weird, but I'm going to give it a go. I'll let you know if it works!

One way to get a good night's sleep is by exercising to the point of exhaustion. I used to work a full day, with a three hour commute (during which I graded papers), followed by jogging for 30 minutes and swimming for a mile, then sit-ups, push-ups, and weights. Just going to work and coming home wasn't enough. When I stopped doing that, I had terrible trouble sleeping. Then I changed jobs and became a virtual slave and I have never slept better.

S i g h. The solution is almost as bad as the problem itself.

Conan Drumm said...

Might be a thyroid issue, Kim. See what the specialist says.

Kim Ayres said...

Birdwatcher - have you talked to your doctor about it?

RG - I've been tempted to come online and start blogging at 3am, aware that it's evening for most people in North America, however I've also discovered that being on the computer within a couple of hours of going to bed helps wreck sleeping patterns even more.

Freakazojd - I don't think there are any sleep clinic within 100 miles of here, however I'll see what the specialist says that I should be seeing in a couple of weeks.

Mary - if I push myself to the point of complete exhaustion, it only takes about half an hour - I'd never make it to bedtime.

I'll be looking for your blog entry on soggy sheets and crinkley toes

Conan Drum - been tested for thyroid already - came back fine, but thanks for the thought.

fatmammycat said...

My VELLY deepest sympathies, I get horrible bouts of insomnia and they are completely draining. I find reading science books help. Anything about black holes, quantum physics or theorems and I'm off to nod faster than I can say 'what sleeping tablet?'
Hope it passes soon.

Stella said...

Hope you get it sorted Kim, there is NOTHING worse!

Mary Witzl said...

I can verify the science book claim. When my husband was studying IT, he used to be able to put me to sleep in minutes explaining the hexidecimal representation of color.

40 minutes, true, but for me even 40 minutes is a big deal.

MaLady said...

I used to sleep "like an angel" (he said) - now I'm rarely refreshed when I wake up. The best mornings are when I've cried and prayed the night before - a little purging does me good I suppose. I understand that tears actually contain toxins. Interesting connection, isn't it?

I hope you find your solution soon.

Ma Lady