December 9, 2008

In Pursuit of Natural Sleep

First let me say that Scott returns TODAY. TODAY! which means my TOWERING HEAP of double high crazy will abate and my mental illness number might even stabilize and I will stop blogging about my desire to murder folks, who, in other contexts, are probably quite nice. For example, I bet the guy with the goatee is an excellent BROTHER who can recognize a hit-n-quit dog sniffing around his sister from MILES OFF and he then protects her from the wily predations of his very own kind. It takes one to…yeah. SO.

That said, I still want to kill people, obviously, for the next 4 Scottless hours. La la la! Merry Christmas!

Also, it doesn’t help that I decided to pursue a mythological creature last night: Natural Sleep. I call this thing mythological because it’s very like the loch ness monster or a yeti: I know many people who claimed to have had experiences with this thing, but I myself have never seen it.

I have many methods for tricking my insomniac brain into the waters of Lethe. A glass or two of wine or a melatonin pill can work (although one makes me wake up 3 hours later and the other makes me groggish in the AM.) Watching TERRIBLE sit-coms until my brain shuts off purely as a self defense mechanism works – Becker anyone?

When Scott is home, he pets my hair and tells me about the quarterly budget reports. On truly desperate, evil nights, I take a little belladonna. Yes, real belladonna, and YES it was given me by My REAL doctor, not some stringy haired herb addicted broom wielder named Mother Abigail who I met in Salem, circa 1692. But what I NEVER do, nevernevernever, is get in bed, turn out the light, close my eyes, and fall asleep for seven or eight hours.

I decided to try this last night. Foolish, I know. Last night’s bed was SCOTT-free, and Scottlessness traditionally means I sleep POORLY, if it all. It was like sticking the Marquis de Sade in a white dress and asking him to go prance about in a meadow to attract a unicorn. BUT I decided to try anyway.

Scottlessness aside, it LOGICALLY seemed like a good night to pursue this thing. Here’s why…Yesterday I ate well, by which I mean I didn’t have a lot of sugar or caffeine, and I had ALL 5 of the recommended servings of fruits and veggies. I drank a LOT of water, so I was hydrated, but I stopped drinking it after Boot Camp, so I would nto need to get up and go pee all night. I was both SLEEPY from MANY insomniac scottless nights previous, and EXTREMELY physically tired because I went on a hike with Julie in the morning and then went to boot camp led by Amy the Beautiful Sadist that evening.

I call her AMY THE BEATIFUL SADIST to differentiate her from AmyGo, not because I do not like her. I met her at my new church, and I like her a lot, ackshully. She is cool and smart and funny and 23 hours a day she is just NICE AMY. Two days a week, however, on that 24th hour, she runs boot camp, and she becomes Amy the Beautiful Sadist whose perfect calf muscles look they have been carved by elves from strands of smooth-sanded oak, and who can TALK while doing fifty push-ups.

By talk I mean she can do push-ups (REAL BOY ONES) and yet simultaneously say, “DOWN one, DOWN two, DOWN three---Joshilyn do not stick your butt up, that’s cheating, DOWN 5” and so on (and on and on) at a pace that leaves my stringy arms wobbly and trembling like terrorized deer. Deer being forced to watch that hunter scene in BAMBI level terrorized. And I do the fake GIRL ones on my knees and all I can say is *gaspgaspgasp*

DIGRESSION: Did I tell you I started boot camp? Yeah, okay, WELL. I did. Remember I recently did some WAILING and NASHING about the ever expanding borders of buttlandia? Ya’ll know I work out every day, doing either 45 minutes on my beloved elliptical or 30 minutes on it and then light weights sets, depending on the day. YEAH. What Boot Camp has taught me is that I go EASY on myself. I am merciful with my pains and twinges. Amy the Beautiful Sadist does not have this problem. AT ALL.

Oh CRAP it is almost 9, I have to run, I have to be at the kids school for a THING and then go to the airport and snag me a SCOTT.

THE PURSUIT OF NATURAL SLEEP shall Be Continued Tomorrow. BYO Pink Socks.

Posted by joshilyn at December 9, 2008 8:44 AM

Loved the Marquis de Sade/prancing meadow/unicorn/sleep comparison. I hope you sleep well tonight with Scott now back home to make up for all that.

Posted by: Trace at December 9, 2008 9:03 AM

I have never met this elusive natural sleep. Right now I'm going on day 2 with 2 hours of sleep and I have to write an exam in two and a half hours, followed by a drive drive up and down a snowy mountainside to the Coast. Hurrah.

Posted by: Heather at December 9, 2008 9:22 AM

Tylenol PM x 2 = sleep

Posted by: jean at December 9, 2008 10:45 AM

Unless you are me. In which case Tylenol PM x2 = hyperactivity OR dead sleep for 6 hours and groggy uselessness for another 48.

I have weird brain chemistry....

Posted by: Joshilyn at December 9, 2008 10:47 AM

I know other people with that Tylenol PM problem which is why I haven't tried it. But I would LOVE to hear the rest of this story... Though I have found that on days when I go to the GYM I tend to sleep somewhat better than days when I don't. And bless you, 45 minutes on an elliptical?! I just got myself up to 20. I claim asthma.

Posted by: Jess at December 9, 2008 11:30 AM

Joshilyn, I'm so with you on the Tylenol PM. I can't take it either. I take Benadryl, and it serves the dual purpose of keeping my allergy-assailed nose clear AND knocking me out. There are nights when it doesn't work, but usually it does.

Posted by: Aimee at December 9, 2008 11:46 AM

Sleepytime Extra tea? The extra is valerian.

Aimee, the PM in Tylenol PM is benadryl. Diphenhydramine. Check it out!

Posted by: jenn at December 9, 2008 1:38 PM

I know what you mean about needing husbands home. While I don't have children to make things harder, I have no children, but I know things just aren't right when he's gone. My husband got back recently from a 15 month deployment to Afghanistan and man, it was so good when he came home.

Posted by: Nik at December 9, 2008 3:42 PM

Joshilyn YOU MUST look for CD's by Dr. Jeffery Thompson. You can find them at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and The Relaxation Company.
The best CD is Delta Dream Soulution. He does tones to guide the brain into the deep stages of sleep naturally. The tones are under ocean waves, rain, classical music, etc. The CD's ARE A GODSEND to me. I have a head injury that keeps my brain from naturally going into the deep sleep stages. I have been on every kind of pill imaginable to try to sleep, even the Belladonna, Ambien, Amitryptaline, Melatonin, Valerian, Kava Kava. Nothing worked until I found these CD's. I will warn you if you get one of the CD's, the first night you use it you will feel odd for lack of a better term the next day. You will feel like your brain stayed awake while your body rested. Don't let that bother you, just keep using the CD. Thompson designed these tapes when he and his wife were having trouble getting their infant son to sleep. They are safe even for the elderly and the pregnant. They are not safe to listen to in your car however. ;-)
You really should try it. Good luck!

Posted by: Heather P. at December 9, 2008 9:06 PM

I recently read something about the horrors of soldiers operating on under 6 hours or somesuch of sleep in 72 hours. And I thought "And this is unusual HOW?"
I also once read somewhere that our 7 or 8 hours are supposed to be UNBROKEN sleep. If that's true, I've never had a good night's sleep in my entire life. I hope they were lying. Though it might explain a few things about me.

Posted by: Brigitte at December 10, 2008 6:55 AM

What Jenn said -- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime EXTRA.

But I think your real problem is that you are able to do pushups. Must be inversely related to the ability to sleep. I'm resolved to stick to the program at 100 Pushups, but cannot, cannot do even one girlygirl pushup. I'm doing the whole sequence against a door (how feeble is that?) in the hope of working up to one girlygirl. Maybe two before I die. Even yoga doesn't work if you're hoping bingo wings will support you.

But sleep? With CSSE? Yeah, baby.

Posted by: rams at December 10, 2008 8:48 AM