Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Thursday, March 30, 2006

To sleep, perchance to dream...

I think I have a sleep disorder.
Is it possible to have a sleep disorder that's only evident on weeknights?

Sometimes I have a really hard time getting to sleep, even when I'm really tired.
And it's rare for me to sleep through the night without waking several times. I don't mean waking for just a moment and rolling over; I wake up enough to be aware that I'm awake.
And lately, I've been making a point to take a look at the clock to see if there's a pattern, to see if perhaps there's something going on outside on a regular basis that's waking me.

So, yeah, I've been waking up at about the same times each night...but I'm no closer to establishing what it is that's waking me.
And even if I do, I don't think there's anything I can do about it. I'm a light sleeper, with a few notable exceptions.
Then getting back to sleep is a challenge, but I've been working really hard to get my mind to shut the hell up in the middle of the night. Sometimes, it works. Often, it doesn't.

Maybe it's all just a function of age. By nature, I'm a night owl and a late sleeper. But for the past 15 years, I've had to be at work at a very early hour (for many years, my work day started at 3 a.m... now, it's 7 a.m.) so I've been fighting my own circadian rhythms for a long, long time.
In recent years, I've noticed that I even have trouble sleeping in the way I used to. I often wake up around 9 on weekends, whether I want to or not. No matter how late I was up the night before. And I hate that.

And it's really going to suck to "spring forward" this weekend. I know, it's only an hour... but DAMN. It's a weekend hour! I hate that!

(stop it with that smug laugh, dzer!!)

At 30 March, 2006 11:13, Blogger Chelle said...

I will sing you a lullaby to help you get back to sleep ok? LOL Oh wait...tht will just hurt your ears! hehe

At 30 March, 2006 12:53, Anonymous Jeannette said...

I have been there. I would wake up for weeks at 3:45am. I couldn't figure it out then and I still don't know, but it stopped.

Oh, another thing, for a few years now, if you wake me in the night, I can't go back to sleep. It's just awful.

Here's a question for you: Why is it that your kids have to be awakened during the school week but not on the weekends? What's up with that? They will sleep until 7:30am if I let them, but not on Saturday. They are up at 6am!

At 30 March, 2006 14:02, Blogger terry said...

chelle, i'll take all the help i can get!!

jeannette, that's really funny about the kids. i don't remember doing that when i was a kid... do you??

At 30 March, 2006 15:57, Blogger sassinak said...

CARTOONS... that's it.

also yeah i wake up because i'm paranoid that i'll sleep through my alarm.

At 30 March, 2006 16:42, Blogger JMai said...

I swear I do not understand daylight savings time. If the Arizonians don't have to do it, why do we?? Also, why are we a week behind Europe? It's all very arbitrary!

And as for waking up super early in the mornings on weekends as a kid... oh hell yah I did! Sass has it spot-on: cartoons! I was up loooong before mom and dad when I was twee... watching Davey and Goliath and the Smurfs and I dunno what else.

I still watch cartoons, but not at 6am!!

Oooh PS I'm so excited I made your blogroll! Thank you! I gotta get Sass to teach me how to make one of my own.

At 30 March, 2006 19:13, Blogger terry said...

cartoons! sass, of course you're right. i'm sure i got up early for those.
then again... i'm so old i don't really remember...

i get paranoid about waking up on time, too...but i've never overslept in my professional life, so what the hell am i so worried about?

jmai, twee is a fabulous word! and why ARE we a week behind europe?? so silly.
however, when we get to fall back, i'll be so happy with that extra hour...

At 31 March, 2006 03:16, Blogger buddha_girl said...

Ick. I loathe waking up for no reason...and it just strengthens the cycle of no sleep for me because I become more and more exhausted.

I have no advice as I'm a sufferer as well. Just know you have my sympathies.

As for the sleeping in until 9am thing...cripes, woman! My kid has me up by 6:30 on the weekends even though I have to wake his silly butt up on the weekdays at that very same hour so I can be on time to work!

*down with spring forward, down, down, down*

At 31 March, 2006 05:04, Blogger sassinak said...

i miss saturday morning cartoons

At 31 March, 2006 05:16, Blogger NotReverent said...


At 31 March, 2006 07:28, Blogger terry said...

buddha: so sorry about those early morning wake-up calls from the little one! but he's so cute, how can you complain?
then again, nothing's cute enough at 6:30 on a saturday morning...

sass, you could always just turn on the cartoon network...

what what, notrev??

At 31 March, 2006 07:41, Blogger cadbury_vw said...

others have covered the sympathy part of things well (you have mine as well). i am completely sympathetic to sleep problems having had messed up sleep since spring 1998 (car accident [rear ended] and likely related fibromyalgia)

i now do pretty good with sleep

so, i thought i would toss a few ideas out...


a few things to look at (in no particular order pf precedence):

1) there may be, uh, age related hormonal issues related to your sleep disturbances (so i've been told) - see your medical professional of choice
2) a couple of folks in my office had some of the same issues - waking but not able to fall asleep again. i suggested that they try what i took (take - 2 years) as part of my self-help for fibromylgia (doctors know shit all about fibromyalgia...). hydroxytryptophan (5-htp). it has appeared to work for both of them.

Iron Magazine review of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
3) exercise/physical activity
4) meditation/relaxation

At 31 March, 2006 08:31, Blogger sassinak said...

yeah i've heard great stuff about 5htp... and there's nothing scary about it.

and i fully agree on the exercise bit too... use your body, endorphins make you happy and that makes it easier to sleep :)

At 31 March, 2006 09:08, Blogger Angela said...

i have three letters for you: TPM

At 31 March, 2006 09:19, Blogger terry said...

cad, i actually DO suspect i'm experiencing peri-menopause, and need to talk it over with a doc. GOODY.
i've never heard of 5htp; i'll be sure to check that out, though. thanks!

and you and sass have hit the nail on the head, i think: exercise is key. i haven't gotten much lately -- fell off track again with the latest respiratory thing, and with all the rain, i'm having a hard time getting back on track. but i will. i definitely sleep better when i'm working out more consistently...but even then, i still wake up a lot. aaagh.

meditation i'm already doing, with mixed results. still working on that.

and ang, i can't do that every night! it leaves me with a hangover. nor do i want to rely on it every night. i'm plenty tired at night; it's my mind that often won't shut off.

At 31 March, 2006 15:54, Anonymous Jeannette said...

TPM? That's not short for Sour Apple Martinis, is it? HA!

At 31 March, 2006 16:42, Anonymous kim said...'s a goofy thing. check out some chinese medicine sites. they believe that our organs each have a certain time that they wake up and do their thing. someone the other day told me that the liver's up around 3 or 4 and if you have a lot to drink, you might wake up around then because the livers doing it's thing. my spleen deficiency? remember that? the accupuncturist said to get up around 6:30ish because that's when it starts waking up or something. crazy? who knows. it's a thought.

At 31 March, 2006 20:03, Blogger terry said...

jeannette: tylenol PM. that stuff is AMAZING. but you need to make sure you have at least 8 hours -- and maybe even more than that -- to sleep it off.

kimmy, i'm totally cracking up at the notion of my liver waking up before i do, but i don't doubt what you're saying. clearly, it's worth checking out.


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