I remember this DJ doing a special “experiment” when I first moved to Denver where he decided to see how long he could go with no sleep. He stayed on the air the whole time and it was definitely interesting, especially as time went on. As this was around twelve years ago I don’t remember the details, so I don’t remember how long he lasted, but it was days. People were definitely tuning in, to hear his “crazy” and I remember him saying some pretty weird stuff when I was listening to it a few days in. It’s amazing what lack of sleep can do to a person’s psyche.
I’m not sleeping well. This has actually been a problem for me my whole adult life. It started when I moved back from Ukraine in high school, I just never got used to the time change, and insomnia became an issue. It would kind of come and go. When I started the business in 2005 it started again in earnest and I started using Ambien on a regular basis. It was like magic. I never had any of the issues with it that people say that they have, where they eat weird stuff or get up and drive in the middle of the night, it just made me sleep. It was my miracle drug.
Sawan and I actually had some rules when it came to Ambien. No important conversations after I took it (I would completely forget what we had talked about) and no Facebook. It’s like drunk dialing. I would think I was saying all this really witty stuff and really it was just the Ambien talking (this was on the few occasions that it wasn’t making me pass out).
Apparently widowhood does this to lots of people, causes sleep issues, so with me already having difficulty in that area, I’m just doomed. It was really bad for me in the beginning, and then finally got a little better about 8 months in, but now at the year mark I’m having some major issues again. It’s not the staying asleep that’s the issue; it’s the getting to sleep, and my friend Ambien doesn’t seem to touch it.
I was thinking the other day that Sawan would enjoy my new sleep schedule so much. He slept like a teenager (which is sort of the hours I’m keeping…stay awake until 2-4:30 in the morning, and if I don’t have to work I can literally sleep until noon) and I kept more adult hours. Trouble is, I AM an adult, with an adult job and adult responsibilities so I have to get up most mornings around 7, so often I’m only getting three or four hours of sleep. I’m feeling a little like the DJ. Crazy.
I wonder if maybe part of it for me is that I’m afraid of laying there, waiting for sleep to come.
Bedtime was actually my favorite time of day (and not for the reason that you would think, wink, wink. We were actually more of an “afternoon delight” kind of a couple). Our night time routine was: I would stay up until he got home from work (from the restaurant, this is what he did most of our marriage), then go to bed almost immediately. He would come in and lay down with me for a while. I started on his chest, and we would talk about our days, then when I couldn’t stay awake anymore I would roll over onto my side and he would spoon me until I fell asleep (usually about 30 seconds). Then he would get up and tie flies or watch TV or both, or who knows what he was doing, I was asleep.
So getting to sleep by myself now is just so difficult. Laying there all alone just sucks. I try to wait until I know that I’m going to fall asleep right away so that I don’t have to lie there thinking for very long.
Widowhood has brought major change to the bedroom. Well, I suppose that’s the understatement of the year. But I mean this: I would never let us have a TV in the bedroom. I used to say that the bedroom was for sleeping and sex (if you had seen it you could have argued that it was for dirty clothes, too, but I digress). Now I spend most of my time camped out on my bed (where I eat most of my meals…I know, gross!) watching TV and doing stuff on my laptop. I’ve tried leaving the TV on to go to sleep, but then it just wakes me up later and postpones the inevitable laying there and thinking so it doesn’t really work.
So, if you see me and I’m not making coherent sentences, or I start telling you about how I saddled my giant ant and rode him into work, just know that it’s because I’m not really sleeping and I just need a nap.