Friday, 15 January 2010

Seeing as it's after three o'clock in the morning and everyone else in the house is sound asleep. It seems like a good time to tackle the issue's surrounding insomnia. I have no hope of getting to sleep next to Dave's freight train like snoring anyhow. It wouldn't be so bad if there was something decent on the telly at this time of the morning...there never is, although I am now somewhat of an expert on African and Indian wild life.

Insomnia is something that I have suffered with for so long now, that I don't even think anything of it anymore. And this is a problem I share with several mums and dads I know. It seems to frequently go hand in hand with having special needs kids.

I know exactly why it began; Aaron had sleep disturbance from day one, he never slept more than 2 hours at a time no matter what, so I had to get used to having short bursts of sleep whenever he did. Of course the other children came along and it was no longer possible to do that, and Dave was working full time, so I never expected him to do the waking nights (besides it would have taken a small explosion to wake Dave once asleep) so I just got used to having less sleep.

Although this may be a major factor in my extreme clumsiness of course!I was always, stumbling out of bed, stubbing my toe, tripping down the stairs, and the kids learnt some rather choice words too.

I guess my body just trained itself to adjust, I got into a routine of four hours sleep and that was that. Of course when Aaron became oxygen dependant, he needed someone with him 24 hours a day. He needed suction, percussion physio, and of course he was tube fed, so it was an every minute job. A family support worker we had recently met did come and see us, and was clearly shocked at how shattered I looked ('you look shattered' I believe actually translates to 'good god woman you look rough')and so she arranged for a nurse to come and sit with Aaron three nights a week for six hours at a time.

So that's when I slept...from midnight to six am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I was up every minute of every other day. I did doze of a couple of times, once while I was actually standing up doing the ironing would you believe and another time while I was in the middle of changing a nappy (just a wet one luckily). But I got used to it, and I valued those precious hours in bed.

So I guess my insomnia is self inflicted in some ways, and I now find it impossible to sleep normal hours. It's not my brain or my body's fault, I've deprived it of sleep for so long, it's getting it's own back now.

Besides, you don't really want to be in the same room as me if I've had more than four hours sleep, I'm a nightmare, I bounce off the walls and run around like a Tasmanian devil on acid. Dave and the kids joke about not sitting still for to long in case they get dusted, polished, painted or tidied.

But on the other hand, I don't think I'd get everything done if I had to take four hours out of my schedule. I need another three hours in the day as it is! Twenty hour days seem extreme, but I think my life's pretty extreme. There are too many things I want to achieve to spend too much time sleeping I suppose. of course, the odd lay in would be good.

Night night, sleep tight!

Sal x

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2 comments: to “ Insomnia

  • Life with Kaishon
    18 January 2010 at 02:39  

    Oh no! I can not even imagine getting by without much sleep Sally. I was in a car accident for a while and it totally messed me up with sleeping. Now I have to take tylenol pm every night to fall asleep. Do you ever try that?

  • My name is Erin.
    18 January 2010 at 15:13  

    I read an article in Newsweek once about how insomnia is common among women (me, too, though not as bad now as it was in my early 20's). One cause is iron deficiency. Sure enough, I added an iron supplement to my vitamin regimen and I started sleeping like a baby and falling asleep faster. I've recently been terrible about my vitamins again... and lo and behold... I've been a bit of an insomniac. So I'll be starting on my vitamins again and adding in that iron supplement.

    I'm sorry your blogger account is acting up. You've been on my mind lately. Hope you doing ok. XO

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