Tuesday, 30 June 2009

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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12 comments: to “ insomniac

  • Nancy Brown
    30 June 2009 at 04:54  

    I am a mom of a teeny weenie as well. He is now 3. I found your blog and smile. We have sleeping issues in this house. I plant to come back and visit.

  • Decadent Housewife
    30 June 2009 at 05:29  

    You deserve a gold medal.

  • J.J. in L.A.
    30 June 2009 at 10:44  

    I've had insomnia ever since I can remember. As a kid, I went to bed at 10 pm and didn't fall asleep til 12...and had to be in class at 7:15 am!

    Right now, it's almost 2:45 am. Normally, I'd be up for another hour but I have to get up 'early' (10 am).


  • My name is Erin.
    30 June 2009 at 12:48  

    I struggled with insomnia terribly as a young adult. Thankfully, things changed and I enjoyed many years of peaceful sleep before having kids. My children are pretty wonderful sleepers, I'm just a night owl. I enjoy the quiet of the night. I always have.

    I still suffer occasionally from bouts of insomnia and have found that it's usually when I'm iron deficient. If I pop an iron pill, I usually fall asleep fairly quickly. I got the idea after I read an article about how common insomnia was among women. :)

  • Susan in the Psych Ward
    30 June 2009 at 13:06  

    Every once in a while I get terrible bouts of insomnia. My hubby and daughter steer clear of me when I do. I'm cranky, bitchy and just plain mean. God bless you!

  • ~Tom~
    30 June 2009 at 13:33  

    It is rare I suffer insomnia. When I do I am miserable. So, I don't know how you manage to go about your daily life on the little sleep you do get. God Bless you.

  • Linda
    30 June 2009 at 13:38  

    I hate it when I can't sleep, and I love it when I get a good 7-8 hours a night.

    'Iron', what's an 'Iron'?

    Oh, I remember, but I don't use one anymore, but keep one around in case one of the kids needs it when they come home, and I'm having some insomnia!

  • Me
    30 June 2009 at 14:04  

    You are a much stronger woman than I! I would be collapsed in pure exhaustion years ago, never to be awaken again! Blessing on your head!

  • Randi Troxell
    30 June 2009 at 15:29  

    good gracious! i couldnt imagine... i just couldnt imagine...

  • Heather
    30 June 2009 at 16:48  

    Wow. I don't know how you do it, woman! I'd be dead to the world. I suppose your body adjusts after a while, but I love my sleep. I try to get as much as possible.

  • Becca
    30 June 2009 at 19:39  

    I definitely should not be complaining about the loss of sleep here within this past month. In fact, every time I start to wine about it I will remind myself of you! You are one strong Momma!

  • Anonymous
    30 June 2009 at 19:42  

    I feel your pain. I have been having insomina for a while. I go through periods of time where I am fine and then I can't sleep for weeks. So I feel your pain.

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