Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sleep Blogging

Okay, I've decided that when I can't go to sleep, I will come down, borrow Justin's laptop, and post one blog entry for each night of insomnia.  That usually gets me to the point of being able to drop off.  What the hell does that say about my writing?

I have several interesting topics coming up this week, but I thought I would tackle once again the sleep issue, as it so hugely pertains to my mood and ability to get out of bed in the morning.

Yes, it is a totally self-fulfilling prophecy that if you believe you won't be able to go to sleep, you simply won't be able to go to sleep.  I just sigh and accept it and get back out of bed.  I haven't decided if the sleep problems come from the hypomania or the hypomania comes from the sleep problems.  I do know that the work week presents particular challenges, since my body simply does not desire sleep before 12:00 or later and the kiddos are up and out to the bus at 7:00 a.m.  Which  means a 6:30 wakeup call where I drag my half-asleep, pajama clad body down the stairs, make Joey's sandwich for lunch and his breakfast, get the dog his breakfast, and spend about 10-15 minutes snuggling the last of my brood on the couch before he heads out the door to middle school.

On the days I am really lucky, I have been able to not schedule any morning appointments and can climb back into bed until the more civilized hour of about 8:30 and then take my time urging my sore body up and at 'em.  I know, I know, I have such the life!  I am grateful, truly.  But the sleep thing is annoying and irritating and all other kinds of "ing's" that I can't put into actual words.  I have always had this problem, for as long as I can remember and I'm not covering any new angles here.

My psychiatrist has made it very clear that the right amount of sleep is crucial to mood stabilization with bipolar patients.  And I want so very much to comply with his instructions.  I take my meds as ordered and go to bed at a decent hour.  The problem is I am usually popping right back up after only a half hour of lights out because I'm tossing and turning, the chronic fibro and sciatic pain exacerbated by my attempts to lie still, with my mind going a hundred miles an hour.  Usually obsessing over something, although my brain has decided to give that a rest tonight, as our weekend was fairly uneventful.  Quite the feat in Winchester over Apple Blossom Festival weekend, but I'm no idiot.  I may be a little cray, but I'm not stupid.  I stay away from those crowds!  We had a quiet weekend at home and I was able to spend a good bit of time exploring a few new blogs, tweaking my blog design, and reading a good book or two.

The fibro has combined with the primary insomnia to the point that I have simply given up.  I have tried it all.  Sleep meds, exercise, hot baths or showers, schedule, tv, iPod...nothing works.  I have every intention of making a really boring playlist this week to possibly make the iPod more sleep friendly.  Every time a fast song comes up, it kind of undoes all of the work the slower songs on whatever album (are they still called that?) I am listening to might have accomplished.

So, here I am once more, sitting at Justin's computer and noting that most of the world does not update their blog four times in a weekend.  Actually, my belief is that the whole world has a life...including my own family.  Chalk one more up to the isolation I've been dwelling in.  It's not an unhappy place.  Just kind of a strange limbo where everyone else has stuff to do and I, well, just don't.  And that's fine, that's okay.  I'm good with it.  And it's great for writing production.  Just not so great for the whole agoraphobia, relate to people, do things during the daytime like a human being thing.

As long as what I've written is coherent and entertaining, then maybe the insomnia isn't such a bad thing.  I guess the only way I can judge that is by how many people actually hit the blog after I post an update.

Coming This week:

Is it Bipolar or is it ADHD?
What to Do When You're So Lonely You Could Cry
Why Don't They Carry Gymboree Clothes for Grown Women?
I Know It's Not My Imagination:  Prices Have Gone Up (Spending Diet)

Maybe that's an ambitious list, considering I want to work on the book some too.  But I'm not on a deadline, self-imposed or otherwise.  So stay tuned...


  1. Chelle, I know from experience how important sleep is. I take Ambien, and Clonazepam, and am coming off of Seroquel right now, and sometimes I take a muscle relaxer, plus I take Melatonin, and Valerian Root. ANd that is the only way I can sleep now. When it stops working, I don't know what I'll do. But I definitely understand your difficulties with sleep, and it's true what your psychiatrist said, that sleep is very crucial. It really sets off my symptoms of I don't get enough sleep. I start having auditory hallucinations and delusional thoughts and depression, when I don't sleep well.

    Thank you for leaving a comment at my blog and for adding me to your blog roll. I am adding you to mine as well, and I will definitely be back here.

  2. Jen,

    I can't remember what dosage you said you were on for seroquel. I've taken it at both really high doses and very low. When you only take 25 or 50 mg, it is incredible for sleep, but you still get the seroquel hangover the next day. Of course, I'm barely moving in the morning anyway, so I don't know that it would matter these days!

    The pediatrician had suggested melatonin for my son's sleep problems, but we were never able to find it anywhere. Where do you buy yours? I've heard of the valerian root, but never seen it anywhere.

    No matter how hard I try, I just can't regulate my sleep to the same as the rest of the world's. I'm only off by a couple of hours, but it's making life difficult with the kids needing to get up and go to school and sometimes I just can't schedule things later in the day. Everyone else operates on a 9-5 schedule!

    I look forward to reading more of your blog. I was very interested in what you had to say about the social security disability issue.


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