Thursday, June 5, 2008

No Sleep For The Weary

It is 2:30 a.m.   While the rest of my family are sleeping soundly, all snug in their beds, I am yet again up and wide awake. I have had this crazy habit of waking up at the same time every night for a while now. About 2:00 a.m. I wake up and can't get back to sleep. I have been doing this for so long, that I actually forgot what it is like to get a full night of restful slumber. No matter what I do, it's the same thing every night. Going to bed early doesn't help. Going to bed late doesn't help. Sleeping aids don't help. And even my old trusty standby - Benedryl - doesn't help, although it is working out quite well for my allergies.

A while back, I was so tired during the day that I was taking a 2 - 4 hour nap every afternoon.  I tried to stop this, thinking that was the reason I couldn't sleep at night, but no matter how hard I tried, by 2:00 p.m. (must be my bewitching hour) I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open.  

I saw my doc.  After a check-up, some tests and lots of blood work that all came back normal, she thought I might suffer from depression.  Although I am not a huge fan of medicating, when she prescribed Zoloft, I figured it was worth a shot.  After about a month of living in a bliss filled, zombie-like state (which isn't such a bad thing, NOTHING bothered me - I mean AT ALL)  she decided it wasn't depression.   She couldn't figure it out.  I got MANY recommendations from family and friends.  Some pretty crazy, some not so crazy.  Finally, I did a 2 day sleep study.  Sleep for 2 days?  Whenever I want?  Sounds heavenly, doesn't it?  Not so much.  

Ironically, I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy.  You know, that disorder when you fall asleep in the middle of random things?  I'm still not so sure this is what I have, but at this point, I was willing to try anything.  So, after many trial and error periods of different medications, all of which did not help, my sleep doc and I decided to regroup.

My biggest concern was 2-fold.  I didn't want to take anything that would hinder my waking in the middle of the night if one of the kiddies absolutely needed me and I just wanted to be able to make it through an entire day without crashing mid-afternoon (After all, this is when we have homework and daily chores and making supper - all the lovely things that go with the suburban homelife).  Enter Adderall XR.  

Usually used in people who have ADHD to help them reach a state of calm and focus, it supposedly has the reverse effect on those of us who don't have it.  The doc thought the extended release formula might help me make it through the day.  I can happily say, I rarely take long naps anymore.  Don't get me wrong, about 2:00 p.m. I am still tired, but not so I absolutely have to sleep.  I can at least plug on through my afternoon and evening in a somewhat coherent, if not focused manner.  

I was sure that cutting out the nap would be the fix for my late night habit.  No such luck. I still wake up every night and I still can't get back to sleep most nights.  So, I have decided to put my regular nightly ritual to good use.  I get quite a bit done.  

In those few hours, some of the things I have accomplished are as follows:  
I have cleaned my entire house (Am no longer allowed to vacuum at 3:00 a.m. - this apparently disturbs those who are not awake)
I have bleached every ceiling fan in the house (Oddly enough, we have quite a few - I did not realize that we actually have a least 1 fan per room, if not 2)
I have gotten ALL the laundry in the house washed, dried and folded (Sometimes, if I'm feeling lucky, I even put it away in everyone's rooms) - and let me tell you, this is no small feat - we have A LOT of laundry.  
I have cleaned out the garage, the basement and our storage area
I have polished the gas grill and hosed down the back deck's sitting area
And now I can blog

After reading the above, I wonder if my time would be spent more wisely trying to figure out why I am such a complete bag of nuts?  Well, even as nutty as all this is, there is something to be said about the feeling of accomplishment.  Even if it's in the wee hours of the morning.  

I hope that someday, my sleep will magically return to its normal patterns.  Or maybe not even normal, but at least regular and nightly.  But until then,  I will continue with my ritual awakenings and I will continue to hope I can make it through each next day and I will continue to hope that this whole Adderall thing is not forever and I will continue to find things to occupy my racing mind.

It's 3:10 a.m. and I'm sure I can find something to clean.

Until Later . . . . . . . . . . .