Fear and loathing in Dreamland

As of this writing, I have managed a total of three hours and twenty-five minutes of sleep in the last 36 hours, including a stretch of 26 where the total was zero despite six hours in bed. I have never slept particularly well, but this incident seems unusually bad, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. Random muscle spasms have been part of the mix, inasmuch as the treatment I’d been getting for them no longer seems to work.

What I’m looking for, I suspect, does not actually exist: something that will reliably knock me out for six or seven hours, five nights a week (weekends are less critical), without instant (and irrevocable) admission to Junkie Hell. The current regimen — one Ativan and two Sominex — is failing, and failing badly.

From the Department of Bitter Irony: Worrying about not getting enough sleep tends to keep me awake at night. Go figure.





16 comments

  1. hatless in hattiesburg »

    17 April 2008 · 1:44 pm

    re “worrying about not getting enough sleep tends to keep me awake at night.” – i know that feeling (sometimes). it’s similar to the old joke about “being allergic to kleenex” :)

  2. Dwayne "the canoe guy" »

    17 April 2008 · 2:52 pm

    Dude, have you been to sleep study? Sounds like Restless Leg Syndrome. Carbidopa should help ya out.

  3. fillyjonk »

    17 April 2008 · 2:56 pm

    “Worrying about not getting enough sleep tends to keep me awake at night.”

    Yes, I know that feeling all too well. I suffer on and off (mostly off these days, thank God) from insomnia – though mine is mentally and not physically caused. (If I have something going badly in my life, I’m like a dog with a bone, chewing on it all night long).

    I don’t have any medical advice because I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.

  4. Ron »

    17 April 2008 · 3:26 pm

    A sleep study might really help you. It did me. I was having trouble and then when I did go to sleep I woke constantly throughout the night. I now use a simple to use breathing machine and feel about 1000% better. I resisted at first, I mean who wants to look like there on life support when they sleep but use it for a month and you’ll groove right in and it will change your life.

  5. Jeffro »

    17 April 2008 · 3:49 pm

    I hope you find some sort of solution soon. Living like you are now doesn’t even sound like fun.

  6. unimpressed »

    17 April 2008 · 4:00 pm

    My brother uses a machine to sleep, but his problem is apnea. I don’t know what or if something like that would help you, but it’s worth looking into.

  7. CGHill »

    17 April 2008 · 4:06 pm

    Attaching machinery to me is a non-starter; I’ll have it flung across the room within five minutes.

  8. Francis W. Porretto »

    17 April 2008 · 4:24 pm

    Charles, I share this problem with you, and I sympathize greatly. My bedevilment is joint pain and tension in the long muscles that take a lot of work to disperse.

    The one thing that has worked for me in the past is a hot bath. When I can bring myself to invest the half-hour, it usually works. Have you tried that?

  9. localmalcontent »

    17 April 2008 · 4:26 pm

    Nor am I a doctor, and will recommend no particular medicine; but in my experience, I’ve found that rotating a sleep medication with another, or two others, keeps my tolerance to any one of them low enough to use them all.

    Alternately, rotating pills hanging from strings or wires, could hypnotize you to sleep too.

    Either way, others advice to consult a doctor about this is wise.

  10. sya »

    17 April 2008 · 5:47 pm

    Wow, I could use someone like you to help me on my time point studies where staying up for twenty-four hour stretches at some regularity are de rigeur for certain experiments.

    More seriously, insomnia sucks. The only thing I find that helps is doing something really boring.

  11. Incurable Insomniac »

    17 April 2008 · 6:41 pm

    Ah yes, a tale that I know well. My sympathies and sincere wishes that things are resolved quickly.

  12. Dan Paden »

    17 April 2008 · 7:06 pm

    What I’m looking for, I suspect, does not actually exist: something that will reliably knock me out for six or seven hours, five nights a week (weekends are less critical), without instant (and irrevocable) admission to Junkie Hell.

    Dude, that’s easy: duplicate the daily routine of a Marine recruit. You’ll be able to fall asleep instantly, anywhere, anytime. :)

  13. ms7168 »

    18 April 2008 · 12:05 pm

    A couple of things to remember . . one bed is for two reasons. Sleep and Sex. Nothing else.

    Another make sure you are not working against yourself by drinking / taking anything too close to bedtime that will keep you awake. For example I read where Vitamin B-6 is good for your prostate. So I started taking it at bedtime. Bad idea as it is also used by people to keep themselves up. I switched it to morning and no more problems. Also no caffeine after about 3pm.

  14. unimpressed »

    18 April 2008 · 4:58 pm

    Bed is for two reasons. Sleep and Sex. Nothing else.

    Most nights, I get enough of the former; most months, nowhere near enough of the latter.

  15. Flack »

    21 April 2008 · 2:41 pm

    What I’m looking for, I suspect, does not actually exist: something that will reliably knock me out for six or seven hours, five nights a week (weekends are less critical), without instant (and irrevocable) admission to Junkie Hell.

    What’s Mike Tyson up to these days?

  16. CGHill »

    21 April 2008 · 3:06 pm

    About twenty grams of lithium a day, I suspect.

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