Saturday, July 19, 2008
sleeping is for sissies
Bertram Russell once said,"Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact." Unfortunately, I think this is true, at least among insomniacs. A room full of insomniacs is just as bad as moms at a baby shower: "You think that's bad? I was in labor for 18 hours! And then they used forceps!" It is in that spirit that I share the following: The night before last I slept for 1 hour and 30 minutes. And, no, I do not have a newborn. No, I wasn't about to take the LSAT. I was on an antibiotic, of all things, for a sinus infection. It was terribly potent and caused all sorts of gastronomic distress, numbness in the extremities, dizziness, and what can only be called sleep resistance. Every time I was near sleep I had that little body quake, the mechanism meant to keep you awake during something important like night driving or watching a neighbor's wedding video. I tried everything our bathroom pharmacopoeia had to offer, I read a boring text book, I counted backward from 100, I got on the internet (and, incidentally, found this amazing site about an old mental hospital in New York), I drank tea, and then I just stayed in bed for hours, simultaneously envying and getting irritated with dh, snoring blissfully by my side. Around 5 am it became a reverse psychology game with me. I was going to make myself stay awake until dh's alarm went off at 5:45, and would thus fake myself into falling asleep. My brain saw through this clever plan of its own design and I finally fell asleep at 6:00. At 7:30 the kids were up and dh was off on a business trip. But here's the thing: I survived! My kids knew I was really tired but I was still a relatively happy mommy. It's a major accomplishment for me because I have had frequent bouts of insomnia since I was 9 and I think it contributes to frequent bouts of pessimism. No small part of the credit here goes to Coke Zero and some tasty chocolate.