Friday, March 23, 2012

To sleep, to sleep

For about the last two years, I've had a weird sleep schedule.  At first, it was just that I was up late, sometimes not going to bed until three or four in the morning.  It progressed over time until I *couldn't* sleep until five or six in the morning.  By the time Baby Potatohead came along, I couldn't sleep until after the sun came up.  Since all the Potatoheads were night owls, and they lived with me, this was not really an issue, other than sleeping so late in the day that I could not get normal daytime chores, like going to the Post Office or the bank, done during working hours.

Things leveled out some after I moved out of the apartment, and couch-surfed with a friend for three months.  I was still a night owl, with occasional nights where I didn't sleep until five or six in the morning, but mostly, I was going to sleep by two or three.  That may have been because said friend has a school-age daughter and their morning routine would frequently interrupt my sleep long enough that I couldn't go back to sleep, thus making me tired earlier that night.  It may or may not have had something to do with having cable on the TV.  I am used to going to sleep with the TV on the Law and Order channel, and in absence of TV, then a DVD movie.  I cannot count the number of times I've gone to sleep to Speed or Armageddon or Die Hard.  Yes, the movies have to be blow-shit-up for me to sleep to them.  Don't ask me why.

Now, though, my sleep schedule is so messed up that it's actually creating extra stress for me.  I don't sleep every day anymore.  That's right, I don't sleep every day.  I try to.  I get tired.  I go to bed.  I read boring books.  I close my eyes and meditate.  I do any number of things that have worked for me before and no joy. One night last week, I went to bed early because I was tired.  9PM is very early for me.  Six hours later, I realized I had finished three books and was still awake.  I tried sleeping to a favorite TV episode on my Kindle Fire.  I barely dozed for a few minutes.  I meditated, my usual four-four meditation.  All that, and I didn't actually get to sleep until nearly ten the following morning, thirteen hours after I went to bed.  Then, I didn't sleep but about five hours.

So now, I sleep one "night," then am awake for the remainder of that day and all of the following day, finally falling asleep sometime in the late wee hours of the third day.  In other words, let's say I sleep Monday morning, from about six until about two in the afternoon.  Then, I'll be awake the rest of Monday, all of Tuesday, and finally be able to fall asleep sometime around five or six on Wednesday morning, if I'm lucky.  Sometimes, it's actually much later than five or six.  Basically my wake time is at least thirty-six hours.

It's driving me crazy.  Crazier.  It's a serious struggle to drag myself out of bed on the occasions when I DO have something to do that requires me to be somewhere before noon.  Heaven forbid I have to be somewhere at eight or nine in the morning, particularly since that also requires me to build in an extra two hours for the bus ride.  Grrr.

On top of this sleep schedule weirdness, I'm also not sleeping well.  Once I'm asleep, I don't wake up.  That's not the issue.  I just wake up five to eight hours later, and feel like I haven't slept at all.  I think it would be a thousand times worse if I weren't using my CPAP, but frankly, I'm afraid to sleep without that thing.  I dread the idea that the machine might have a mechanical issue, because I haven't had insurance for four years.  I have no means of replacing the little bits, like the mask or the hose, much less a machine that costs in the neighborhood of $800.

My landlord/roommate thinks it's just an oddity about my circadian rhythm that I have to adjust to.  Who knows?  Depression?  Menopause?  Anxiety?  Stress?  My body resetting itself?  Some health issue about which I'm clueless?

While I don't know what's causing it, I do know that it's causing me frustration and irritation.  I'm cranky enough normally.  Me uber-cranky is just not pleasant.  Not for other people and not for me.