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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

sleep, elusive sleep

I remember sleeping past noon when I was young, reckless, unencumbered, and full of hormones.

Now, I can't remember the last time I've had a decent night sleep. I suppose the reasons are many, too many thoughts in my head, a husband who snores (although he has graciously agreed upon occasion to take up residence in the now-empty 19-year old's bed), lack of hormones, silly cat that thinks he has to wake me up because he would like to eat and be let out at 3:00 a.m....

I suspect I'm not the only one out there with sleep issues. I know more regular, purposeful exercise would help (I do try, but not enough), I don't drink any more than one caffeinated drink per day, I have tried melatonin, even took Tylenol nighttime for pain (wasn't it any specific pain)…

I really think it's being 53 and those oh so powerful hormones, or decline of those oh so powerful hormones, is messing with me.

I am now opening the floodgates of comments - proceed.

54 comments:

  1. zzzzzzzzZ! What? Who? Where? Why?
    Oh! Sleep..Very light sleeper..Me!
    When my daughter was a babe, and
    turned in her cot..l woke! If she
    needed changing..l'd change her..! :).

    And, when l still had George..he always
    slept on my bed..Winter time..in it..! :).
    When he jumped off the bed to go out..l
    would wake..go downstairs, let him out the
    dinning room window..back to bed..when he
    was ready to come back in..he would rattle
    the back door handle, l'd got down and let
    him back in...! :).
    Back to bed..though sometimes he'd have a gift
    for me..! :). Bless! Him!
    Oh! Sorry! Did'nt say..George was a pussy~cat..
    That's him up on the left there..!

    So..l'm a very light sleeper, slightest sound,
    l'm awake..l don't mind so much now, as l'm
    getting older..as one day..l won't wake up at
    all..! HeHe! :0).
    "Every day above ground..is a good day".
    ☕🍰☕🍰☕ ☕🍰☕🍰☕ ☕🍰☕🍰☕

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    1. Well, you've got a good attitude about it! Personally, my one cat drives me nuts. He has a cat door. Why do I have to be the one to let him out a regular door?

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    2. Ah! As l always say...
      "Dogs have owners..Cats have staff".
      And..George went over the bridge some
      years back now..so it's only me climbing
      out the dinning room window now! ;o). 🐾🐾

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  2. I know the feeling too. But hey, every time I get woken up I know I'm still here. It's just me and Pogo, so if he wants something at weird hours, I get up and get it for him. Some times I just read a book or watch something on TV till my eyes get sleepy again. Then again, it could just be your hormones. Until you figure out why you're not getting much sleep, take naps whenever you can. It might help. Sorry I'm not much help for you. I hope you have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. Oh, Edna. I envy those who can nap. I'm not a good napper, unfortunately (and still working full time). Yes, I do sometimes read a bit when I'm awake at 3:30 a.m.

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  3. Separate rooms is the only way to sleep well. Medically proven. Go for it. You will never look.back.

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    1. I appreciate the lack of snoring, but I feel odd being in the bed by myself. I'm used to having him beside me.

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    2. You would soon get used to it, you would be fast asleep.

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  4. I have to take a very light sleep medication, but sleep is mostly good.

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    1. I'd rather not have to take anything. I'm not really great with side effects. Glad you manage to sleep well, though.

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    2. I have fibromyalgia so it's kind of do it or don't. I'm going to be trying the CBD drops soon. I'm hearing impressive stories about it from other FM sufferers.

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    3. I've heard good things about the CBD drops as well. Hope it works well for you!

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  5. I haven't had a full, unbroken night's sleep since I hit menopause 12 years ago. It's just the "new normal" now.

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  6. I'm with Debra. I thought, once I got through menopause, that I would be cut some slack. I was wrong. There is also the fact that I am and have always been a very light sleeper - sort of sleeping with one ear on and one ear off. I average 5-6 hours a night and I guess that is what I need. Every once in a while, I go down in flames, so to speak, and get 7 hours!

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  7. For me it's getting the right balance between drinking enough and not drinking enough before bedtime (no - not that kind of drinking - that has the effects of both).

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    1. I know what you mean. It's not about having to get up and go to the bathroom (but, since I'm awake, I figure I might as well), it's just being awake. I get to sleep fine, usually, but it's staying asleep that's the problem.

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  8. My husband comes home from work between 12 am and 2 am, he always wakes me up so the rest of the night I sleep fitfully and then I'm up for good around 7 am. I'll be 50 this winter, I just thought it was part of the aging process. I didn't used to be like this.

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    1. Oh, that's rough - being woken up by someone with a different work schedule. Fifty is fun.

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  9. I had a complete hysterectomy at age 45 (30+ years ago) because of severe endometriosis. Made the decision not to go on hormone replacement therapy. I'm thankful nearly every day that I not longer suffer with the endo, but apparently the doctor took out all my hormones during the surgery! And that's when I started having a hard time getting a good night's rest. I've gone the whole gamut of sleep aids to no avail. Curiously, my husband has been doing research on enzymes and why we need them especially as we grow older. He's started us on a regime of enzyme supplements and for the last week I've been sleeping all through the night! (Geesh, hope I didn't jinx myself by saying this.)

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    1. Enzymes? Which enzymes?? (sorry, did I sound too desperate there?)

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  10. Peri-menopausal person here. I find that my sleep isn't yet so affected, but other issues have cropped up. May you find what works for you to get good night's rest!

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    1. Well, peri-menopause was an enjoyable time filled with hot flashes, joint pain, and generally feeling about 82 years old most of the time. I thought once I was past that it would even out, but after reading Debra and Susan above, I think it's been wishful thinking.

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    2. Oh, should add that I was never a candidate for hormone replacement (previous blood clot).

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  11. It's definitely age-related, sadly. I've been on HRT for 3 years so can't blame rubbish sleep on diminishing or irregular hormonal activity. Although I have from my mid-40s noticed that if I don't get some regular exercise for a goodly stretch of time, my sleep is much worse - shattered when I go to bed but then just lay there with nothing happening until some fitful dozing kicks in. By resuming two or three exercise classes a week for a couple of weeks I can "fix" it but I'll still knowingly let myself slip into those inactive periods from time to time. I feel like celebrating if I ever manage 9 hours these days!

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    1. Absolutely, I have to increase my level of exercise, beyond being on my feet all day and the walking around I do at work.

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  12. The perks of getting older :) At least I don't have any more hot flashes or night sweats. Things could be worse!

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  13. Although there is no snoring partner here, between the cats and my own internal workings, I get about 6 hours of sleep a night. According to my FitBit only 1 hour of that is deep sleep. I feel your pain and wish there was a magic wand to turn back the clock to the days when I could sleep until noon. Though I would neither want to be a teenager again, nor sleep more than 8 or 9 hours.

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    1. I tried wearing my fitbit to sleep, but I can't stand the thing on my wrist! Ha ha, I would NOT want to return being a teenager either, but maybe the second time around I would not be such twit!

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  14. I really can't advance the discussion. I get up once, to take a pee, and that turns out to be the perfect opportunity to take my thyroid pill, so I do, and go back to bed. As for the cat, I ignore him. I've told him, hundreds of times, "You're not the boss of me!" He may get it, one of these days.

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  15. As long as the room is dark I can sleep anywhere. That includes cinemas and lecture halls. (But not on aircraft.) If I don't get my full eight hours' sleep I turn into a monster.

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  16. The comments are great. And I feel for you. I've had issues in the past that seem to be somewhat more regular now. The two biggies for me were my coughing from my lung disease (this can still be a problem getting me to sleep but once there, less so -- though Rick says it's more a problem for him!) and, when I was going through peri-menopause, night sweats. UGH. I think it's much better now because a) I tend not to drink water/pop/whatever too much after dinner. If I do, I know I'll be up more times in the night. And I'm used to myself, so I get back to sleep better. During the week, Rick and I are in different houses, and in a way, that helps too. When we're together I'm so afraid I'll keep HIM up by coughing that I have a hard time getting to sleep myself! I do tend to wake up at almost the same time in the night to hit the bathroom and again a couple of hours later, but can usually make it back. I'm not a good napper; can't sleep well in the light. I can relate to the too-many-thoughts because I think if I have trouble now, that's the biggest issue and I have no idea what to do about that one. I so feel for you.

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    1. Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie - I had what I deemed "the two year cough", so I know what you mean! I'm fine with that now, thank goodness. There is a really funny video out there of a speaker (psychiatrist?) who models the difference between the male brain and the female brain and he talks about how men put their lives in boxes and they have a nothing box. Then he shows a head with wires all over it and that's a female brain where one thought leads to another and they are all interconnected. How I wish I had a nothing box to go to!

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  17. Jenn.. I'm with you. I can't remember the last time that I had a decent night of sleep and I've got the bags to prove it. Have a good weekend - hope it's full of sleep.

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  18. Oh Jenn...same here. I have Alex on one side and Jack on the other and they both snore lol...I get used to it, but it does wake me often. I'd say though, the biggest hurdle in my sleeping is wearing that darn mouth guard so I don't grind my teeth to shards...I don't know if I'll ever get used to it, but it is helping my teeth so I can't stop. A shot of good brandy before bed used to do it, but I'd wake up thirsty at 4am and just end up staying awake anyway. Sometimes it's nightmares that wake me up, sometimes it's just too many thoughts that I can't stop in my mind. They say a tired body will sleep...but what about the mind???? Meditation maybe?

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    1. As I type this, I have a small glass of brandy beside me on the nightstand. I have no idea if it is any good, not much of a brandy connoisseur, but it's all we had. Thanks for the advice! (sorry about the teeth grinding - that must be a pain)

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    2. Jenn, Alex and I have tasted $20 brandy to $500 Armagnac and Cognac. Honestly, price doesn't make it better. We buy St-Remy XO brandy. It's $29 at the Quebec liquor stores and it rivals a $225 Cognac that we wasted our money on in 2014!

      I'm a big believer that fermented alcohol (wines, brandies, vermouth) are good for the body and soul. If I didn't have a little ounce of red vermouth after dinner, I wouldn't digest as well as I do. When we feel sick, we have a glass of warm brandy and we always feel better. I also think that a little wine every day keeps my insides healthy. The proof is in the Rain Puddin'! :) (or maybe I'm just a wino at heart lol!!!)

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  19. I went through a phase of 5 years where I never got more than 4 hours...sometimes a lot less. I feel asleep quite normal but did not stay there.

    It seems to have leveled out. I've worked hard at quieting (or at least being able to ignore) the rapid succession of thoughts running the show and that has helped. I will occassionally find an Advil will help and if I do have a few nights in a row, I will take a benedryl and just deal with the hangover I have the next day.

    I am sorry that you are dealing with this unpleasant part of this time in our life. Hope it works itself out soon.

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    1. Yes, I generally can fall asleep, but it's staying asleep that's the issue. I have brandy, I have locked the annoying cat in the mudroom tonight... we shall see.

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  20. I feel your pain! I am thrilled when I get a solid 4 hours sleep without waking up for some reason--usually bathroom, often my painful right knee or equally painful left hip. Or my hands cramping up. Aging is a hard business. One thing that helps me is a couple shots of brandy before bed. Seriously, helps me sleep sound as a baby.

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    1. You're the second one to suggest this. I'm giving it a try!

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  21. As a post script, if anyone is reading this, I mistakenly thought the cat was outside when I locked up the door to the mudroom. Nope, he was in the house, and woke me at around 3:00 a.m. Then, after reading a bit I managed to fall asleep again, only to be woken by a scam phone call at 5:40 a.m. saying our credit card had been used to make purchases... blah blah blah. Checked this morning, and no, the credit card is fine. Oh well, there's always tomorrow night...

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  22. When I started reading your post............I thought you were describing me! I think all of the reasons you stated are probably what is going on.........plus, I think we have so much on our minds these days that our brain is still going over it when our bodies are tired. You might try yoga to help you relax. Wishing you better peaceful nights!

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    1. Isn't it amazing how many of us are dealing with this?

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  23. I too am a 51 year old perimenopausal frustrated sleeper. I read about this trick and was desperate enough to give it a try. https://metro.co.uk/2018/09/04/this-breathing-technique-will-get-you-to-sleep-in-just-one-minute-7911925/
    Some nights it works, some it doesn't. I think it helps when i remember to do it before my brain engages and i start to think too much about all of the "things". If this doesn't put me back to sleep i generally read until my eyes start to close, the kobo is great for late night reading. Also not snacking after my evening meal makes a huge difference. a full belly makes for a poor sleep.

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  24. I had no idea there were so many others living on three or four hours of sleep a night. I drive myself crazy thinking, and worrying, and planning things during the night, then get up feeling like I've been at work.

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  25. After reading your post, Jenn, and also the resulting comments which you invited, I don't feel so alone in not being able to fall asleep easily. For me, it's the brain activity that keeps me awake because I keep thinking about all sorts of things. Thankfully, I don't awake for pets or bathroom trips. What does help me is if I have had more than 1 glass of red wine (Merlot is my favorite) and then I doze off comfortably. What also keeps me awake are cold feet so if I use an extra blanket and feel warm then I can get to sleep much faster. My husband has no problem falling asleep quickly and he also enjoys an afternoon nap when he can find time.

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