I really should be in bed. Instead I’m sitting in the living room, watching ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ and writing. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. So, I apologize if I begin to ramble. Sleep deprivation will do that to you!
It’s been years since I swam in the swimming pool of Major Depression, but it seems that when I wasn’t looking, I put on my suit & dove in. Last Fall I argued with my doctor about whether my sleeplessness was caused by depression; next week I’ll be asking for a new anti-depressant.
For the record, I detest these meds. In the past, between feeling EVERYTHING and feeling nothing, I’ve chosen everything. It seemed as if tears & darkness were a better option then. And I always had the time & strength to pull myself out of it. I don’t feel that way anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because there are so many other things going on, maybe it’s because I’m just so frikkin tired. I don’t think I could pull myself back. So I’ll ask for help, and take the damn pills. And if that means I don’t feel anything, well, so be it. Life wrapped in bubble wrap could be fun, huh?
Insomnia isn’t a new thing for me–it started way back at the dawn of time, when I was in high school. Always the same pattern. I fall asleep easily enough, and sleep well for a few hours. Then, usually about 2:30 a.m., I wake up, needing to pee, and after that, I’m awake for hours.
Sometimes I’ll be able to fall back asleep for an hour or two, but my twitchy feet usually watch me back up.
Oh, yeah, did I mention I have RLS? Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s a pain is the ass (or rather, legs) neurological condition that causes a tickling feeling in the legs or in my case, the bottoms of my feet. It makes my legs jerk so hard sometimes that I kick like a horse! Nobody is really sure what causes it, but we do know that many things make it worse; among these are the anti-seizure medication that I’m on. Yep. Finally found a med which will control my seizures (whoo–hoo!), and it makes my feet go crazy, causing an increase in insomnia. Wouldn’t you know, lack of sleep is a BIG trigger for me & seizures…
I’ve tried all sorts of insomnia remedies: medication, bedtime yoga, Sleepytime tea, self-hypnosis, melatonin & Valerian, and a white noise machine. Not many have been successful for long. I’ve heard all the advice, and have tried most of it, to little avail. I simply don’t sleep.
I’ve also tried many many remedies for RLS, most of them home remedies found online. So far none have worked for long. I’ve taken magnesium citrate before bed; I’ve rubbed my legs & lower back down with apple cider vinegar; I’ve done a series of strange exercises in the dark. The thing that worked the best was eliminating caffeine & sugar from my diet, which I did to get rid of migraines. Discovered it helped the feet. Of course, now I’m back on the coffee wagon, (or did I fall off the wagon?), so I may have to fix that… I do know there are a couple of medications available for RLS, but so far, I haven’t tried them. Didn’t want to add one more med to my already large collection. If things don’t improve, I may change my mind.
There was a time when I’d get out of bed and clean my apartment in the middle of the night, but those days are gone. (We have neighbors here who are very sensitive to noise, and even running water after ten seems to annoy them, so no more scrubbing the bathroom or rearranging kitchen cabinets!) Some nights I turn on my bedside lamp, pick up my book and read; other night I get online and discover strange new blogs. Most nights I simply lie in the dark, listening to the fake ocean sounds from the white noise machine, trying to count backward from one hundred, as I take deep, even breaths, and hope I’ll relax enough to to fall asleep again.
Tonight I’m going to finish watching Craig Ferguson, then stay up as late as I can, in hopes that I can reset my inner alarm clock a little, or at least throw it off balance. And then, with any luck, I’ll get some sleep, dammit!