For about the fourth night in a row, I awoke last night between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.  I tossed and turned for awhile, hoping to get back to sleep, but it was to no avail.  I stayed in bed, my eyes closed, for what seemed like an eternity, then checked the clock: 3:45 a.m.  Again, I attempted to sleep. More tossing and turning, another clock check: 4:18 a.m.  Another try and another check: 5:11 a.m.  And again: 5:49 a.m.  Finally, I may have gone back to sleep, though I sort of doubt it; when I saw that the clock read 6:49 a.m., I gave up and got out of bed.

The previous nights were not quite as gruesome.  Once, I got up at 3:15 a.m. and went back to bed around 4:30 a.m., drifting off for awhile before I got up for the day just after 6:00 a.m.  Another night, there were short periods of sleep, punctuated by 45 minute periods of wakefulness.

These episodes of insomnia, I suspect, are the primary contributors to a monstrous headache that has plagued me for the last two or three days.  Though I’m pretty sure it’s a stress headache, brought about by the stress of selling a house and buying a house and renting a house to serve as a temporary home between the two and arranging for packers and movers, it is not helped by the insomnia.  And it’s not helped by the anxiety associated with plans to get the “stuff” we’ve opted to move ourselves (rather than move into storage) from here to there.  The car isn’t big enough and I’m not sure a minivan will do the trick. Even if it does, the move will involve either making a round trip with the van, then another trip with the car, or paying exorbitant fees for a one-way rental and requiring my wife to drive one-way in the car, which is not high on her list of things she wants to do.

If money were no object, I’d hire someone to take our short-term stuff over for us…if I could find someone to do it.

The closing on our house sale is Friday.  I expect the stress will ebb a bit when that’s done. And it may drop a little if and when we reach agreement with the seller on repairs on the house we’re buying.  But if we don’t reach agreement, at least we know we have a place to live temporarily.

Coincidentally, I heard an interview yesterday with a woman who wrote a piece of fiction called “Sleep Donation,” about an epidemic of insomnia in the U.S.  I hope my recent experience with it doesn’t trigger a real epidemic.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to Insomnia

  1. I don’t doubt my insomnia will dissipate when my stressors are eliminated or diminished…that’s my plan! Juan, your comments deserve a long, long response…later! Thank you, Robin and Trish, for the encouragement…stress does take a toll.

  2. juan says:

    I dunno. I’m more likely to believe that your headaches might be caused by the pollen in the air — at least that’s the way it goes for me in Florida. You’re in the South like me, and so it might be the same for you. If so (or if not), buy yourself some honey that is produced from the area in which you live. That “home-honey” will help to produce anti-bodies that will ward off those headaches. As a bee-keeper from way-back there is some truth there.

    Insomnia? Ha! I woke up this morning at 3:30. No bullshit! Been doing that for a long time. Maybe the difference here is that I’ve long since given up on trying to go back to sleep……so get up at 3:30, goddamn it! Fuck it! What the hell? Maybe your muse is now calling you at earlier hours (?), so be it! Make some great coffee from your French coffee press, and wait for the newspaper to come in. You can get a lot of writing done with those kind of hours, my man!

    Face it! You’re getting older, and I read somewhere that as we get older, we need less sleep. Interestingly, Edison and Franklin wrote that a human being really only needs about 5 hours of sleep. Besides, you can take a “lion’s break,” and take a nap in the afternoon.

    Dream of your new life, my man! Dream of your new home!

    Might be your muse is waking you up earlier because you need to do extra writing. You know that your muse is a BITCH!? What did Robert Graves write of his Muse? That she stands on a small mountain of human skull and bone.

    So roll with it, Brother! What does not kill must surely be intended for strength! How can you lose?

    And if it still bothers you (speaking as a veteran here ;), then get some Advil PM. Take one tablet before bed. I guarantee you’ll sleep deep….likely lots of dreams!

    Well, I’ve promised letters to friends. Been so busy lately, I can hardly wipe m’ass!

    Your muse is excited, Dude! The God Janus is upon you!

  3. robin andrea says:

    Makes me wonder if there may really be an epidemic of insomnia. I know so many people (me included) who have lost hours and hours of sleep night after night. I do think that once your stress levels are reduced, you’ll sleep more soundly. Take care.

  4. Trish says:

    Hang in there, John. A move alone can be very stressful…and the limbo state between the sell and buy can be downright nerve racking. You are nearing the home stretch! ¡Yo deseo a ti y Janine todo lo mejor! 🙂

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