Sunday, January 19, 2014

Can't Get No Sleep

I've always had trouble falling asleep, but I've been taking it to a whole new level this week. I got a cold last Sunday, and about 2 days into it (when the respiratory symptoms caught up with the general malaise) I started having trouble sleeping. Wednesday and Thursday nights were mildly restless, but not enough to make me tired at work. Friday I went out with some friends and got home late.  I slept great that night, but I still missed out on a couple hours of sleep and probably reactivated my cold a little. I was kind of in low-grade zombie mode all Saturday, which was fine because all I had to do was run a few errands in the morning and chug cough syrup the rest of the day.

Cough syrup is an experiment for me. I've never really used it before, mainly because the thought of swilling some sugary concoction of chemicals makes me want to gag, and I prefer doing things the natural way (for the record, slippery elm doesn't help). But after whooping it up for the past couple of days, I decided to bite the bullet and bought some sugar-free Robitussin. It was still nasty. Wish I could have just found it in pill form. But anyway, I think it helped. At least, there were a few hours between doses where I didn't feel the need to cough. But right after each dose was usually, for some reason, a coughing frenzy. Probably the gag reflex kicking in.

Anyway, round about 10:00, I realized I was too tired to focus my eyes, so I got myself into bed and prepared for a nice heavy sleep. The kind I usually get when I've been sleep deprived.

But this time as soon as my head hit the pillow, the tickle in my throat came back with a vengeance! I had brought the cough syrup into bed with me, so I just poured a dose, convulsed for a few minutes, and finally calmed down. Then I tossed and turned for a while and realized that I was feeling restless. I blamed it on the Sudafed. It wasn't supposed to wear off until around 4am, so I prepared for a few uncomfortable hours. It might have been the cough syrup, though. Or the combination.

But then, despite the long-lasting effects of the Sudafed on my sleep, it hadn't worked so well on my congestion. Part of my nose was stuffy, and it was extremely distracting! I had also brought my decongestant spray into bed with me (it works better than Sudafed), so took a few hits of that and lay back down.

Then, at 11, I got a text message! My Airbnb houseguests wanted to know if they could extend their stay another night! I had to rouse myself, check to make sure no one else had booked for the following night, and then let them know they were free to book. Later (too much later), while I was still semi-conscious, they finally made the booking, resulting in another text message at 12:40 and me having to get up again, visit Airbnb and approve their request.

At this point, I realized I was going to need some help, so I opened my old sleep hypnosis app. I don't know why I bother with it, because it never works. I have a very low susceptibility to hypnosis. So then I went on to progressive muscle relaxation.

After that, I might have even dozed a bit, but I know I checked my phone at 2:24 am, because I was getting that throat tickle again and wanted to know if it was time for another dose. Close enough! I swallowed it down, rinsed my mouth assiduously with water, then started worrying that maybe cough syrups only come in syrup form because they have to adhere to your throat to work, and by rinsing it out with water, I was undoing its effects. So then I had to swallow the water and hope I wasn't just throwing my cough syrup down a figurative drain. [later I found out I wasn't, so all of that worrying was for no reason, and all of that vile medicine could be delivered much less disgustingly].

More time passed. I tossed, I turned, I had annoying half-dreams while still being conscious of being awake. I felt like the whole night was that—my mind just drifting from thought to thought and plot to plot until, finally, it was 8 am and I crawled out of bed with great relief, just happy to not have to try to sleep any more. I felt even more tired than I had been when I went to bed. My eyes wouldn't work properly, and I couldn't concentrate worth a hoot!

Normally when I get up after a night of inadequate sleep, I can work for a while, take a nap a few hours later, and then face the day feeling mostly all right. Today, however, I got in bed  around 11, set my alarm for 2 hours, and waited. I got the same old half-dreams I got before. It didn't help that it was right around the time I expected my boyfriend to come online halfway around the world. So I had to leave the computer on and facing my bed just in case. Of course, he didn't come online, but the computer did try to go to sleep, prompting me to get out of bed half an hour into my nap and change the power settings, and then it turned its screen off another 15 minutes later, prompting me to debate whether I should get up again, or just leave it off. I decided to just leave it off, but it was too late; the sleep was already lost. An hour and a half into my sleepless "nap," I decided it just wasn't happening, so I got back up to cook some food in what could now be called full-on zombie mode.

I hope I can sleep again soon, preferably tonight! The last thing I want to do is add insomnia to my list of chronic ailments.


Anonymous said...

Sorry for the insomnia and the cough. Cough syrup has always been nasty, but since I used to drink Fanta sodas in the bowling alleys with the parents, I'm kind of used to the taste. Hope you get some sleep soon.