I Guess I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead?


A few nights ago, I slept 5 straight hours without getting up once.

This might not seem like a big deal, but it has been years since that has happened. At least 10. Maybe more.

I am pining for that night because insomnia has been kicking my ass since then. Last night, I slept in 20 minute increments.

There are a number of reasons for this.

First, my brain insists we do a rhyming thing when we wake up at midnight.

It’s frustrating and it is dumb, but if I don’t play along, my brain is just going to keep nagging.

Last night, for instance, when my bladder told me to get out of bed for the third time before midnight, I thought “crimping”.

No. No no no no. Could we not? Please.

Is blimping a word? I don’t think so. Crimping, scrimping, limping.

Then work anxiety pops in for a quick chat.

“Oh, hey, yeah…so that credit card system change that has been looming over your head for five fucking years is going to happen. Soon! Good luck!”

So then I have to go through the “what we would do should the very worst thing happen.” Worst thing being that I no longer have an income and we have no health insurance. The thought of this terrifies me.

Bucking, clucking ducking, fucking, hucking, wait is that a word? mucking.

Joey took a new job, he works weird hours where he could come home any time between 2:00am and 5:00am. This works out so nicely for me because when I can’t sleep, I have a super easy go-to for my nightly anxiety and that is “Is Joey home? Shouldn’t he be home by now? He’s fine. Just stop. But seriously, he should be home by now.”

Trucking, sucking

If it were just my brain attacking me, I think I’d be okay.

Sooner or later, it does give up and quiet down. But it’s not just my brain. My old lady hormones pick up the slack. My weirdly nocturnal bladder quiets down, my brain stops rhyming for two goddamn minutes and all is well.

And then I catch on fire.

Hot flashes are the devil.

So, then I’m awake.

Primping, pimping, limping

The ceiling fan does a pretty good job of stopping the sweat and then making me freeze to death. But that’s okay. Not being on fire is amazing.

Of course, this is also the time of night that Alfie the kitty goes from aloof to needy.

I do love it when he comes to snuggle, but he likes to back us butt up into my armpit and lay his head on my arm. Which is adorable. Unless I’m in the middle of a hot flash. Then his fur kind of sticks to my sweat and it is fairly horrifying. But still, kitty cuddles.

Totally worth it, even though I’ve been awake for at least 45 minutes, the alarm is going off in two hours, and I have to go back to work.

Where the credit card job looms.

I do sleep, though. Of course I do.

I slept last night, at least a little.

I dreamed that I accidentally dropped a bowl of salsa all over the owner of the company I work for. His white shirt was ruined. But fortunately I woke up because I had to pee.


Should I just go ahead and give up on my fantasy that I still have at least one full, uninterrupted night of sleep in front me?

Or should I just plan on sleep when I’m dead?






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  • OMG this is so familiar. I finally gave in to the Xanax lure because I was a walking zombie the next day. However, I tried all the “how to fall asleep naturally” methods and failed each one. My brain wouldn’t shut the hell up long enough to give them an honest try. And there is NO alcohol or caffeine in my life, so that stopped half of the attempts before they even started. I can recommend ZzzQuil now and then – or Melatonin, but sometimes you just need a sledge hammer. If you can find a quiet place during your lunch hour, you might try a 15 minute ‘power nap’, although that might make you feel groggier. Also, quit drinking any liquid at least an hour before going to bed and see if that doesn’t cut down on at least one bathroom trip per night. Welcome to your pyrite years.

    • The natural methods do not work for me. Randy takes 2 benedryl every night (I have no idea if that is spelled right and I’m too lazy to look it up). Benedryl helps me a little. Usually, I just take a xanax because it will help me fall asleep, but it does not make me stay asleep.

  • 5 Hours straight, Lucky Woman! Yes the old lady itty bitty bladder and the hot flashes and the insomnia, well at least it is not the forever sleep, that is what I tell myself !

    • I’ve accepted this is my lot in life now. I’ve been dealing with this for 16 years. The five hour thing was amazing. I looked at the clock and calculated like 3 times. haha

  • You are living my life! hahaha. Everything you said is the same here, especially the “what ifs.” What if this happens or that happens. If I hang in there long enough, I might go back to sleep. If I give up and get up, that’s it for the night. Why is it that men don’t have this problem? My husband can sleep anywhere at anytime. I need dark, cool and quiet. When he sleeps, a brass band can march through and not wake him up. Ugh. Thanks for the chuckles!

    • This is actually fucking brilliant. BRILLIANT. We need a Judy Blume for the menopausal and post menopausal crowd. Like, are you there God, it’s me Margaret, only now I’m old and super sweaty and WHAT THE FUCK????

      Yeah, I’m going to write a post about this.

  • I can relate, although my “go to” neurosis for 3:00 a.m. is replaying every horrifying thing I heard on the news that day — fires, accidents, plane crashes, deadly diseases, you name it. I’ve learned to just sit back and almost “wait” for my brain to cycle through everything and then allow me back to sleep. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sigh.

    • The news is killing me. It is killing me. I can’t see anymore images of dead babies or videos of political activists being stoned to death. I just can’t. It’s making my brain go to some dark places.

  • Two hours. Or occasionally two and a half. Tops. That’s how long I get to sleep before I have to get up and pee.
    These days I just tell myself “Well at least the bathroom isn’t 50 yards down a dark, windy corridor any more…”
    I asked my doctor about it last time, but as frequent urination was one of the lingering after effects of the stroke, he didn’t have any helpful advice. Maybe next time.
    As for “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”, Letterman’s band played that the last time Warren Zevon came on, when he was already diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Warren said his imminent demise was a constant reminder to remember to “enjoy each sandwich” and all of his people.
    Wise man, Warren Zevon.

  • People who say “Insomnia must be great, you can get so much done if you don’t have to sleep” have obviously never dealt with it. It’s like saying “Hot flashes? Those must be great. You don’t have to worry about being cold!”
    At least the hot flashes have the benefit of warming up Alfie, which is probably why he comes to cuddle with you in the night. He doesn’t mind his fur sticking to you.

  • I can so relate, but if I wake up at 2 a.m. to pee and my brain starts saying “hopping, popping, mopping, slopping,” I’ll know who to blame.

  • Most glorious feeling, ever, and I did the clock math 3 times, too 😉 No way I slept that long! And boy, did I hafta pee 😀

    I think the worst ‘nose rubbing’ is the 5 hour nap and I wake up too late to eat. Then I’m double-fucked. Hungry and lethargic and pissed about getting good sleep.

    Funny part? The cats really do seem to want extra cuddles when the sweat makes me the clingy one… 🙂

By Michelle


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