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In praise of earplugs... - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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In praise of earplugs... [Jul. 24th, 2008|03:01 pm]
I was really starting to get worried about myself. I was waking up several times a night and pretty much after 4am, if I was awake, I was going to stay awake.

Really. If I can manage to fall asleep during the day, at home, for more than 15 minutes, I must be sick. And those 15 minutes are never worth it. Other people can take a catnap and wake up refreshed, I wake up in an absolute panic, adrenaline pumping, heart racing, omigosh I should be doing something else, not sleeping! Which totally erases any benefit of the catnap.

And I can handle everything but sleep deprivation. Waterboard me all you want, but one or two nights without much sleep and I’ll tell you anything you want. And I fall asleep easily. (At night, that is, or in a moving vehicle, an MRI machine, probably on a damn waterboard. ) But I wake up for the tiniest things. Little noises…one of the dogs shifting beds, a cat walking down the hallway, the raccoons or skunks rooting through something outside, the creak of a zombie foot on the stairs.

I dunno, it could be all of those years of watching horror movies that’s made me preternaturally alert. Because every horrible event is preceded by...a greyhound flapping his ears? Hmmm. I could see myself leaping to the alert say if someone played that music. You know, the “don’t go up the stairs” music. But it’s always some mundane restlessness amongst the furkids or the neighborhood. And once awake, I start thinking…all of the things I need to do, forgot to do, have to do, late, late, omigod I should get up now and just start…but then I’ll have to walk the dogs and surely if I just lay here for another ten minutes I’ll fall asleep. And I do. Only to wake up to Willow getting up and getting a drink of water.

Fall asleep again...and now it’s Pushkin, dicking around with an elastic hairband in the hallway. Sigh.

I suspect it's latent Mommyness -- never having had kids, I've got a lot of "is everything all right" to expend -- and with 7 furkids inside, there's a lot of pitter patter going on. (Or clickety-click of dogfeet. And the thud, thud of Pushkin the Hellspawn Brick of a cat.)

So on a whim, thinking that maybe if I didn't hear all of the nighttime wanderings, I'd be able to stay asleep, I fished the earplugs out of my travel kit. Then, when I’d wake up for my 1 am-ish pee...

(please don’t lecture me that if I didn’t drink so much damn water right before I go to bed, I wouldn’t have to get up in the night...I’ve tried. A demitasse sized bladder is my problem and I’d rather get up and take care of it, then wake up with dry mouth and have to take a drink. I can make a bathroom trip and still stay pretty asleep. Drinking...not so much, what with the spilling and the choking. )

...when I get back to bed, I stick a foam earplug in my upside ear. And sleep like a baby. No, wait, stupid simile – why do people equate babies with sleeping well? Aren’t they up all of the time? Don’t parents celebrate when the kid finally sleeps through the night?

Okay, so I sleep like a greyhound. Which is just some body temp and slow respiration away from a corpse.

Only one ear – cause I sleep on my side. And I figure that if my spider senses feel zombies approaching, I’ll get restless, roll over and hear them dropping body parts as they come up the stairs. And it deadens the noise, but doesn’t shut it out completely. Willow bark-snapping at Percy when he tries to invade her bed, wee hour cat-cataclysms involving overturned furniture, those can still be heard. But it deadens the sound, just enough.

Oh, sure, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, roll over. And I can pull that plug out of one ear, jam it in the other, and I’m back asleep until the alarm goes off.

I feel too claustrophobic with two in at a time. Which is dumb, I know – if I got used to one, surely I could get used to...but I’m old enough to start humoring my body/mind in small things. I’m hoping they will be kind in return and not take as much revenge as they could for the nights of over-indulgence, the days of overwork, the falling out of haylofts/off of horses, the mushroom incident, those weeks of faire.

But anyway – consider it the next time you have trouble sleeping. Way easier on the body than meds.

[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-07-25 03:36 am (UTC)

Re: Have to have "White Noise"

PS I'm pretty good at either sleeping through noises or waking enough to think, cat fight but our cats are inside, or, that's a branch scratching the van not a zombie, etc. I am also slow at waking up- it usually takes me about an hour plus to really become fully functional. Except...

Once Ranzo the parrot fell off his perch and I was not only instantly completely awake, I was beside his cage and peeking under the cover totally calm, saying, "You okay, birdy?" I don't think my feet actually touched the floor between the bed and the cage- I must have just levitated.

I also once woke up barking like a Rottweiler because a cat (I think) jumped onto our van's roof. Cat (or whatever) took off like a shot. William was amused. :)
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-25 01:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Have to have "White Noise"

Oh, I wish I could lend you some of my airplane sleeping ability. Although it has as much to do with the dramamine or benadryl and earplugs as with anything else. In my mid-thirties I occasionally started to get airsick...and I NEVER want to do that again! If it's a short ride, I'll use Bonine, which seems to help without making me woozy. But a long trip and the restless leg kicks in and I get almost psychotic with misery -- it's important for EVERYONE'S safety that I be as unconscious as possible. Two benadryls and a beer are a winning solution for me.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-07-25 07:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Have to have "White Noise"

I may give that recipe a try. I have drugs which I got some years ago when I was having serious emotional problems about flying right after 9/11. It wasn't fear of the plane getting bombed, it was all the insanity around just getting on the damn plane that was making me crazy miserable. I do have some really great earplugs, too, but even with both in play I just don't sleep. I might sort of doze but my brain just doesn't properly shut off. I end up horribly groggy and achy and generally no fun to be with.
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