Since I was little, I have always known that nothing happens without me doing something – very little happens in my head actually other than things roaming around being processed, dissected, analyzed, incorporated, integrated – etc – and maybe that’s a lot but it never results in any concrete actions being taken.

Those concrete visible changes  require consistent baby steps that build on each other.

And, as I’ve gotten older those steps have gotten more well defined.  When I’m moving forward in my life, those steps also tend to be much smaller than I would like – and therefore, they are more likely to get done because I’ve thought them out first and then made some clear decisions.  At least, in theory, that’s how it works.

I saw my primary care doctor today.

We’re dissecting this insomnia situation of mine – and I’m learning how I take small steps to set up the insomnia the night before.

Things like staying on the computer too late, talking deeply with the kids after 11PM which is when things actually seem to ramp up when they’re home, working too late, etc – increases my adrenalin which decreases the likelihood that I can ease into sleep.

The result – insomnia.  It’s not totally that simple – but there is a good piece of this that amounts to what is known in the field as “poor sleep hygiene”.

So, I ask myself, what’s the first step to getting some sleep here?

And you know what I find?   I don’t want to go to sleep. I want to be awake – I want to ramp up at 11AM.  So, the first step is actually to back up and realize that I don’t have the same objective as I thought I did for my good health.  By going to sleep when things are getting exciting around here with the kids, I’m realizing that I don’t want to “give that up”!

OK, I can understand that.  It’s exciting having the kids here and I wanna be with them even if things aren’t looking very “Ozzie and Harriet like” here.

So, now – what’s the first step?

The first step is to acknowledge that I don’t want to play the “get a good nights sleep” game anymore. I’m rebelling from the whole structure and that’s why I’m not sleeping.

So, here’s the conversation I’m having in my head with the various parts of my personality:

Curious  and Critical  Me:  “Why are you setting yourself up not to sleep?”

Honest Me: ” Dunno – but I do notice that you’re shaking your finger at me while you’re asking me that which doesn’t make me feel too comfortable talking about it.”

Curious and Critical Me:  “Okay.  I’ll stop shaking my finger – but WHY are you setting yourself up for that?”

Honest Me:  “Well, I still don’t know but I do know but I recognize that tone of voice that you reserve for the customer service people that piss you off  when you need to get something done.  And that isn’t working for me either so maybe we should talk about it later.  Would it help if we called in a mediator to talk about this?”

Curious Me (critical me dropped out of the conversation now): “Oh, ya mean, one of those types that is gonna try and help us work it out.  Well, that won’t work for me cuz I’m honestly too tired to work anything out with you right now.”

Honest Me:  “OK – well, thanks for being honest.  We’ll look at this again tomorrow – I’m really tired.  Are you willing to wait til we get some sleep?

Curious and Critical Me:  I’ll wait but you know that won’t happen because you’ll get busy with something else and won’t revisit this until it becomes a crisis.

Honest Me:  You’re right.  How about we look at it while the kids are out tomorrow running errands in the afternoon?

Curious Me:  Really?!  You’ll really spend the time to look at it then?

Honest Me:  I promise.  I’ll even continue writing about it here so we can get somewhere with it.

Curious Me:  Oh, I’m so excited.  Let’s do it!!!

So, as for tonight, we haven’t reached an understanding of what to do next other than signing off and revisiting this tomorrow in writing.

But, I have confidence that by talking through this – all parts of me will come together at some point for some new and improved sleep strategies.

It may take a while. . . there may be some back and forth here. . . . but by staying in dialogue about it, I’ll find another way through this and tweak it as I go.

In the meantime, I’m sharing this with you because you too may have issues in your life – whether you are a patient, caregiver or both – where you know that what you’re doing is not exactly in your own best interest and you keep doing it anyway.

If that’s happening for you, I’d love it if you’d share your struggles, questions and successes here.

And I’ll continue on with this little sleep saga too. . . stay tuned.

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  • Share how you feel, ask questions if you want, give feedback.
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One Response to “The Sleep Saga Continues Part 1: No Wonder!!”

  1. GirlPie Says:

    It sounds like you’re your own “Tonto” to your natural “Lone Ranger” — hope you keep up with whatever dialogue with your sleep partner that gets you some relief. (Maybe a sleep clinic would find your personal rhythms are best for late-late sleep/waking?)

    As for helping other people with your blog: consider putting the “subscribe to comments” plugin with your comments so that someone who’s interested in a post topic can be alerted by email any time a new comment is made or anytime you answer a comment…

    Now go take a nap ~ !



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