Sleepless in New Jersey

There has been at least one day (but no more than two) each week over the past month in which I wake up at some godforsaken hour (typically 2 or 3 am) and I am totally and completely unable to fall back asleep. Sometimes I’m able to nap, but I essentially doze lightly for 20-30 minute periods and reawaken.

This is damn exhausting.

Here’s my sleep routine. Point out holes or provide suggestions if you can cure me, because a girl cannot live on Advil PM alone. And by the time I wake up, it’s really too late to take that anyway. And it doesn’t happen frequently enough or with a significant enough regularity to predict it.

9pm: start recognizing that I’m tired. Have a cup of decaf green tea.

9:30pm: Get into bed and read or watch TV until 10. When I watch TV, I typically set the sleep timer for 30-60 minutes because it puts me to sleep. Room is a comfortable, slightly chilly 68 degrees. We use an air purifier that provides a calming white noise and also covers up any noise outside the apartment (except for the dump truck that shows up around 6am). My room is dark and super comfortable–soft sheets, softer and fluffy blanket, poofy comforter when it’s really cold. I adore my bedroom. It’s my favorite place to be. So the fact that this sleep thing is ruining our relationship is more than a little heartbreaking.

Evan works late and goes to bed even later–he comes home from work around 2am and typically heads to bed around 5am. But it’s not him waking me up. He’s super quiet–typically choosing to watch a little TV while he eats dinner downstairs and then he goes to his office and gets some work done.

I don’t think it’s my own stress over work. I did a good deal of catching up this weekend and some projects that were hanging over my head are wrapped up. It helps that my task list is up to date and even pencilled into my free times on my calendar so I have the comfort of knowing that everything that needs to get done will be done this week.

Previous times I’ve woken up, I stayed in bed, no matter how long it takes me to fall back asleep. Last night, I got up and went downstairs to cuddle on the couch with my cat and Food Network. Same results: tossing and turning, lightly napping until I finally had to get up for real.

You can bet your ass there’s a pumpkin coffee in my future this morning.

Speaking of coffee, I have not been drinking caffeinated beverages after 10am and at most, I’m drinking a 16oz cup before then.

Cure me, internet peoples!


5 responses to “Sleepless in New Jersey

  1. Acupuncture! It’ll cure you!

  2. i am totally sleepless, but for a very different reason (toddler w sleep issues). when i can’t fall back asleep after a mid-night waking, i have been relying on the hypnosis cd from hypnobabies. It’s a relaxing introduction to hypnosis and it ALWAYS helps me to fall back to sleep. Here is the link to download the mp3:

  3. I do have the same problem, but I know it’s because of my crazy work schedule. I’m working midnights right now and on my days off I try to sleep at night, so my body just doesn’t know what to do. I usually lay there and tell myself that if I’m not asleep in 20-3o minutes, I’ll just get up. Usually laying there I fall back asleep. I try to make my mind calm, too. I’ll try not to let my mind wander on to too many things, because then it really will make me stay awake. I try not to watch any TV during that time either.

  4. Melotonin. There are varying dosages so you might have to experiement.

  5. I’d echo the melatonin idea, and suggest maybe trying not to watch tv before bed. You said you read or watch tv, wonder if you’re less likely to wake up on nights you read. Might be worth trying no tv or computer for a month within an hour of your planned bedtime, plus taking melatonin, and see if that fixes it.

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