Sleepless near Seattle

I didn’t sleep well last night. This has been a recurring theme for some time now. I go into bed, snuggle into the woolly blankets and…all the action begins.

My legs start twitching, and jerking, and feeling heavy. My ankles don’t like the weight of the coverings pressing down so I have to do a series of kicks to loosen things up at the foot of the bed. I stopped tucking my sheets and blanket under the mattress as I was taught to do during Bed Making 101. Much too constrictive on my legs.

My arms feel as if they should be doing something. Lying on my back brings the sensation that my arms are not my own. Appendages that resemble my arms are attached to my shoulders, but the limbs are restless, searching for something unseen.

There is one, and only one place on my pillow that feels just right to my head. That place changes depending upon my body position. On my back, my head must nestle into the middle of the pillow. This maneuver takes some time and adjustment to get just right. When I choose my side I like to lay to the edge of the pillow. On either end it seems cushier and more supportive, but each side likes a different level of plumpness. Side-lying also causes questions about where to place the arms. Should I hunch my shoulders and tuck my hands away somewhere? Do I extend these worthless appendages, along with my twitching legs, and lay immobile as a plank trying to balance itself on end?

On some nights I am rewarded with a few brief turns, a sense of relaxation and quick, blissful oblivion. These nights however, bring wakefulness beginning just after midnight. Eyes open, and the occasional rise in body heat recurs on the hour, usually until I simply give up around 4:30.

That’s a brief rundown of the physical. Mental sleep interference doesn’t pass me by either. My brain goes into overdrive almost as soon as my head nears the pillow.

I start reliving and replaying my day. I start asking myself, Why didn’t you… or What about doing… or Tomorrow I need to…

I also find myself immensely creative. All of the ideas for poems, stories, a novel, written words that I long to put down to share start jumping around in my brain, and because I am not distracted by daily living, I cannot turn the damn things off.

REAL writers would tell me to keep a journal by my bed, turn on the light and jot down all this great stuff. I know the tips, and tricks, and keys to becoming a good writer. My response to that is this:

When I climb into my bed at night my sole purpose is to sleep. I am tired and I don’t appreciate what my body wants me to continue doing, nor do I want to give into my radically turned on brain spewing stuff that would have been more helpful to me at 9 AM when I really wanted to write.

Regardless of what my menopausal body wants of me, because in time I know the physical symptoms will subside, I do not welcome this relationship between myself and sleep as my muse. Some serious discussions are called for and some reprogramming is probably needed. It’s either that, or it’s time for me to check out of all responsibility to others, find a secluded beach cabin, and live out my days, or maybe nights, writing.

Oh wait…I think I’m doing that this weekend.


3 thoughts on “Sleepless near Seattle”

  1. Ugh. I have such sympathy for my fellow insomniacs! Over the winter (aka, in the midst of a 7-month bout of “my body refuses to sleep when it’s dark outside”) I did keep a notepad on my nightstand for scribbling down the thoughts that I found that–regardless of how insightful it all seemed at 2am–by morning, all my brain spewings were far less intriguing! Still, the process helped, because it reassured whatever thing in my psyche was in overdrive that it could relax–its ideas and concerns would be attended to.

    I hope sleep gets easier for you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 7 months! My “on occasion nights are nothing compared to that. I’ve been able to remember some of the better ideas, even without the notes-they are written down during the day for future referencing, or tossing as the case may be.


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