Wanted: Experienced Shepherd (Night Shift)

It was a dark and stormy n………

Oh sorry, I dosed off.  You see I haven’t been getting my required seven or six or even five hours a night.

Last night I woke up after about an hour of sleep and I couldn’t fall back asleep.  I didn’t want to get up so I began my maddening late night rituals in hope of sleep.

First, I flipped around every which way, feeling that if I found the right position I would drift back to the Land of Nod. I did this until my head was literally at the bottom of the bed.  I did find a quarter and a lost sock but I didn’t find rest.

The second thing I did was to mentally run through all the possible reasons my sleep was disrupted.

  • Caffeine.  I drank the last of college girl’s Diet Dr. Pepper last week.  I’m off the hard stuff until she returns.
  • Spicy food.  Husband is out-of-town so a peanut butter and banana sandwich was last night’s gourmet dinner of choice.
  • Alcohol.  It may help you sleep or it may keep you up.  I’ve heard both theories, so I never know, but I went to bed quite sober.
  • Disturbing television shows.  This is occasionally the case because I love a good scare as long as it doesn’t involve eviscerated humans, but not last night. Since hubby is out-of-town the TV was off and I read a non-disturbing book before bed.
  • Exercise.  My shiny new elliptical spent yesterday all alone in the dark basement.
  • Symphony of snores.  No hubby, no snoring.

The third thing I did was to swear I would  develop a routine.  I dream (if I sleep) about a routined life.  I vowed to start getting in bed at the same time every night.  Currently I may go to bed anytime from 11pm to 3am.  I’m a night owl who struggles to keep regular hours.  I can keep up a routine for a while and then hubby leaves town and I fall back into my vampirish behavior.

I’ve thought about adding the counting of sheep to my sleep routine.  I’ve heard of this all my life but frankly, I know of no one that actually uses this sleep-inducing process.  I’m sure this odd ovine-related tactic started with those old-time shepherds watching over their flocks, but really, shouldn’t they stay awake?  A lot of sheep predators are nocturnal.

Maybe I could include a warm beverage into my nighttime ritual, except, warm milk sounds gross to me.  So does cold milk.  Hot, decaffeinated tea is a better choice.  I could make a second cup for the Sandman.

As a related side-note, the Sandman has always disturbed me.  As a child, I couldn’t believe my parents were going to let a strange man in my bedroom at night to put sand in my eyes.  Where did that get started?  When I think of restful sleep, it never involves tiny, gritty specks of dirt in my eyes.

See, I’ve already lost my train of thought on developing a routine.  A short attention span accompanies my sleep deprivation.

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...I’m open to any advice here. I’m accustom to the quiet of an empty-nest, so that’s not the problem.   And no, I’m not worried about things like the world ending in 2012.  I have no major deadlines coming up.  Sadly, I lead a somewhat mundane life.  The most excitement I had this week was seeing that “The Artist” is showing at a movie theater within sixty miles of where I live.  Trust me, I never expected the chance to see it on the big screen after my big “The Descendants” disappointment.

 Am I rambling again?

It was a dark and stormy n…………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kianys
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:22:46

    I suffer from that as well – I’ve found that star treck helps me fall asleep – it’s the perfect combination of interesting enough to have me endure it, but boring enough not to keep me awake. Also there’s nothing disturbing in it as to cause nightmares and the unwanted humor is quite enjoyable.

    Not sure, if that’s helpful or not, but Cpt. Kirk sure helps me out in the bed-departement (now that sounded wrong on so many levels, didn’t it? ;) )


  2. notquiteold
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:27:26

    Turn on the TV. Turn on a sporting event (but not an exciting one) with the volume soft so you get just a buzzing sound from the cheering crowd. Auto racing is particularly good, and sometimes you can find a rerun in the middle of the night…so you get the white noise from the crowd and the engines too. Add how boring it is….Out like a light.


  3. delores
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:29:52

    Too bad I still don’t have my insurance institute course books…those things could put you to sleep on a concrete slab they were so boring.


    • kewsmith
      Jan 25, 2012 @ 19:53:19

      Oh my, I hadn’t thought of textbooks. That may do the trick but I don’t have any as painful as insurance books. I can’t even make it through my Homeowners Policy. Good advice.


  4. maturestudenthanginginthere
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:33:05

    I don’t want to sound all new age, I’m more “middle aged will do anything to get a good nights sleep kind of gal”. Anyhow about 10 years ago I was taught this wee meditation. I should say I don’t meditate now and I didn’t then but I do use this one to help me sleep. I don’t think about it as a meditation, I just think about it as a way to distract me from the fact that I can’t sleep. Anyhow I wrote a wee blog about it last year when I first started blogging and couldn’t sleep because I had an exam coming up. I like it because there is no chanting (actually I don’t think chanting fits with meditation, does it?) it’s really easy and you just lie in bed and let your mind float away. Here’s the link. Put it this way it’s got to be way more interesting than counting sheet.



    • kewsmith
      Jan 25, 2012 @ 20:02:04

      I guess I am a new age kinda gal. I meditate or attempt to meditate every morning. It’s a little different than your wonderful suggestion for nighttime. I’ll be designing a house with a red roof tonight. Thanks.


  5. worrywarts-guide-to-weight-sex-and-marriage
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 17:15:26

    I read this and like millions of other women I thought, “This is me!” word for word. I’m starting to think we aren’t supposed to sleep. Before I commit myself to staying up all night, I’m going to check out maturestudent’s link. I’ll try anything.


  6. momshieb
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 18:01:59

    Oh, my dear!! I swear, I almost wrote the same thing tonight! Perhaps we are awake because we are about to create something fabulous? Invent something incredible? Oh, oh…tonight I’ll probably lie awake and worry about what I’m not achieving!
    On a more serious note: have you tried valerian? And “Sleepytime Extra”? (except that the tea wakes me up to pee three times a night….)
    Maybe we need a 3 AM chat room. You know, “Ladies of the Night”.
    Good night!


  7. kewsmith
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 20:13:15

    What a great idea. Misery loves company. I have not tried Valerian but I’ll visit the herbal shop tomorrow. I believe I have Sleepytime tea but not “Sleepytime Extra”. Thanks for the suggestions -from one “Lady of the Night” to another.


  8. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 12:24:08

    The sheep! – and that Sandman ( he was a creepy thought!). The exercise bike might do the trick – but if I can’t sleep, I might as well get up and do something…it too boring just lying there.(and you would think that would put you to sleep?)


    • kewsmith
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 13:41:25

      You’re right but I still try everything to go back to sleep before I grab my book or my laptop and head downstairs. You think I’d learn.


  9. Alex @ Raw Recovery
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 15:00:35

    Wow, it is very serendipitous that we wrote on the same topic :) I’m glad you commented on my blog so I could read yours! Looking forward to reading more and let me know how the search for a white noise app goes!


    • kewsmith
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 15:49:12

      I found a free app and downloaded it. It’s the greatest thing. I’m listening to beach sounds right now. So many choices!! I think I’ll try the white noise selection tonight. Thanks!


  10. Ankur Mithal
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 22:25:38

    Wonder if Apple invented a Sleep app ?
    I liked the ending you gaveg to your post.


    • kewsmith
      Jan 27, 2012 @ 08:59:50

      The blogger that introduced me to this said she had it on her iphone. I searched ‘white noise’ in my apps and found it. Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to vistiing your blog.


  11. Sandi Ormsby
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 23:52:59

    You have the sleep deprivation and I slept funny last night and haven’t been able to move my head to the left and when I do, it shoots a pain down to my rear. Nice.

    What a pair we make, eh?

    Lake Forest, CA


    • kewsmith
      Jan 27, 2012 @ 09:19:33

      Ouch. I have to say I slept better last night. I don’t know if it was the herbal tea, the meditation or the ‘white noise’ but something helped. I even visited my lonely elliptical this morning.
      Try ice on your neck. I used to apply heat but I hear ice is the better treatment. I
      hope it improves soon.


  12. ailialana
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 16:26:27

    A few drops of Rose and Lavender in your pillow before you sleep….. But where you just not missing hubbie?


    • kewsmith
      Jan 28, 2012 @ 20:31:55

      Maybe I was missing him. I have slept better since he got home but this happens occasionally when he is home. I remember seeing pillowcases once with lavender sewed into them. Thanks for the advice.


  13. riatarded
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 19:12:18

    I drink hot green tea before I sleep. Always helps! Maybe it could help you too? Or play some piano music!


  14. Gwen Sears Bullock
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 12:38:51

    My husband just takes a sleeping pill………as of yet, I won’t give in


    • kewsmith
      Feb 01, 2012 @ 12:03:48

      I’ve never taken anything prescription and I find the over-the-counter stuff just makes me groggy. But I’ve tried some suggestions I received and I’m doing better.


  15. PM
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 01:20:28

    i hope you get better sleep. it sucks when you really want to sleep but it just does not happen. try not to obsess about it, maybe that will help. :D


  16. maturestudenthanginginthere
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 15:12:24

    Just wanted to stop by to say I’ve nominated you for the 7 x 7 Link Award. Congrats.. you’ll fine the details here http://maturestudenthanginginthere.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/an-award-from-iceland/


    • kewsmith
      Feb 01, 2012 @ 11:59:59

      Thank you. I will soon respond. First I have to do dumb stuff like paying bills but I will respond soon. Yes, I know, I do tend to procrastinate.


  17. The Hook
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 20:06:20

    Great post! Now get some sleep, you crazy bugger! Oh wait, you can’t sleep, can you?


  18. WSW
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 13:41:44

    I know you won’t believe it, but accupuncture and Chinese herbal meds did it for me. What have you got to lose?


    • kewsmith
      Feb 01, 2012 @ 11:48:37

      Thanks for the advice. Someone once suggested accupunture for headaches and I have intended to look into. With any luck I’ll lose my headaches and gain some sleep.


  19. Jodi Lea
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 08:48:05

    Oh my! I thought I was the only gal that would eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich for dinner when hubby was out of town. I am stupid enough to actually watch the disturbing movies when he’s gone and then have to stay up longer and watch a comedy to “erase” the heebie-jeebies. (That doesn’t really work, but I am sleepier after 2 movies and I pass out)
    I look forward to more random reasoning :-)


  20. orples
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 16:44:53

    Good luck finding a routine to follow. I think that goal is an fine example of ‘easier said than done.’


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