Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Insomnia

The last time Joe and I went down south to visit my family, I spent a few minutes in the local health shop, holding a bottle of sleeping tablets in my hand. I was torn between buying them, taking them and having a wonderful night’s sleep and then never being able to have a decent night’s sleep without taking them, or buying them, taking them and not having a wonderful night’s sleep and feeling half asleep the next day. As the car driver in the family, I feel the need to be alert and refreshed!

It all mostly menopausal and in ten years time I shall be fine no doubt! I don’t know how I turned out to be such a fussy sleeper. I spent my formative years sharing either a bed with my sisters or at least a room packed with two sets of bunks.

I need the room to be entirely dark. Any gaps in the curtain that allow splashes of light on the walls drive me nuts!

I need the room to be insect free! I can cope with a spider on the wall, but not on the ceiling. I read somewhere – yes, the dangers of teaching someone like me to read – that spiders walk across your face while you are asleep! I freak out when there is a daddy long legs, that’s crane fly to you, in the room. It is the wispy nature of the legs that frighten me. I am sure that they are waiting until the light goes off to flop on my face! It happened once!

I need to be quite cool. I can’t sleep when I am hot. Strangely enough it is just the one leg that gets overheated. I had a DVT some years ago and it had left the ankle and calf looking bruised and discoloured. It is that bit of that leg that heats up and itches!

Finally I need quiet! I don’t have ears that accept earplugs readily. When I was younger I used to find comfort in the rumble of the immersion heater in the cupboard of our bedroom. I was convinced that there was a lion in the cupboard and as long as the lion was roaring, I was safe. Once the immersion heater switched itself off, the lion was sleeping and all manner of crocodiles swam under the bed! What an imagination! I wish the rumble of my husband’s snoring as a comfort! Bless him, he gets nudged and pushed and prodded, told to turn over and face the other way. I don’t know who is more relieved when I go and find somewhere else to sleep – him or me? In a hotel there is nowhere else to go!

I am glad that research seems to show that as we get older we need a lot less sleep. I find that encouraging as I am getting a lot less sleep than I would like!

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