Sleep: Oh, for a good night’s sleep

It seems to me that something so necessary should not be so impossibly difficult to get enough of!

  • Jul. 16, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Sleep.

It seems to me that something so necessary should not be so impossibly difficult to get enough of!

While hubby works away from home or works the graveyard shift, I sleep with my ears wide open. “What was that sound?”  “Why is the dog barking?” “Is someone in the driveway?”

While pregnant, ever-so-many discomforts interrupt a full night of sleep. Heartburn, backache, tiny feet kicking inside me cause much tossing and turning. Besides the fact that the ever-growing darling is resting on top of my bladder and the sleep deprivation from multiple trips to the bathroom every-single-night make me want to scream. Not to mention the wee-hour wonderings and worryings while awaiting the blessed event. “Ten fingers. Ten toes. O, please let my baby be healthy!”

While in labour, guess what? I miss sleep. Giving birth in the morning means a night long confinement. A baby born in the afternoon, means the first night postpartum is guaranteed to be broken sleep.

While the wee ones grow there are many midnight problems to solve: coughing, bad dreams, bed wetting, answering those little questions that children are bold enough to voice just as you tuck them in.

“Mommy, how do earthquakes happen? Will we have one here?” or ” How does my heart work?” or “Where was I before I was born?” or “Are there any pirates now?” Here’s a doozy: “If all the dinosaurs are extinct … could we get extinct, too?”

While teenagers are in the home, the list of lost sleep includes: waiting up for curfew, chaperoning events, telephones ringing, kids prowling around the house late at night with TV and computer sounds, fridge doors banging and dishes clattering, thumping stairs and doors creaking. Then there is the worrying. (You can add that to the lost sleep list at any chapter of life, really.) And the jolt awake if you hear the dreaded “knock on the door.”

Meanwhile: cats meow to be let in or out, the fire needs to be fed, I might have my own troubles with a bad dream or some unresolved item to puzzle over, a scary movie that pops into my mind for a free (unwelcome) re-run.

While it has many positive aspects, the next chapter to arrive is the empty nest. With high hopes, I anticipated a full night of sleep. Kids gone, hubby home, no more cats, better long-lasting wood-stove, all is calm in my life.

Oops!

While no one told me, I found out the awful truth for myself. One of the common experiences for women during this mid-life hormonal-change chapter of life is (you guessed it): sleeplessness!

Why, oh, why do women have such long-term damaging erosion of this precious, well-deserved, life-essential, irreplaceable,  no-money-down, highly valued commodity?

Okay, there are herbal teas and pharmaceutical remedies. Therapies, exercise and good habits all help (some).

Oh, if only there was a pill, cream, syrup or injection … if there are”patches” for nicotine, birth control and other supplements and replacements, could someone please (I’m begging you) develop a “sleep patch” to deliver whatever-it-is-we-need-to-sleep-and-are-not-getting.

It seems to me that if such a thing existed, there would be a new millionaire by morning.