painsomniabedTo sleep, perchance to dream.

The heck with that, just sleeping is enough.

For those of us with sleep disturbances, a good night’s sleep is a fond memory.

We fight each night to get settled, get comfortable (some nights much easier than others) and slow our minds down enough to lull it into a doze, then all those stages of good sleep.

In my case, it can’t be done without – shall we call them sleep aids?

Since I was 19 I have taken something at night to sleep. First it was muscle relaxers and the list goes from there.

My problem isn’t going to sleep. My husband tells me I fall asleep faster than anyone.

It’s staying asleep. Ten minutes to maybe an hour later I’m awake again with no more sleep in sight.

You’d think staying up all night would help, but it doesn’t.

When I finally go to sleep, yeah, I just keep waking up a little more tired. Keep that up for very long and your brain will get sleep any way it can, say by blacking out.

I once drove home from work like that. I remembered talking to a woman at my office. I remember unlocking the door at home with no memory of how I got there, but damning me was my car in the driveway.

My neurologist called it a “Fugue State.” I had pushed too far and part of my brain decided it needed a little rest.

You will finally sleep when all else fails but you have no control over how long you’ll be out.  People get really worried about you when you’re logging 16 to 18 hours a day in bed, getting up just long enough to take care of necessary business and getting right back under those comfy covers.

I wish I could say there was a happy medium. A particular combination of drugs worked beautifully for me for years but then the government made it inadvisable to take these two drugs together in the strengths I needed to sleep.

Since February I’ve been hunting for the next great sleep aid. I take a common sleeping pill that works for about four hours. After that it’s twilight sleep, where a conversation or a TV show can haunt your dreams and you’re not quite sure if you’re asleep or awake.

I envy my friends who have regular sleep times. Lately, I’m not asleep until after 4 a.m. and I’m awake between 9 and 10. I’m so tired I lie in bed and watch TV, wishing I could sleep a little more but finally I get dressed and go about my day.

I try to wind down with reading or by watching ridiculous cartoons, petting my dogs, kissing my husband goodnight. I put on a sleep mark to block all light (another long story) and lie there, waiting for a good night’s sleep that doesn’t come.

Yawn. I’m writing this blog sitting in a gate area at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on my way to a travel junket in Nashville. I hope the activities there will make me tired enough to sleep at night there. See you on the flip side.