sleep eludes me

February 24, 2011 at 11:29 am 5 comments

ever since i was young i can remember going through bouts of insomnia. they weren’t bad. just an occasional nuisance. but over the years they’ve grown increasingly worse. i fall asleep easily and typically around the respectable hour of 10 p.m. ~ not too early, not too late ~ but somewhere between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m. i wake almost nightly and if i have anything weighing on my mind ~ good or bad ~ i can be cursed with hours and hours of late night life self analysis and contemplation.

i’ve heard all the lectures on avoiding late night wine or exercise and tried every mom’s old fashion remedy but there really is no easy way to shut down my over active type-A brain. a few years ago i finally broke and asked my doctor for a prescription to ambien. i’m really not a fan of drugs ~ besides ibuprofen which seems to be a three times a day snack in my runner world ~ but desperate times call for desperate measures.

the first episode came about six months later. i knew better than to take a pill before getting into bed but for some reason that night i popped one while finishing up a blog post. i got caught up in the emotion. the story i was telling about my last steps through my childhood home of 30 plus years before my mom moved north. and as i wrote i looked down at my arms and saw scales. yes scales. starting around my elbows and all the way down my arms, i had shiny, green reptile skin that led into giant monster hands. my fingernails were easily 3 inches long and my keyboard was a pile of dirt and i was playing in it. every strike of the keys a new mud pie mess. holy crap! i was hallucinating on ambien! and i found it hilarious! i was coherent enough to understand what was going on but couldn’t for the life of me make my arms and hands come back to normal. not to be distracted from my mission, i finished my blog before heading off to bed and was happy to wake the next morning to my own smooth skin, manicured nails and a story that was surprisingly well written.

the next episode didn’t register quite so high on the humor scale. this time i did it right. in bed. in jammies. but when i woke up about four hours later sprawled sideways across the bed, wearing different clothes than i had on when i went to sleep and with no recollection as to why, i started to worry about what kind of midnight mishap i easily could have wandered off into. i’ve heard the horror stories. people driving. waking up where they shouldn’t be. and maybe even worse … sleep binge eating!!!! i called my doctor and after a detailed discussion we switched me to the ambien cr ~ a slow release dosage that thus far hasn’t caused any cause for concern. beside one morning when i woke up to an empty packet of swiss cheese slices sitting on the counter. random. and hopefully ~ though honestly doubtful ~ just an oversight on my nightly kitchen clean up. i don’t take it very often and very, very rarely if my daughter is home and then only if i know her dad is available and aware of my potential incapacitation should an emergency arise.

today i’m going on three nights of minimal shut eye. monday in bed at 10:30 p.m., wide awake at midnight and a little after 4 a.m. before i fell back asleep just in time for my alarm to go off at 5:30 a.m. tuesday and last night more of a constant back and forth. my body well aware that it never found the comfort of deep sleep. stupidly i’ve been out of my script for a few months now and typical to me, i’ve procrastinated the trip to my doctor. with a half marathon in three days i’m hoping that somehow i can find the rest i know my body needs.


Entry filed under: exercise, random, running. Tags: , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kitkat1126  |  February 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t know how you do it. After just random bouts of insomnia it takes such a toll on me that I’ll do anything to sleep. Last year when it got really bad the only thing that worked for me was taking melatonin but honestly I ended up taking it nightly for weeks so as soon as I stopped it was right back to brain racing at night. If only our bodies could just function more on less sleep!

    I bet you’ll sleep like a baby the night after you run your half 🙂

    • 2. becelisa  |  February 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      i guess in some ways i’m used to it but when i have bad bouts it is an emotionally and physically painful experience. i get horrible lingering drowsiness from melatonin and have found ambien to be my only saving grace ~ in spite of the sometimes bizarre side effects! i was just able to snag an afternoon appointment with my doctor so i should be able to get some rest tonight!

  • 3. kitkat1126  |  February 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    oh good! I have heard some bizarre stories about ambien but I have to say your scale story is by far the best (and strangest)!

  • 4. fitandfortysomething  |  February 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    those are some pretty scary stories! you know what helps me sleep? melatonin. have you tried it?

  • 5. kitkat1126  |  February 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Have a great run tomorrow!


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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39



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