Friday, May 20, 2011

I’ve got nothing

The Great Sleep Experiment continues apace. The lack of caffeine has finally caught up to me. Not in the form of headaches but…

see, here’s the problem…

I can’t sleep because my brain is too busy. So I cut out caffeine (among other things sorta, more on that shortly) and now my brain isn’t busy much at all.

But you need your brain to be busy if you expect to function on a day to day basis. Right now, I’m not functioning, mentally, much before noon. Fortunately making the kids lunches & my pot of decaf coffee are so ingrained I don’t need to think about them. It takes about 5 hours of awake time for my brain to boot up without caffeine to give it a kick start & so I am more vague & rambling than usual.

I know some of you are thinking “But how can you tell?”

Trust me, it’s noticeable.

Just ask SciFi Dad who was treated to my early morning mental gymnastics on his Thursday blog post.

I’m starting to think I should stay off the internet before noon but what the hell would I do from 7am until then? Clean?

I’m  hoping this is just a temporary thing or that the cognitive behavioral therapy I’ll start in August helps. Cuz giving up 5 hours of brain function in exchange for nearly 6 hours of sleep is not the best deal out there I think.

But still, there is that nearly 6 hours of sweet sweet uninterrupted sleep.

That seems to be holding fairly steady. I go to bed around 11, I fall asleep around 1 and I wake up around 6:30ish.

I’ve stopped getting out of bed if I can’t fall asleep in 20 minutes, like I was instructed. I’ve tested it. Doesn’t matter if I get out of bed or just lie there, it doesn’t change a thing. Now, if I wake up & can’t fall back to sleep in 20 minutes I do get up, but if I just can’t fall asleep to start with, I stay in bed. I’ve tried staying up until 12:30 but I get too tired & have to go to bed.

Not to sleep, just to bed. The two are mutually exclusive.

Other things I have ‘cheated on’ as DH puts it, though I prefer to think of it as ‘experimental testing of a range of variables under controlled conditions’, are the no alcohol & no chocolate.

People, I couldn’t give up alcohol or salmon sushi entirely while I pregnant either time & don’t get me started on hot dogs, so it really should come as no surprise to him that I had a brownie at bunco Tuesday.

None of these factors appear to effect my sleep or lack thereof so it’s hardly a tragedy.

The two things I have been afraid to test are the no caffeine & no screen time an hour before bed. I think those might actually be part of why I am sleeping better (that & the meds for restless leg syndrome). I was going to try watching tv right up until bedtime Friday night but I have a cold & it’s messing with my sleep & could result in skewed data so I have to wait for next weekend. But I’d been planning on having a Coke that weekend & you can’t reliably test two variables at the same time.

The real test though will be in July when we go visit my folks. Sleeping in my own bed was/is challenging, sleeping in some other bed has been damn near impossible for the past 9 years. I am actually feeling hopeful about it, which is real progress.


SciFi Dad said...

I just felt badly... it seemed like I was interrupting your conversation with yourself in my comments.

I read something (forget where... maybe engadget) that said that e-ink is OK before bed, but backlighting isn't.

Lizziemade said...

It sounds like you are getting somewhere at last!  Keep trying... I know that "asleep til lunchtime" problem; my solution is to do something that is active, something that employs my body, rather than my brain, but gets my heart rate up and my body moving.  It does help me to wake up sooner. On mornings when I take a brisk 10 minute walk, or do some tidying and cleaning (briskly!), I wake up quicker.  It may be just me, but I think a bit of body exercise gives the brain a similar kick-start to caffeine, but with less unwanted side-effects.

Anyway, keep up the good work and I hope you can get it sorted this time!  

LosingBrownies said...

 I wonder how much of this is just adjusting and getting use to the new routine? One can hope, right? I never sleep well when I'm not in my own bed. I hope that your body works with you and you'll get some rest while you are visiting family.

Chloe said...

Wow, looks like you had a rough time. I hope you're finally getting a solution and being able to enjoy some rest. Take care!

Rinda1961 said...

 I think that when we are focusing on something important it ends up eating up a big portion of the day . . . so if you are losing your mornings to being able to actually sleep, at night, in bed, then I say, "so be it."  Sometimes it seems like the only thing I've accomplished in a day is to get healthier (by eating well and exercising).  It doesn't seem like it should take up so much time, but somehow it does.  So, I say, good for you.  You've been wanting/needing to conquer the sleep issue for  long time.  Don't stress too much if you're a zombie for the morning.