Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Trying to catch some zzzz's

By Deana Nall
The Baytown Sun

Published July 5, 2006

I’m not asking for anything outrageous.

I just want to sleep all night.

For some reason, after nearly 35 years of having no problem catching Z’s, I suddenly can’t sleep.

I suspect it has to do with the fact that we’re moving to Arkansas in five weeks. At night, my brain is flooded with questions such as “Where will we live in Little Rock?” and “Where will our daughter go to school?” and “What if somebody calls me a hillbilly?”

No wonder I can’t sleep.

My problem has worsened to the point that when my almost-2-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night, I think, “Hey, at least I’ll have some company.”

I’ve tried several remedies. One of my old favorites is putting the states in alphabetical order. Before, I rarely made it to Minnesota awake. Now, my state list goes like this: “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas... Yikes! We’d better start packing!” And sleep stays far, far away.

I’ve tried getting on the Internet. This is why my friends have been receiving e-mails and MySpace comments from me at ungodly hours. This isn’t very conducive to falling asleep, either.

So I’m afraid I’ve become one of “Those People.”

You know. Those People who have to take something to sleep.

Don’t worry. It’s just those wonderful little over-the-counter blue pills called “Tylenol P.M.”

This really isn’t that bad, is it? I mean, at least I’m not one of those Ambien junkies. That stuff is too hardcore for me.

But I have found something useful at Ambien’s Web site. It’s the company’s seven tips to getting a better night’s sleep. Let’s discuss.

1. Go to sleep and wake at the same time each day.

Um, sorry. People who have children don’t get to do this.

2. Avoid caffeine late in the day.

I’ve been doing this one for years now. If I do happen to find myself at a Starbucks after 3 p.m., I get their yummy iced green tea.

3. Watch your diet.

Why? What’s it gonna do?

4. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.

Does this include clutching a diaper and an Elmo nightgown while chasing a naked toddler through the house?

5. Exercise regularly.

See No. 4.

6. Get out of bed if you’re not sleeping.

And watch nothing but infomercials, because that’s all that’s going to be on. Kitchen gadgets? Colon cleanser? Completely useless exercise machines? In a Tylenol P.M.-induced daze, you’ll be convinced you need it all.

7. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.

Yeah, maybe he can bore me to sleep with some of his old textbooks from med school.

My sleeping problem hasn’t been all bad. The other night, when I was awake at 3 a.m., I watched a fascinating and very educational documentary on PBS.

I just wish I could remember what it was about.

Anyway, I’m going to keep working on this because we’re moving in a few weeks and I need my energy for everything we have to do. Like getting ready for the garage sale we’re having soon.

Why don’t you stop by? You’ll never find colon cleanser this cheap again.

Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family.


  • At Wed Jul 05, 10:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    One word... melatonin

  • At Wed Jul 05, 01:36:00 PM, Blogger bee-rye-un said…

    yeah, I would suggest melatonin too, maybe if I come up one of these days I will bring some.

  • At Wed Jul 05, 07:27:00 PM, Blogger elizabeth said…

    I couldn't sleep much during the weeks of uncertainty with our housing situation.

    Hope you get some rest and peace soon!

  • At Thu Jul 06, 07:11:00 AM, Blogger Clarissa said…

    Hey, don't knock Ambien! I hear Lunesta's not bad, either ...

    Another tip -- 500 mg of calcium 30 minutes before bedtime if you're truly unwilling to try the real stuff.

  • At Thu Jul 06, 08:27:00 AM, Blogger "Snapshot" said…

    melatonin. not habit forming, but if you react quickly to stuff, take the JUST before going to bed. it worked fast for me.
    but honestly, moms can't shut off the ole brains like the guys can. we are constant caregivers even when those who need our care are sound asleep.
    during our "moving extravaganza", lists were the only thing that made me sain. I knew I would get to it day....if I had it on a list.
    Good luck.

  • At Thu Jul 06, 07:39:00 PM, Blogger Tracy said…

    It will all be over so soon. Hang in there, sweetie!

  • At Fri Jul 07, 08:12:00 AM, Blogger ML said…

    Makes you just want to run and scream doesn't it? Tylenol PM has come to my rescure several times. But I'm sleeping much better now that I know some of my stay away triggers. When I use to get up in the middle of the night, I'd drink a warm cup of milk, read something that didn't require my brain to actually function. Ususally magazines with lots of pictures. Eventually I was sleepy and would sleep in my recliner. It will be better once this move gets under way. Don't sweat it. You'll be surprised how fast it will all come together once you get started on the packing.
    Love you all.

  • At Fri Jul 07, 10:38:00 PM, Blogger Heather said…

    Funny .. . I'm reading this post about 20 minutes after taking Tylenol PM. Having serious insomnia . . . was up until 5:30 am. Watched some of my DVR'ed shows I haven't gotten to in the last 3 months.

    Hoping it works for me. . . first night I've tried it.

    If not, I may be emailing you at strange hours! {vbg}


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