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.