Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Circadian rhythms are out of whack

My Circadian rhythms—those almost 24-hour patterns that control all animal and plant life—out of whack, and I suspect I know why. After I slept the clock around Friday night, I couldn’t go to sleep last night. I’m sure I dozed but I watched much of the night go by. Having a restless nine-year-old in the bed didn’t help. This morning I said to him that I didn’t sleep well last night, and he said, “Neither did I.” I said, “Of course you did. I watched you all night.” He grinned and said, “Just kidding.” I’m about to offer him my side of the bed, which he seems to edge toward. Actually he prefers the middle. Once I turned over, looked at him and saw that his face was “in my face,” with his head buried in the pillows. If I hadn’t felt his regular breathing, I’d have worried about him suffocating.

In the long dark hours of a sleepless night, which doesn’t happen to me often, I’m capable of the most bizarre thoughts—like, “I’m having another TIA” or “This is an omen—something bad is going to happen.” I thought my foot was swelling again, and I’d have to go to the ER. All kinds of fears can raise their ugly heads at three in the morning. I tried relaxation, deep breathing, every technique I knew. I read a question somewhere, probably on Facebook, that asked, “What is it with people who fall right asleep? Don’t they have thoughts?” I outlined a new book, which may eventually lead to something but it falls wide of the mark now; I solved some of the problems in my friends’ lives—which I’d never have the nerve to tell them. I thought of all those emails I should have sent yesterday—they took me five minutes total when I finally did them this morning. I got leg cramps; I had to pee an inordinate number of times; I twisted and turned from back to side and fought off that encroaching child who once gave me such a good whack on the arm I was sure I’d have a bruise. Finally, at 7:30, I gave up, got up, and started my day.

My mom was quite cavalier about sleepless nights when I was a child. I remember complaining that I couldn’t go to sleep because I itched all over. “That,” she said serenely, “is a sign you’re about to go to sleep.” If I complained that I hadn’t slept at all, she’d say, “You did. It just seems like you didn’t.” I did have a few, brief, weird dreams last night and sometimes saw messages and words that made no sense—origin of my fear that I was having a TIA.

This morning, all was sunshine. I went about my routine, fed Jacob, did some work at my computer, did some kitchen work. Okay, don’t look at all the unfolded laundry by the washing machine.

Now I’m sleepy. Jacob has gone to brunch with his parents, and Sophie is curled up in her chair. Company coming at 5:30. I may not be ready, because I’m going to take a long nap (I hope).

P.S. Nice nap. Crockpot barbecue was good. And two important dinner guests are shown above. The younger one is serving as a seeing-eye dog for my friend; the older one is retired. Sophie loves these boys!

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