Monday, June 09, 2008

Up Before the Rooster Crows

For a while, I’ve been having insomnia. It’s not so much that I can’t sleep; it’s staying asleep, which is also considered insomnia. I go through spurts of it though; it’s not all the time. What wakes me up while trying to fall asleep is I have problems coordinating two things: sleeping and breathing. I wasn’t much of a multitask kinda' gal anyway, but for the love of God, why can’t my body cope with two natural involuntary things to work with? Right when I’m surpassing the first REM stage, I wake up gasping for air. Sometimes, I even feel as though the air won’t even enter my lungs. For 3 whole seconds, I really believe that I’m going to die right there. So what happens? I stay awake afraid to fall back asleep again. Of course, this always has a ripple effect, leaving Madelene sleepless as well.

For the hour that I did manage to sleep last night, I had the scariest dream. I dreamt that I was at an ex-girlfriend’s apartment. Inside, she had a male ghost. (Don’t ask. You know how dreams are.) Anyway, my ex-girlfriend was out and I was left alone picking up my guitar that I had left there. While I was closing the case of the guitar, the ghost snuck up from behind me and tied me up with a phone wire and left me there lying on the floor. Seconds later, I heard the hissing sounds of the gas stove and the doors and windows shutting. He was trying to kill me. Somehow, I managed a way to untangle the phone cords and drunkenly staggered (from the gas and not vodka of course) to the stove to shut it off. I remember how dizzy and fatigued I felt. I ran outside to get the hell outa’ there. I survived, but when I woke up from the dream, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

One website told me to listen to the subconscious messages that my dreams are telling me. They basically said that dreams hold powers of psychic and analytical data into your inner thoughts and subconscious state-of-mind.

This article by Janet Kinosian stated: “A doctor once told me to address my subconscious kindly a moment before I fell asleep: ‘My dear sweet subconscious mind (that took a while to say with sincerity), be assured I will hear what you have to tell me tonight. I can listen best if you don't shout or scare me.’ And yes, this accepting attitude has worked well for me, and still does. Once again: Dreams are only messengers. You can choose to listen or not. It's up to you.”

Don’t get me wrong, but if I said this before going to sleep, Madelene would have the guys in the white coats after me. I just can’t imagine saying that. I don’t even know if I believe that our dreams are subconscious messages. I remember my cousin once bought me a book so I can interpret my dreams. I was amazed to read what certain things meant if they were in your dreams. For example, if you dreamt of a carrot – you would receive money soon. I mean, come on – it was like some funky version of a Chinese fortune cookie message. So instead, I went out and bought a similar book to compare it with. Turns out, if you dream about a carrot, it means that your health would soon deteriorate. Quite a different interpretation, huh?

“See a doctor, Deb.” A lot of people tell me to do that. The only thing is, they’re going to have to keep me overnight somewhere to watch me sleep. Oh yeah, as if I’m going to nod off into a peaceful slumber while doctors watch on. I don’t think so. I know for a fact that I won’t sleep. It’s the only way that they can determine if you have sleep apnea. I’ve read all the guidelines to help with my sleeping disorder: don’t eat anything 3 hours before bedtime, don’t exercise 3 hours before bedtime, and don’t drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages 3 hours before bedtime. Basically, don’t have a life 3 hours before bedtime. And yes, that means sex too!

I need sleep.


DaBich said...

Some say sleep is over-rated. I agree, until I don't get enough!
Couldn't sleep for crap the last 3 nights. I'm running on fumes.

But to wake up gasping for breath is scary. I wonder, is it physical or otherwise for you? What is worrying you so badly? HUGZ!

~Deb said...

Dabich: I can't even think straight when I don't get enough sleep. It's like a horrible hangover. The thing is, nothing is bothering me that I know of. I wonder if it's some underlying 'issue' of some sort?

Anonymous said...

If you believe that to abstain from drinking coffee and alcohol, from making exercises, or from having sex three hours before going to sleep is a big effort, that means that you have no idea what insomnia is all about. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
One, two, or five sleepless nights mean nothing at all. You seem to be really far from even imagining what you would be willing to give up in your life had you really suffered from that disorder.

After reading some of your articles for the last couple of days, I refuse to believe that a person like you will call life to drink alcohol or coffee. I tend to think you just used a wrong expression. Please, tell me that I’m right. Do not destroy the image I’ve forged in my mind about you. It takes so loooooong to find substance in this world…

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Deb said...

Anonymous: I hit a nerve with you in this post and others I'm imagining. I use sarcasm a lot in my writing and tend to keep it 'light' when telling my stories. I do know what insomnia is all about while suffering 2 or more nights without sleep. I just like to add a little humor into my posts, but obviously, it’s bound to offend some folks. Of course, life to me consists of my family, friends and my life partner as well passions for life, like writing, music and film. That’s the serious side. Other perks to life always include a good cup of java, a delicious glass of wine and good food.

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, and enjoy their work—whatever they do under the sun—for however long God lets them live. –Ecclesiastes 5:18

Life is good, except when insomnia comes into play. Thanks for commenting and letting me know your thoughts, “Anonymous”.

Anonymous said...

Thanks G’d, it was just an expression. I knew it; it couldn’t have been in any other way!!
Now I will keep reading some of your older articles. There is so much to be learnt here!!

~Deb said...

I'm glad that's been cleared up. I warn you though, the content may shake you up a bit. :) I'm not much of an edgumacata' but I write what I've been through.

Thanks for stopping by!

JC said...

Since I'm reading your blog at 1:50a.m. CST when I have to be up in 2 1/2 hours, I must have a touch of insomia as well. This is the first site I've visited that I can listen to instead of read. C-O-O-L

~Deb said...

JC, the only problem with listening to my site is the robotic male voice. I hope you got some sleep! It's 9:45 am here, and I finally got a full night's rest thank GOD! It comes and goes. I can't function when I go through those phases of insomnia. I feel for ya.

kathi said...

It always amazes me that people are able to sleep at all in those sleep studies. I can't imagine when you're having a hard enough time sleeping, to get any rest hooked up to a hundred wires and 'observed' all night long.

At the risk of getting reprimanded, I've always suffered from insomnia. They say it goes hand in hand with depression. I can see that. I've told the story many time of my parents catching me up all hours of the night as a child just sitting, playing, whatever. So, I've always had this condition. I've learned to live off of 3 to 4 hours of sleep. Occasionally I'll get a good 6 hours. They've tried the ambien and lunesta...nada. What'cha gonna do?

Glad you got a full night's rest last night, though.

Seven said...

If you are gasping for air upon awakening you have sleep apnea. It can be dangerous on several levels and even life threatening.
There are genetic causes and life style causes. Alcohol too close to the sleep period will aggravate the problem.
The sleep study isn't as bas as your imagination presents though it is no picnic with a pretty girl.
I'm not your daddy (guess that's obvious) but if I were I would wrap you in duct tape and take you to the sleep study to confirm or deny apnea. If that is too troublesome try to document your sleep quality by going without alcohol or OTC's for a couple of weeks.
I was diagnosed with apnea and slept with the CPAP machine for 5 years, though me and Ms.CPAP were never intimate. I have defeated apnea by quitting all alcohol and over the counter antihistamines.
Don't muck around with it; gasping for air is the very clear voice of your body talking to you. Seriously Deb, my next door neighbor died in her sleep from an apnea incident.

Ricardo said...

Deb, I too have been waking up gasping for air as well and it SUCKS! What is it? I feel like I'm going to die! I'm going to try this subconscious thing.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Yes, Deb, you did need sleep; lack of it that be devastating. There are many non-drug procedures that can overcome insomnia. The trick is finding the one that works for you.

As for dreams, I believe that they can be a window to the preconscious mind. They may also be the result of that bowl of spicy chili you ate just before retiring.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Ricardo (and Deb): waking up gasping for air in a symptom of sleep apnea. My I suggest that you both contact a sleep clinic and have it checked out?

Ricardo said...

SSN - Thanks for the tip. I think I will. I hear it can lead to health issues later down the road. Don't need that.