Night Time Battles

Dear Reader,

My hubby could always lay his head on the pillow at night and be asleep in less than five minutes. Every single night. I never understood how he could do this. I wish I did.

My sleepless nights are many. This morning I’m moving with three hours sleep. I’m surprised I got that much! After turning off the lights last night at my normal bedtime, I couldn’t remain still long enough for sleep to capture me. I had to move. I tried mind over matter, but my mind wouldn’t focus on anything except the need to move my leg! Finally, I gave up and turned on the television. I began watching episodes of “Call the Midwife” which sometimes will cause my eyelids to droop. Not so last night. I watched one episode right after another until three a.m. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep in because Templeton (my cat) has a built-in body clock which insists I rise no later than six thirty a.m.

Aging gracefully requires getting a good night’s sleep. This morning I’m suffering with foggy brain and a very bad hair day. I would be poor company for anyone who would be living with me today. Doesn’t help that outside my window I see dimly through a dense fog. On days following sleepless nights, my brain works in slow motion. There will be no writing today.

Many seniors experience sleepless nights or so I’ve read or heard. In my younger years, I stayed up until one or two in the morning writing and then slept for four or five hours, rose bright-eyed and ready for my job in the corporate world. Now that I’m retired with no daily outside commitments, one would think sleeping would come easy. I require seven to eight hours of sleep every night now. Sigh. The pattern following a sleepless night usually is another night or two the same followed by a night when I can’t keep my eyes open after seven p.m.

How about you? Do you suffer with night time battles? Do you have a remedy? If so, please share. And now I’ve got to brew a cup of tea…which normally would be sitting beside my laptop. Foggy brain is to blame. And so, dear reader, I will be eagerly looking forward to any suggestions to combat my sleepless nights. Signing off until next week,

Love, Carol Ann

Fog Brain, Chamomile and Lavender Tea, and Senior Sleepless Nights

Oh, the fog brain from lack of sleep! It was 3am before I finally fell into a light sleep. My cat, Templeton, doesn’t seem to care about such sleeplessness. When he wants me to be up and interacting with him, he doesn’t hesitate to notify me. Years of raising children, and most recently with being a caregiver, trained me to always hear the slightest sound of someone needing me.

As I sit here writing, with a slight headache and heavy eyelids, Templeton is sleeping quietly unaware. I know other seniors like me who suffer such sleepless nights. It’s like the brain’s “on” switch is stuck. I know the key to a good night’s sleep is keeping a rigid bedtime schedule. But what to do if the mind doesn’t cooperate? After tossing and turning for a couple of hours, I give up. I might get out of bed, make a cup of chamomile and lavender tea, and color until I feel groggy. Or occasionally, the tv remote jumps in my hand and turns on series like “The Treehouse Master.” Both take away the tossing and turning, but I still lose precious sleep.

Being diabetic, it is critical for me to get good rest. So, what am I to do? I’m sure part of my restlessness is due to Templeton dealing with inflammatory bowel disease. Poor little guy immediately notifies me when he has had an episode so I will clean his litter. It worries me that he isn’t getting better even with medication. This can happen in the wee hours of the morning. I just realized I’m still a caregiver! Not such an easy task at my chronological age and since I’m not good at caring for myself.

I’m going to crash on the sofa for a nap while Templeton is sleeping. So I lift my cup of chamomile and lavender tea and give a prayer of thanksgiving for this day, for Templeton, for you, dear reader, and for life…no matter the little setbacks. It is all part of aging gracefully with God.