Tuesday, November 17, 2015

On waking up in the middle of the night

Someone used to call me pokey because I slept so late. I did that for a long time while my body was adjusting to all the things I had gone through.

I'm still pokey in many ways, such as getting out of the house. But instead of sleeping too late, I have been waking up too early, usually between 4 and 4:30 a.m. It stared about four months ago. Of course I looked it up and saw that waking up in the middle of the night is not uncommon. I mentioned it to some friends who had the same issue. I fall asleep fine but then wake up when it's too early to get up. I try the things that you're supposed to do: progressive relaxation, three-part breathing, thinking of something calming. My yoga teacher, Justine, said to try putting on my eye pad, so I have done that too.

If I give up, I know that checking my iPhone ruins my chance of getting back to sleep. Who's on Facebook, who's Tweeting, who might be emailing in the middle of the night. I did that for a while, until someone pointed out to me that the screen is the worst, and these seven tips for falling back asleep confirmed it. Stress is said to be a factor, but I don't feel any more, or less, stressed than usual. Sometimes I think it comes from writing too far into the evening, causing my brain to go into overdrive that wakes me up at night. A person could get stressed out just wondering about it.

Today, I slept until 5:30 and thought that was great. Maddie woke up at about the same time; I got her to lie down for another 15 minutes or so. Still, I had to rush to get out of the house to get to the Literacy Project in Northampton on time for my 9:15 a.m. volunteer tutoring job. I had decided I had to use the over-ripe bananas to make banana bread. Then I got glued to the morning shows, watching the news about politics and about the Paris attacks. I can't say why that took three hours, but it did.

Observation of the day: If you take the four small Polish pottery bowls down from the cabinet and put them on the counter and balance them with your left hand while reaching up with your right hand for the larger one in which to put the spaghetti you are cooking, one of them is likely to fall onto your tile floor. And break into a million pieces. And if you close the door to the kitchen to eat your pasta in the dining, your mess will still be there when you go back in.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi there
I regularly read your excellent blog as it helps me understand what a friend of mine is going through: her medical history is uncannily similar to yours! Actually it's not leukemia I'm commenting on, but your remarks about the terrorist attacks in Paris. I live in England, such a small, overcrowded island, where a lot of us are indeed very concerned about the Schengen agreement while at the same time wanting to hang on to our reputation for welcoming refugees. You are right in stating that the US has a much tougher policy on entry into the country, but this is not something that is particularly admired over here and I hope we don't ever go down the same road. In any event, deaths by terrorism account for only a relatively small number of people in Europe, especially when you compare these with the appalling murder stats in the USA. I've just checked the latest figures: 16,121 in 2013/4 (and rising) out of a population of around 320 million. Compare this with 537 (and falling) in the UK out of a population of 65 million. The figures for France are roughly comparable to those in the UK. So all I'm saying is: you're right to point out that the perpetrators of the Paris outrage appear to have been mostly home-grown - but so are your American high-school murderers and gang leaders. So if you're saying, don't just blame refugees for everything that's wrong with the world, I'd agree with you.

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