Help! Who took my zzzzs?

imagesCAFVQO4K  It’s a sad thing, but I don’t sleep nearly as well as I once did.  I don’t know if it’s my sedentary (sit-on-my-butt) lifestyle or because I’m in that wonderful time of life which includes hot flashes.  

I can usually fall asleep with no problem, but then around 3 or 3:30 am, my brain is off to the races, dragging me reluctantly along with it.  I can’t believe I’ve truly solved many problems during this time of thinking about everything.  Okay, –maybe- I’ve solved a couple plot problems, but for the most part my mind just scampers from one thing to the next.

The trouble with not getting enough sleep is how you feel the next day.  imagesCAGERTZ8

So, does anyone else have this problem?  How do you handle it when you can’t stay asleep?

Wishing sweet dreams to all of you.<3



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20 Responses to Help! Who took my zzzzs?

  1. Kylie Brant says:

    Oh Leanne, welcome to my life 😦 And the worst of it is, I used to enjoy sleep sooo much. I was good at it. Really really good. I took sleep to a whole new level, an art form really. And now I’m lucky to sleep through the night three times a week. It’s maddening. Like you, it’s not the falling asleep that causes problems, it’s *staying* asleep. I have the bestest bed in the world, a sleep number. It has a cushy mattress pad on top of it to boot. Couple that with an overhead fan, another blowing directly in my face, a purrrrrrfect blanket…not being able to sleep with all that going for me is truly discouraging.

    But at least I’m comfy while I lay there awake!

    • Leanne Banks says:

      Kylie, your bed sounds wonderful. I’m so sorry you suffer from this too. Does your mind start whirling when you wake up? If so, have you found a way to TURN IT OFF? Thanks for the commiseration! xo

  2. Laney4 says:

    I too am “at that stage in life”. Luckily, I have only had two hot flashes in the last two years (knock wood), no night sweats, and no heart palpitations. (My lot in life is that I have rosacea/pimples ALL OVER my face every single day, yet I don’t drink tea/coffee, rarely drink alcohol, and gave up all pop in Oct/10.) I seem to only be able to get 5-6 hours of sleep, rather than the 7.5 I “used to” require (or the 10+ I could get on weekends). I now go to bed later, as I get more done at nighttime. The earliest I conk out is 12:30 (and I strive to hit the sack by then), but I’m usually up around 6:30, even though I’ve gotten up around 8 am my entire life. (School started at 9, office job started at 9, and trained my kids for 8 am too.) If I get 6 hours, I’m fine. If I only get 5, I need a nap. I try not to give in to the naps. I also play competitive badminton five nights in a row, so you’d think this would result in getting more sleep; alas, no….
    If I awake in the middle of the night with a bad dream and can’t get back to sleep, I actually put myself in the heroine’s shoes of a book I’m currently reading. There’s nothing like a hero to pick me up and whisk me away to a fantasy story. (I’m 5’10” tall so not a lot of people have picked me up in my lifetime, LOL, so it’s nice to dream about it!)
    If that fails, I go back to my wedding day (30 years ago this summer) and walk through every step of the day: singing with the radio in the morning (pretending to have a microphone in my hand), my sister curling my hair when I didn’t want her to, my dad driving us to the church (listening to “Going to the Chapel of Love” on the radio, LOL!), my dad parking way far away from the church when there was a spot reserved for the bride near the door, walking down the aisle to see my fiance literally sweating bullets (as no air conditioning), walking out the front doors of the church where people threw confetti (back in the day when that was allowed – and all the curls fell out of my hair when I shook out the confetti – YES!), having to stand up to make a speech when it wasn’t in the book of etiquette (so I had to wing it and stammer a tad), finding garbage bags full of confetti when we went back to my parents’ house to change (so we hid them), etc. etc. I rarely get to the reception part of my memories before sleep takes over.
    Good luck. As they say, “this too will pass” (but never fast enough for us!).

  3. Laney4 says:

    Oops. My husband was sweating buckets of sweat and not bullets. That might hurt!

  4. Leanne Banks says:

    Laney, geez girl, you are so creative! You should be a writer! My problem, when I think of the heroine in my wip, is I try to figure out her problems and next steps… etc… so that’s not good. Sometimes I even think about stuff in World News that I canNOT fix. Ack! I love the way you go through your wedding day step by step. That is adorable! Thanks for sharing! xo, Leanne

  5. lois greiman says:

    Like Kylie, I could have given lessons in sleeping. Yes, I was that good at it. Used to sleep in the aisle of horse shows and state fairs to keep the animals company. But alas, even I, the once great sleep artist, am not as good as I once was…but seriously, I’m still pretty talented. Put me in a moving vehicle and watch me work. 🙂

    Good luck to all you nonsleepers. Life after the ‘pause’ looks good huh?

  6. Terry Odell says:

    Ah, the dreaded not-getting-back-to-sleep. I rarely have trouble falling asleep, but my body seems to think it’s had a nice nap after a few hours. I finally got a mild sleep aid that I can use when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep–it’s usually that my brain won’t shut down. But I also LOVE having my NOOKcolor with its adjustable brightness. I just turn it on and read, which gets my brain into another mode, and doesn’t bother the hubster.

    Terry’s Place
    Romance with a Twist–of Mystery

  7. kris says:

    ahhh, the elusive sleep. i’ve been an insomniac for the majority of my existence. my biggest problem is turning off the brain to make it over that hump. but, i’m also a very light sleeper and wake up with even the slightest noise. the good part to all this, when i had a baby, the lack of sleep didn’t phase me. this is going to sound cheesy, but i try to recreate the last book i’ve read in my head and go through the whole story. doesn’t always work. there is always counting sheep!!

  8. michelehauf says:

    I’m pretty good with sleeping, if you don’t include the mandatory two trips to the bathroom a night. There are some nights I think I make those trips in my sleep, and thankfully falling back asleep is not a problem. I know you don’t want to hear that. But I’m clinging to it until the ‘pause’ decides to change the game on me. 🙂


  9. Laney4 says:

    You wrote, “Laney, geez girl, you are so creative! You should be a writer!” Well … I wasn’t very good at writing all the way through school – at least with fiction. My school reports/assignments were detailed yet concise, so I always great good marks on those.
    In high school, I took various classes to improve my “secretarial” skills (like how to write a letter effectively), as I knew I would be a secretary. I worked in various offices until my first child was born, and I worked part-time in some offices (when the kids were in school) throughout the years afterward, always maintaining my typing business at home. I no longer “just type”, but I edit edit edit. I combine paragraphs that discuss the same thing, I move paragraphs around to “make more sense chronologically”, I delete redundancies, I try to keep consistency, etc. So in a way I am writing in my professional life.

    I have always typed personal letters for the elderly relatives thousands of miles away (as typing is easier for them to read), trying to add some humour to the stories. In high school, I started writing poems … silly limericks, really … but discontinued it for 30 years. Then five years ago, my best friend had a 45th birthday party and I decided to write a personalized poem for it. I wrote a serious one that could be read in public, and then I wrote a comical one that perhaps shouldn’t have been read in public. Well, you guessed it: I was asked to read them aloud to all the guests at the supper table. Yikes! Public speaking is not my forte – but I winged it, despite the muttering, stuttering, and blushing. From that point on, I was asked to write more poems. That year, I wrote my first Christmas “newsletter” in verse, and the very last stanza said:

    So here (Laney) sits writing poems
    For each and every card.
    Please don’t expect this again next year,
    As, quite frankly, it is too hard.

    I had so many people request my newsletter poem annually, that I caved in and now write poems every year. The second year, my card started with:

    It’s been quite the year since you got our last card.
    I said writing poems was frankly too hard,
    But last year’s greetings went over so well
    That I had to reconsider and sit down a spell.

    So here I am creating some new rhyming verses.
    It’s quite the job – you should hear all my curses!

    You won’t catch me writing books – at least fiction – but one should never say never. Perhaps I’ll print off my annual poems as my family’s “life in review”. Thanks for your comments, Leanne.

  10. Minna says:

    A couple of weeks ago there was a BBC documentary about sleeping. There was also some advice about how to get sleep. One of them was to take a hot bath. I don’t have bath tub, but sauna works just as well.

    When my mind starts racing (usually in the evening) I meditate. I don’t say OMM. I just close my eyes, empty out my mind totally and maybe imagine being on a deserted island. And if my mind goes off to races again I just say “oops” and empty out my head all over again. Even this takes a bit of practise.

  11. Stephenia says:

    I usually sleep well, but when my eyes pop open in the middle of the night and I’ve made the required trip to the bathroom, small sip of water, lay back down and try to drift back off…..only the drifting part doesn’t happen, then I usually turn my bed light on and read from whatever wonderful romance novel I’m reading at the time. That usually does the trick!

    On a serious note, have you tried changing your evening routine?? Going to bed a bit later than you do now, no caffeine (chocolate, tea, coffee, sodas, etc) after noon time, no food at least 2-3 hours prior, warm bath/shower, writing all your racing mind issues in your journal before bed, not sitting in bed doing anything before retiring (ie just read for 10 minutes then turn out the light, no tv watching or stuff like that) and maybe doing some kind of meditation practice to empty your mind before you go to bed? Good luck!

  12. Kylie Brant says:

    Leanne, I do sometimes have that problem too, where I can’t turn my mind off. When that happens I give up and go downstairs for awhile to read or browse the web. I need an off switch!

  13. Leanne Banks says:

    Lois, my husband can sleep propped against a wall, or alas, at a stop light!!! I am happy that you don’t share my sleep torture. Still waiting for life after the pause. Thanks for commenting.:) xo, Leanne

  14. Leanne Banks says:

    Kris, good for you finding a solution. I’ll work on those cranky sheep!:) Thanks for commenting! xo, Leanne

  15. Leanne Banks says:

    Lois, good for you on your sleep abilities.:) I’m a bit of a light sleeper. Combine that with waking up with a whirling mind and oooooog….Help!:) Enjoy your slumber. xoxo, Leanne

  16. Leanne Banks says:

    Laney, you are SO clever! I still say you could write a book. Hey! Jayne Ann Krentz included rhymes in some of her books! Thanks so much for your comment. You ARE very talented! xo, Leanne

  17. Leanne Banks says:

    Stephenia, thank you for the suggestions. I’ll give them a try. I think, especially, I would like to go ahead and write down my racing head ideas in the middle of the night. I’m hoping for a semi-good night of sleep tonight! xo, Leanne (your name is my next book!!!!!!!!!!)

  18. Leanne Banks says:

    Kylie, note to self. Find the off switch! Thanks!:) xoxo, Leanne

  19. mjfredrick says:

    I have the same problem. If I start thinking about my writing, then I definitely can’t go back to sleep. I’ve stopped drinking sodas and eating late. I’ve thought about getting lavender and sprinkling it on the pillow, anything to keep me asleep!

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