Now that I have a week to prepare for my last hard chemo, I’d like to focus on getting a good night’s sleep. Problem is, as my mother would say, “We’re not from the sleepers.” Even before chemo, falling asleep and/or staying asleep has never been my specialty. I remember great periods of insomnia during the baby-raising years; again during my corporate 30’s when I laid there all night ‘working’, and again during menopause when I woke up every few hours to change my sweat-soaked pajamas. I certainly envy people who hit the pillow and are asleep in minutes. I know that I suffer from what sleep specialists call “sleep stress.” That’s when you are so nervous about not sleeping that as soon as you lie down your body releases adrenaline into your system, and there it is, the vicious cycle of what I call “wired tired.”
I’ve tried every “fall asleep faster” technique but to no avail, and because it’s so important for me to get rest, every once and awhile I have to fall back on taking medication. I try to stay away from Ambien because I have found it to be highly psychologically addictive – not to mention that it causes temporary amnesia and 2 a.m. bowls of Frosted Flakes. I found a good over-the-counter sleep aid called Alteril but right now that’s not doing the trick, either. For now, I just try to tell myself that I’m getting rest…or as Clive Owen said in the movie of the same name, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
But really, who doesn’t love to sleep? Sleep shouldn’t be a problem!!! It’s like sex: sometimes it’s difficult to get started, but once you’re in it, you think, “I never want to stop doing this!”
Who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky tonight…and sleep.