Tuesday, March 27, 2007

To sleep, perchance to dream~

Dr. Sridhar H. Dasari is a "sleep medicine specialist." (A what?)

He's quoted in my local daily paper, "A lot of us don't realize how important sleep is in our daily lives. People take it for granted."

I am not one of those people.

Ask my husband, who's fond of saying, "Sleep is more important to you than anything." Do you know what he means by "anything?" That's right. He doesn't believe me when I tell him that's not true. Actions speak louder than words, he says.

I say, wake me up when you finally decide to come to bed. But I'm going off topic, here.

I read the article in the paper called, "Sound Sleep." I read everything I come across on the subject of sleep, all the magazines I see in the supermarket line that say: "Ten Things you never Dreamed Would Put You to Sleep," and "Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain." (Good excuse. I'll use it.)

Dasari says we're a driven society. We're a non-stop society. We don't have time to do everything in the day, so we sacrifice our sleep time.

Lack of sleep results in building a "sleep debt," he says, (as if the credit card wasn't enough). Interest payments include: dozing off during the day at meetings. I've done this. I arrange my head in my hand, aim my eyes at the paper on the table in front of me, and drift off. I've never been to a meeting worth staying awake for. Why do young colleagues take such pleasure in elbowing me awake? Why do they think it's so funny? I'm past needing to make an impression. Leave me alone. I've heard the information presented many different ways through the years. I'm tired.

Another consequence is dozing off behind the wheel. This is my worst fear, and I've come close. There is nothing funny about this and pulling off the road is recommended. I once fell asleep in my driveway. My husband's rapping on the window woke me from a dream, a good one. He wasn't in it.

Sleeplessness produces irritability and depression. I'm not quite there yet, although I can be irritable at any given moment. I just don't think, "I'm so sorry. I slept poorly last night," is a good excuse.

The trouble is, none of the problems the chronically sleep deprived suffer are mine. I don't have sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy or restless leg syndrome.

I have a husband who snores, and a cat that picks 2 a.m. to walk up my back. Maybe I should write a magazine article: "Ten Ways to Get Your Husband to Stop Snoring (that don't involve your elbow)."

The cat I can deal with.


Belladonna said...

As a person struggling with serious chronic insomnia, what sleep I can get is precious to me.

As for weight gain? I thought it was the pie.

Lisa said...

I snorfed at "...woke me from a dream, a good one. He wasn't in it." :)

If you write that magazine article, I have to check that out. I actually had to make my own earplugs out of kleenex the other night. What I usually do that sometimes works is punch the mattress to wake him up, so he can stop snoring momentarily before I have to punch the mattress again.

Alice Folkart said...

Oh, Ruth, I'm still laughing. You could publish this, probably just as it is. You have such a great voice, so matter-of-fact and snide at the same time. I can't see how you do it, but that's part of the magic, isn't it? If it helps any, you're on the right track - sleep alone. I didn't mean it to be permanent, but I moved into the spare bedroom when I had a cold, and never moved back. Sometimes the cat sleeps with me - and it works. Sometimes he doesn't, and that's fine. And, if he walks on me, I throw him out of my room. I approached my Dr. about sleep loss (I was still working and it was Hell - 4 or 5 hrs a night - and I was going to bed early) and he said, "It won't kill you, and, when you get tired enough, you'll sleep." He said that was scientific - that was what one of his profs in Med school had advised. Good dr. doesn't push pills unless necessary. But, in 120 days, when you retire, it will all get better - stress will abate and you'll sleep longer and deeper. You'll still wake sweating, but you'll say to yourself, it's OK, I can sleep in, and turn to the stack of books beside your bed, and read about bats or grafting fruit trees or . . . check out the new IWW Review of Books . . . (plug!)