Sleep’s been problematic for a long time now. Normally is anyway, and then it’s gotten worse over time. Find myself waking from dreams pretty frequently. Doesn’t help that the cat likes to annoy me about being let in and out from under the covers, but if I shut the bedroom door she destroys the hallway carpet in an attempt to get in. But that’s a cat for you.

I live in a rather noisy apartment building where they like to rent out the top floor above me to hooligans who have no respect for the rest of their neighbors. Pretty much everybody who’s rented the unit directly above me since I moved here has paraded around at all hours like a herd of buffaloes, playing loud music with bass, fighting and feuding and partying, or leaving a puppy home alone all day to howl. This last group of young people they’ve gotten up there are particularly disruptive. Finally had to head up there yesterday to tell them to keep it down. They’re really loud at night, but even during the day they’re obnoxious too. My sleep schedule is pretty hit-or-miss, but whether I manage to get to bed early or am trying to nap between work appointments or whatever, they frequently enough wake me up with their rowdy shenanigans. Same jerks who decided to steal cable back in November, resulting in the cable company cutting off access for our entire floor for nearly a week (and absolutely I demanded my bill be prorated that month on account of it). Never was charged or faced any issues with the landlord despite how upset all the neighbors were. Our landlord has a hands-off policy and expects us to figure most matters out among ourselves, which I get normally. Got a noise problem? He says “call the cops.” But I’m not one to phone the police over noise issues.

My next-door neighbors get upset with that rowdy bunch of young people upstairs too, and the wife of the couple seems to expect me to do something about it. Not sure why. She’s just as capable as I am, and besides, when I see them all standing around outside together chatting she doesn’t ever seem willing to broach the topic with them. People seem to wait around for us bulldog types to get fed up enough to finally throw a fit, never wanting to be the “bad guys” themselves. I don’t respect that stance, having already confronted people who’ve moved in above me on a few occasions (the last ones being a young couple who fought very loudly and often). Neighbors like to bitch and complain and wait around for somebody else to finally take matters into their own hands, but I’m not here to serve that purpose on their behalves. For the most part, I take a “live and let live” approach to dealing with my neighbors. But this latest crew up there is probably the rowdiest yet encountered.

Went to the doctor a couple years ago to request a sleep aid. Was prescribed Lunesta, which I’m not too keen on. Tried the melatonin pills in the past. Grandma sent me some herbal sleep aid pills a few months ago, which not only didn’t work but also smelled horrible and gave me bladder pain. Tossed them out. Don’t normally drink caffeine past midday, and even there I’ve been cutting down on my caffeine intake overall for a while now. Tried Tylenol PM and other over-the-counter variations and none did much good.

Got a lot of mental energy. Always have.

One function alcohol has served over the years is to aid me in falling asleep. But then that’s caused other problems. Kind of a catch-22 where I ought to back off of it, but then sober nights tend to be the hardest to get to sleep and stay asleep for enough hours to feel refreshed. Like last night.

Replaced my mattress a year or two back to one that’s firmer, which seems to help some (though that was mostly for my ongoing nerve problems in my hips/lower back).

Just can’t sleep very well. And recently I’ve been getting hot and then cold alternately throughout my time in bed. Not sure why. Wake up sweating, kick off the covers and a little while later I’m freezing and can’t seem to get warm again.

I do miss my companion a lot and have throughout this past year that we’ve been staying at our own places for the most part. Like, I’ll dream that he’s there, that he walked in the door and is standing in the kitchen, or that he’s laying in bed beside me. And it’s like waking up to a mirage. Just my mind playing tricks. Then the guilt and frustration starts in again, and I get up to smoke a cigarette and maybe write like I’m doing now or flip through the few local channels available on the television (which I’ve been doing the last couple of hours).

But even when times were better, sleep was hard to come by often enough then too. Feel like I’ve been an insomniac-of-sorts all my life.  The norm. Made worse when I miss people.

A lot of people deal with this, I know. My best guyfriend has a hell of a time sleeping anymore, since he too now has developed sciatica nerve problems despite being big into exercising daily. Plus his cats are jerks (aren’t they all?). He’s gotten to where he has to put in earplugs at night. Tried a lot of the same things I’ve tried to get sleep, to no avail.

Partly I think the problem is we humans aren’t intended to be off sleeping alone as much as we do. Feeling another person breathing near us is comforting and our own breathing rhythm adjusts to theirs. Plus there’s all this artificial light and distractions and city noises. Always something to think about and worry over and to try to remember for the upcoming day.

Sometimes I think the clock was one of the worst inventions known to man. Seemed like a good idea at the time, like so much else did, but it comes with the consequence of our lives becoming regimented accordingly, some more than others. My own work hours revolve around the work schedules of others. C’est la vie.

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5 Responses to Sleeplessness

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Now that I’m retired I find myself almost entirely ignoring the clock. It’s made for a very weird sleep schedule. Sometimes staying up for 18-20 hours and then crashing until I wake up again. I keep trying to get on a more regular schedule, but I keep drifting. I’m pretty sure that’s not good for me!

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