Sometimes I get into these funks where I can't sleep in my bed.

My bed is very comfortable. Pillow-top. Queen-size. Undisturbed, due to fan humming some white noise off to the side. Dark, due to the greenish opaque curtains. Cool, due to the central air being pushed through the vent right next to my side of the bed. Comfy, due to over-sized quilted comforter and my special doctor prescribed pillow to support my neck. You couldn't ask for anything more.

And yet, despite all the amenities is offers, I'm tossing and turning like a 3rd grade boy in English class. My "restless leg syndrome" kicks in, my lower back can't seem to find the right spot to settle into, my pillow seems to get to warm on my red-hot ears leading me to turn it over again and again and again seeking the coolness of it's underbelly. And then my mind starts spinning with thoughts like "It's over now, buddy, you ain't never gonna get to sleep now." or "Are you sure you're not forgetting something?" or "Is that an itch on your leg or did a carpenter ant somehow slip under the covers?" The thoughts reproduce like horny jackrabbits until I'm wondering whether or not life is worth living. Seriously, I'll be in bed singing a lyric from a song over and over again, while contemplating the sins of my youth mixed with the dread of letting someone down. It's a formula for insanity. And for some reason, caught somewhere between waking and sleeping, it seems believable in the moment.

So I typically grab my pillow and mosey down to the couch in the living room hoping that a different setting with snap me out of my "thought loops" and reconfigure my mental settings to a relatively normal state. I say "relatively" because there are days when I wonder if my normal isn't, in fact, abnormal.


I hate to lose sleep. I think one of the things that starts the "thought loops" is the fear that I'm losing sleep while I'm trying to get to bed. I'll look at the clock periodically and figure out how much time I have before I have to wake up. Every time I glance at the clock I'll do the math and start to panic that what was 7 hours has just turned into 6 hours and 40 minutes. Before I know it, my 6 hours and 40 minutes is whittled down to under 5 hours and that's when panic sets in. I "just know" that I won't be able to function well on under 5 and that if this keeps up I'll be hallucinating like I did the morning after a Jr. High all nighter in youth ministry kept awake by pizza, Mt. Dew and hyperactive middle schooler singing camp songs in the back seat of the 15 seat passenger van. I've never frequented hell, but I imagine hell to be something akin to what I experienced on those sleepless nights in student ministry.

Yeah...this week has been a week of restless sleep. I hope it turns a corner soon.


Des said…
I have this same problem often. My legs always tighten up and tingle. I have to stretch them to feel a little better. I toss and turn. I fall asleep for a second because I am exhausted then jump up because my body refuses to sleep.
I am stubborn and refuse to go to the couch so hours go by before I can see the inside of my eyelids.
SO frustrating! Normally I don't care. I will just get up and go online or watch a movie. But I hate it when I have to get up early the next morning.
Linda C said…
Another member of the club! I often settle down and feel like a my brain is shuffling a deck of thoughts, all while a stupid song verse plays over and over...I move to my studio, pop in ear plugs (my own breathing seems to be the magic white noise) and can manage to get a few hours of sleep. It's nice to see that others with the same struggle manage to function. I figure time is passing and wasted during sleep, so I just get more hours of life than the sleepyheads. At least, that's what I tell myself. Snooze on!

Popular Posts