As I roll over in bed for the umpteenth time, I manage to bump into my reading
lamp, with a rattle that startles me from semi to fully awake. Hoping that I did not disturb either Greg or the dog (in her bed next to ours), I reach under my side of the bed and pull out the alarm clock to see that it is 3:00am. I vaguely recall dreaming about my sister-in-law in some crazy scenerio, most likely stemming from her Facebook status earlier that day. Once again I think about getting up in time for the 7:00am bootcamp class and thankfully go right back to sleep.
Now it is 4:30am and I listen to the sounds behind our bathroom door where Greg is getting ready for work. He usually gets up later than me except for weekly business trips to Raleigh, and I can typically sleep through his early routine or quickly go back to sleep. But this morning I am thinking about that early bootcamp so just lie there in a semi-conscious state but hearing sounds of the coffee grinder, doors opening, dog scratching,etc. I don't want to leave my warm comfy cocoon but the need to pee finally motivates movement. I think, maybe a quick nap later this afternoon....but no I remember a Mammogram appointment. Ugh!!
I really cannot recall the last time I had a sound night's sleep without assistance from a pill.....think it was probably 1993. My sleep problems probably began with divorce and peri-menopause in my 30's. But here I am happily remarried and on hormone replacement therapy, and still missing the wonderful deep sleep that I enjoyed (and took for granted)for so many years. Even during marital stress, caring for 3 kids and 2 businesses, I could always sleep. Those babies could have been crying for half an hour before I realized the sounds were coming from the monitor next to my head. Unless they were kicking me (hard!) I wouldn't know that a young'un had crawled in our bed during the night. No matter how many times my sleep was interrupted with sick children or late-night teens, I could easily fall back asleep. I even slept through Hugo!!
It does not seem fair that after hours of lost sleep during child-rearing years, I now can not sleep through the night in my empty nest! I do everything right ....totally dark room (hence the clock under the bed), no tv watching in bed, no disturbing reading material or tv shows before bedtime, no heavy food at night, etc. Although I can fall asleep easily enough, if I don't take a "Simply Sleep" (tylenol pm without the tylenol) I will be waking up constantly all night long.
I know that I am not alone....lack of sleep is so common in women as we age. The night sweats are the worst but thankfully HRT does cure that condition, which improves chances for slumber. Sleep deprivation is a real health risk factor for weight gain, hypertension, diabetes and can actually double the risk of heart disease. So I will continue to take the little blue pill each night as faithfully as my estrogen, calcium, D3 and fish oil....and keep dreaming of sweet, deep sleep!