I CanNOT Sleep

I wish I could. I have not slept well in years.

I had been going through a rough patch of insomnia when I had my heart failure incident, and something about being in the hopiyal, near death (and I really was near death), under medical care, finally on meds that improved the ondition of my heart, and ust getting off my feet for a while did something for me. I slept weel for month.

Then the insomnia came back slowly

Ulcerative colitis has not made it easier. Prednisone, the drug I am taking to decease the inflammation in my large intestine, causes insomnia and abnormal sleep patterns. Since I started taking it, about a month ago, I am wide awake at midnight, with no thought of sleep, just as if I had downed two cups of strong coffee.  I rarely close my eyes before 2 AM, without over-the-counter (OTC) help.

i have been waking up at 3, 3:30, 4 AM.

Then, of course, I am dozing off at work the next day.

I have to take sleeping pills if I want to get to sleep before 11. Two Unisom or two capfuls of Nyquil. Doxylamine succinate form Kirkland (Costco brand). Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I never know, in any given night, if I am going to get any sleep.

Fatigue is running my life. I can barely stay awake. I fall asleep while driving the golf cart at work, or sitting at the bus stop, when I am on the phone, or jut sitting down at work. I can’t stay awake long enough to finish writing a short story or blog post.

That’s the irony. When I want to lay in bed and get some actual sleep, I’m wide awake. But whenever I need to be awake, stay awake, get something done, concentrate, or do detailed work, I can’t keep my eyes open…until I lay my head down to sleep.

It has taken me hours to write this. My eyelids and head are too heavy. My brain is foggy.

I needed to get some sleep last night, badly. I barely slept Monday night, from 8 to about 10:15 pm.

So, I made a hot toddy. Normally it’s made with hot water, a healthy splash of whiskey, a few teaspoons of honey, and a vigorous squeeze of lemon. I use chamomile tea instead, Sleepytime from Celestial Seasonings. Jim Beam Apple (apple liqueur and bourbon). Honey and anything citrus agitate my bowels – give me diarrhea – so I use a heaping teaspoon of turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw), instead and skip the citrus.

I drank it down warm with two Unisom and a chewable melatonin tablet, got in bed, closed my eyes…

And woke up three and half hours later. Furious. I chewed two more melatonin, and tossed and seethed until I got drowsy, and got two more hours of sleep. I’ve been up since 3:15 am.

I’m at work now, hiding in a custodial closet, dozing off , and eating candy to keep my eyes open. Candy corn, Cow Tales (caramel apple taffy stuff), jelly beans (assorted – why are there licorice jelly beans?). The sugar rush is a substitute for the caffeine high (I stopped drinking coffee). It keeps my eyes open.

It isn’t working today.

The temptation at work always is to lay my head down for just a second. I will just lay my head down on my forearms for just a second and get a good little twenty, thirty minute nap in, until I get a text or get called on the radio. At least I will have gotten some sleep, today.

That is always the temptation. If I get caught, however, I may lose my job.

Somedays those little naps are all the sleep I get.

I can’t keep my eyes open long enough to finish this post in one go. It’s been hours.

Dozex ff ain.

Dozed off again and wrote gibberish (see the above).

I used to resent not being able to stay up all night because I had to go to work the next day. I was missing out on so much television and movies nd video games and internet, just going to work, coming home eating dinner, going to bed, waking up and doing at all over again.

Now, I resent not being able to lay my head down on a pillow and fall asleep instantly, the way I did when I was kid. All I want now is eight hours of deep uninterrupted sleep.

I’m getting old.


  1. I so hope things have gotten better since you posted this! Insomnia is the pits. I’ve been working on a blog about the 3 AM Club (you seem to be a member) — but don’t have many solutions. Have you tried the Calm app? Helps me. Hope you’re getting some sleep now!


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