I have a problem. In point of fact, I, no doubt, have many problems, but the problem which is my recurring bête noire (almost literally) is sleep. It has been so for some time now.
Recently, when I have summoned to courage to trundle off to bedland at a reasonable hour, I have frequently been forced to endure a most vexing first few hours. I toss and turn, steam and boil, frequently change my soaked shirt, wander from bed to bed in vain search for the magic combination. For the most part, this vexation occurs in the hours before two a.m. That's one reason that I am not entirely loathe to endure my own solitary company until the wee hours while my better half slumbers, for, frequently, I find that if I force myself to remain awake until two o'clock or so, the demons of restless and sweltering heat torment me not.
I don't know what's behind all of this, and it doesn't seem to concern my doctor. I forgive the poor man because when I approached him with this complaint not long ago, he was much more concerned about trying to find to cause of my three-week headache. I mean that could have been a serious indicator of some sort. Who knows what caused my rather prolonged mal de tête, but it seems to be dissipating without benefit of medical interference?
For the most part, I cope well with my nightly forays into night sweats and the like. I don't terribly mind staying up and putting at the puter or whatever else springs to mind. On most mornings I have the luxury of lying in long enough that I am able to get sufficient sleep to remain blithe and sprightly. Oh, I never sleep until noon; in fact, I'm often up by 8:00, but I sometimes fall prey to the temptation of grabbing an extra hour, or possibly two.
But I can't always do that. Sometimes I have to be on the ball in the morning. This is most problematic for someone who suffers the above symptoms and who is also not in any way, shape, or form inclined to be a morning person. There are larks and owls, and I am an owl who prefers to eat larks rather than chirp with them. But I do find that if I can muster more than six hours of sleep and get up by eight in the morning, that I can occasionally be semi-convivial by about ten o'clock, which coincidentally, happens to be a most appropriate time to head out on the bikes when we've planned a major excursion.
But here's my dirty little secret. I take sleeping pills! Not often, not every night, sometimes not for weeks at a time, but I take them when I feel the need to blend myself into a more normal (for the rest of the world) schedule. They aren't particularly strong, addictive pills — in the flurazepam/dalmane family. I can take one or two for a day or two or even longer without experiencing too many miserable side-effects.
However, in my recent desperation to get on a normal cycle, last night I took two pills and that was the third night in a row that I had done that. Today, I paid the price, and so did Cuppa, I'm afraid. I was down, and I was dreary. I was enervated, and I was moody. I was not having fun, and I was not being fun. Usually, a bike ride shakes that sort of mood, but it didn't today. However, by late afternoon, my usual bonhomie seemed to be struggling to reassert itself. About bloody time, mate!
Sometimes, I'm even not sure whether it's the pills. Perhaps, it is just coincidence. Whatever the cause, I don't like myself when I get like that, and I can assure you that Cuppa doesn't exactly revel in these moods either. To her credit, however, she never wavers, never rises to the bait, lets my misery run its course with little admonition because she knows that this too shall pass.
I'll tell you one thing though. You won't find me ingesting a sleeping pill tonight. If I miss a few hours sleep, even for a few days in a row, I can usually manage well enough. I just don't look forward to those blazingly hellish hours that so often lurk in the late nights and early mornings. So, I am torn. Do I turn in now, at just after 11:00 p.m., or do I force myself to stay up until the fiendish hours have passed? I'm rather tired, so I guess I'll try the first option tonight. Who knows whose blog I might be checking three hours from now, however?