I really thought that I would be spared from having to write this whinging little note, but, alas, I have not been spared, and, now, neither have you.
You see, after several weeks of fitful sleeps, I was able to enjoy three decent nights in a row. Instead of tossing and turning and getting a mere four or five hours of adequate rest, for three nights I enjoyed the best part of seven or eight hours of blessed sleep. My, what a treat that was.
Then came last night. I can't fathom any reason for it being different. I wasn't on a caffeine overload; I wasn't particularly worried about anything. They say that it's good to read at bedtime, so I did: until two o'clock when I finished the book. "So, AC let's retire to sweet dreams now."
Sadly, it was not to be. I listened to soothing music only to find it more irritating than anything. I lay there, trying to be calm, but I felt alert, almost wired. Sometime after three o'clock, I gave up and got back up and puttered away at this and that. On most really bad nights, I find that tiredness finally engulfs me at around four o'clock, but not last night. Oh no! I was up until after five o'clock.
Although I can't put my finger on any specific cause last night, I do experience strange corporeal conditions that are not conducive to long, peaceful sleeps. A major impediment is heat and sweat. Sometime in the past number of years, my body has decided that it should become a heat pump at night: to the extent that my beloved one sleeps about as far away from me as possible. I don't always sweat, but neither is it entirely uncommon for me to have to get up and change my drenched apparel.
To some extent, I have thought that my diet might contribute to this boiler phenomenon. There have been times when I have thought that I could attribute my troubles to too much sugar and refined carbs. While I believe that there is something to my theory, there are certainly times when I boil despite eating relatively well and times when I don't boil even though I have indulged too much.
Then there's my cold shoulder: my own literal cold shoulder, not the figurative one sometimes presented to me by others. Oh, it doesn't feel cold to the touch, but it feels cold inside my skin ... or brain. I have some deterioration in my upper back, and it has been suggested that this cold sensation stems from that: some sort of nerve response, like the tingling in my legs and feet from lower back degeneration, I suppose.
This cold shoulder sensation doesn't always bother me a lot, but it almost always bothers me some, and it tends to be most noticeable when I am really suffering from one my aforementioned heat attacks. I guess my general heat tends to emphasize the local coldness. I don't know.
Of course, my numerous trips to the loo don't help. On a typical night, I'll be up three to five times. On a good night I may get up every three hours; on a bad night, when I am already restless, I'll be on the prowl much sooner. Fortunately, when I am sleeping relatively well, although I don't suppose that I ever sleep really, really well these days, I can get up and down and fall right back to sleep. But, of course, on nights when I am a bit off to begin with, these nocturnal ramblings don't help one iota.
I've tried sleeping pills. For years I took a sleeping pill on most nights when I had to get up and work the next day. I seemed to need to do this, for I could be almost mind-numbingly tired and still lie awake at night. I guess it's because I'm a night owl by disposition; I'm much more a night person than a morning person although some people dispute the notion that I am much of a person at any time.
So, I took Flurazepam (Dalmane?) for many years. In the past year, however, I have noticed that these little fellas seem to affect my disposition the next day. Because they seem to render me somewhat grumpy and/or depressed, I now desist from using them.
Because I am retired and can set my own pace, I generally get by despite my nighttime woes. There are times, however, when it becomes important to enjoy a decent night. Let's say that there's something going on the next day, or we're visiting, and I am cooped up sleepless in a strange bed. In those circumstances it's really not fun to lie awake for much of the night and then be drained on the following day. Sometimes, I just want to break the cycle for a few days and get to bed earlier and get up earlier as well. What I am saying is that a magic pill would certainly help.
I know that the litany of complaints makes me seem like a fragile old codger, but my body seems to hold up reasonably well during the day. I don't much notice heat attacks, cold shoulders, frequent potty trips, or dry feet. Although I'll never run a marathon, I am reasonably active both mentally and physically.
There's nothing much you can do. I know that, but it's been good to get it off my chest. Like I, you are baffled by my heat pump syndrome, and there's nothing you can do to regenerate my spine. As for the potty trips, perhaps the cure, should there be one, would be worse than the condition? But perhaps there's a sleeping pill that I could take every now and then when I really feel the need: one that would help me to drift off without rendering me miserable to be around the next day?