16 February 2012

Sleepin' Problems

It won't come as a shock to anybody who knows me by now, but I have a problem with sleep. It's not that I can't get to sleep, or that I sleep too much, it's that I can't stay asleep.

I'm an extremely light sleeper, always have been. I wake up every time my wife wiggles in bed. I wake up when the cat moves from one sleeping spot to a different one. I wake up when the other people in my house get up, use the bathroom, or whatever. It's usually not for very long, and I usually fall back asleep pretty quickly, but I'm still up. This ties into my second problem.

I don't like to sleep. I put it off as long as possible, and then wake up as early as my brain can stand it. I like to be up and doing things, or writing, or reading, or playing games, or whatever it is I do. I want to be scooting around. I've started to realize it's a problem, because it means I'm tired more than I should be, and spend half of the day either wishing I was asleep or groggily fumbling around. It's the stubbornness more than anything.

I'm too stubborn to sleep.

What the hell am I supposed to do about it?


  1. If you are serious I'll run down my solutions. I'm a 36 hour cycler so I have had to work at it my whole life.

  2. You may also want to talk to your doctor about a sleep study. It sounds suspiciously like a mild sleep apnea (which can be serious if left untreated). I was diagnosed a little over a year ago and prescribed a CPAP (which I absolutely adore!). Now I sleep better and feel more rested afterwards.

    1. That's not a bad idea. Is it covered by insurance, or is it the sort of thing I'd have to pay big bucks for?

    2. I was a light sleeper for years too. I snored when I did sleep, it turned out I had sleep apnea . I have one of those cpap gizmos and I'm no longer a light sleeper, it seems they are covered by most insurance policies.

  3. http://www.supermemo.com/articles/polyphasic.htm ?

    1. This is a fantastic read! Thank you very much for this. According to this, I've been running around in a biphasic sort of sleeping pattern. I wonder if the tiredness is because I really shouldn't be doing it, or if it's just a factor of my environment...

      Bears further investigating. Incredibly interesting article, either way.

  4. What's the problem? You're safer from wandering monsters that way.

    Maybe separate beds? So the wife doesn't keep waking you.

  5. Very interesting article, btw. I had read something like it or about it in WIRED a few years back.

    The reason I answer the question in this manner is that it sounded more like the problems I have had with sleeping. Try EVERYTHING before you let a doctor start pumping you full of meds. But you may want the sleep study done.

    My methods cover more of an environmental element.

    First off: box fan. I have tried all kinds of sound masking devices and nothing worked like a box fan on low. Doesn't even have to be aimed at you but (and I think it's early genetics) I like the fan blowing in my face...kind of a 'nose to the wind' sort of thing. Plus it will signal you faster to problems (I figured this one out when the wife had a kitchen accident-I smelled smoke almost immediately and slapped the smoke alarm off just as it went off on my way to the kitchen).

    Discuss it with family and make certain they know about what wakes you. Nobody sleeps through a bout with pots and pans! :)

    I have slept on a futon mattress most of my life (back problems) and that stops the bed-quake wave dead in its tracks. Recently we switched to a Tempur-Pedic style mattress. Not as big a fan, but it too stops waking due to movement.

    If you find yourself waking even when you are alone, no noise, etc then DEFINITELY talk to a doctor. Probably saved my mother-in-law's life (and I LIKE that one :)

    Hope something helps. It is the single biggest problem modern humans suffer from. Think of all the negatives from not sleeping. If we solve this one problem we solve a lot of problems (car accidents, work accidents, increased creativity,etc).

  6. You should definitely talk to a sleep specialist and see if you could do with a sleep study. There are a lot of different sleep disorders, and most are fairly easy to treat.