February 29th, 2008


I am procrastinating. But I am trying to do so in a moderately useful way that might eventually allow me to sneak up on what I should be doing and conquer it before it is aware of me and can fight back. Whatever works, right?

I am officially caffeine free. Which is to say I had my last dose of caffeine at 5 p.m. or so on Monday night. All of it is out of my body by now. I am mostly free of the symptoms, although I did take a Tylenol this morning. No great epiphanies of the new, sleepier worldview, but I’m just getting started.

One of the things I was hoping to get from this process was better sleep. I find that I’m definitely more tired, but not yet that I sleep better. Sigh. Every time I hope for a quick fix, my hopes are dashed. There’s an article in this month’s Cal Monthly that discusses some of the reasons I want to get better sleep, besides not wanting to be tired all the time (yes, I realize that I should have thought of that before I had kids. I was young, okay?).

I’m annoyed that really experts don’t much know what they’re doing. How many things have I read about dealing with such and such a condition that say: drink plenty of water; exercise regularly; get plenty of sleep? I am drinking more water now than ever in my entire life. The sum of the impact is: I go to the bathroom a lot. I exercise almost every day, particularly now that the sun is out and it’s nice to be outside walking. I took a nap today (in the morning, because afternoon naps tend to interfere with your sleep cycle, say those same happy experts whose advice failed to get me a good night sleep last night) to work on the plenty-of-sleep issue. They don’t know what works. They just make suggestions.

Among their other suggestions for getting good sleep: using the bed only for sleeping and sex so that your body knows what to do when it gets there. Clearly, these people are scientists. I’m trying, but reading in bed is one of life’s true pleasures.

I’m trying all their other things as well. They say that I should sleep in the dark. I used to fall asleep reading a lot (see above), so this was a challenge. They suggest going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Okay, show of hands, who wants to get up at 5 on Saturday morning? Who wants to go to bed at 9 every night to be able to get up at 5 after a restful 8 hours? They suggest a going to bed ritual. It worked for my kids, more or less, when they were little, so I was less skeptical about that one. It is soothing to go away from the TV screen and the computer monitor (screens before bed are apparently not good for sleep), to do a little yoga, say my prayers, write my journal, brush my teeth.

Now if I could just get my kid not to want to rehash his entire life and everything I have done to screw it up just before bed, I should be fine. Don’t think the experts have the solution for that one.