Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why I Can't Sleep

I generally write posts with the audience in mind. I try to think of what people would enjoy reading about, and how I can make people think about something in a new way. But today I'm going to indulge myself and use writing to help figure out a major problem in my life right now:

Why can't I sleep???

Edwin has been waking up a lot more than usual for the past week or so. But I think I could handle that if I could get my own sleeping problems in order. Since the trouble started, I've been trying to go to bed around 9:30: a time early enough to theoretically get extra sleep, but late enough that I should be tired. I read for a few minutes and then shut everything off and put my head on the pillow. Then I toss and turn for an hour at least, sometimes much longer. Often I don't sleep until Edwin wakes up. Then I comfort or feed him or whatever I need to do, and after that I can usually drift off.

This same thing happened to me about two months ago, and it was fixed when I made a switch in my thyroid medication. But I haven't gotten any other symptoms and I think my dosage is correct for now. I'm going to ask for a blood test just to make sure, but I don't think that's the problem.

There have been a few extra stressful events in my and my family/friends' lives lately, and my mind has been more cluttered with anxious thoughts. So that could be part of the problem.

Another part of the problem is that work on my novel has stopped because I'm waiting to get notes back from my Gotham book editor. In the meantime, I've been working on the business side of writing: setting up a website, setting up a profile on Elance, and writing queries for magazine articles. These are all important, but not very creative. Without my characters, I feel a little lost. I believe that when you don't have enough positive thoughts, your mind fills the space with negative ones. Negative thoughts can keep me up at night. I need to find something positive to focus on again. Maybe it's time to write some short stories.

I think the root of the problem is Edwin's unpredictability. I have no idea if he's going to wake up again in two minutes or two hours, so I lie awake waiting for it. It's the "waiting for the alarm clock to go off" theory, except that I have no idea when it's going to ring.

Hopefully Edwin will settle down again, as he always does, and I'll get a few nights with fewer wakings, which should lead to more confidence on my end that he'll keep sleeping. There's not much I can do besides that, as I'm not capable of letting him cry. I just don't have the strength and there's no way I can sleep through it.

So, to sum up, I have to:

1. Get a blood test
2. Think more positively about the stresses in my life
3. Start writing short stories
4. Eat less sugar and drink less caffeine (it can't hurt)
5. Give Edwin a little whisky before bed (just kidding). (Though maybe if I had the whisky...)

Thanks for letting me write it out and wish me luck on solving the problem!

PS- The post on I Love/Hate my iPhone is still coming soon!

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