From morning person to midnight rambler. Night sweats 1. Sleep 0

I used to be a morning person. Rose early, jumped out of bed. Completed a vigorous morning walk before I even woke the kids for school. Those days are long gone.

The mid-life years  of night sweats and bouts of hormonal insomnia have changed my biorhythms for good.  These days, I may fall asleep quickly but I don’t stay that way.  In a few hours, my inner furnace cranks up, waking me in a dazed sweat.

Many times, I don’t fall back to sleep until 5 a.m.  I may go to bed before 11 p.m. every night but I’m virtually always up some period between 1-5 a.m. — sometimes for the whole 4 hours! It’s too late for Ambien, too early for rising.

Thanks to my trusty iPad, I can read in bed without waking my partner. Flipboard & Zite– my addictive, personalized online magazines — and downloaded e-books are my nighttime consorts as I wait out the overheated hours.  During those hours, I constantly flip the pillows to the “cool” side, pull back the covers to a bare sheet and generally fidget until, finally, my body temperature drops and my brain drifts back to sleep.

And before I know it, it’s 8 a.m. and I must instantly shake off my grogginess and jump into life. Of course, I’m glad to be awake. I’m glad to be alive. But I’m not a morning person anymore. No more pre-dawn walks before the rest of the house rustles awake.

And while I am able to dress and drive to work without incident (am functioning on auto pilot apparently), I must have coffee the minute I arrive at work to re-attach my  my brain to my body. Everyone knows that I am useless and cranky if I don’t get my java jolt. And then I am perfect again (tho there will be some debate about my choice of words here).

“To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub.” Shakespeare had that right!

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