Small Town Slumber

posted by Momo Fali on September 21, 2009

I do not sleep. Chronic insomnia has plagued me since I was pregnant with my daughter some 11 years ago.

I have tried everything short of an acupuncturist and I even have one of those lined up. St. John’s Wort, Melatonin, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds have been ingested, relaxation techniques have been used and I have one of the most comfortable beds and pillows I have ever rested upon.

For the most part my problem exists because I worry a lot. Sometimes it’s not even the worrying, but rather the constant chatter in my brain. Keeping my cell phone next to my bed helps a little because I can jot notes into it in the middle of the night (using paper and pencil was pretty tough in the dark), but even that doesn’t keep the stress of everyday life at bay.

This weekend, we took a trip to my in-laws’ house. They live in a small, southern Ohio town in a big, old house with gorgeous woodwork and a great front porch. One of those roomy porches, with a swing and everything. Sigh.

They live across the street from an enormous park where my husband and I walked the dogs and let the kids play until they were so filthy I barely recognized them. We drank some beer, ate homemade food, played cards with the kids and watched football.

At one point on Saturday, my body sunk into their comfortable couch and before I knew it, I woke myself up with my own snoring. Classy, right? Whatever. I don’t even care. My in-laws had 11 kids, so they’ve learned to tune things out. I allowed myself to doze off and on the entire afternoon.

That night, as I was checking e-mail, I fell asleep at the computer desk. I stayed that way, slumped over with my head on my arm, until my husband came to check on me for fear I had died. That’s how much I don’t sleep. My spouse saw me with my eyes closed and thought I had passed away.

And, yesterday after church I told everyone I was going to lie down. I climbed the steps and tucked myself into bed…and I went to sleep. I napped, people! That simply doesn’t happen.

At my in-laws’ there is no agenda, no laundry, no meetings and no work. My kids can play freely without me looking at my watch so we can hurry off to the next thing on our schedule.

I have always said I would dislike living outside the city, because I would be too bored. There just wouldn’t be enough to do.

Apparently I’ve been wrong all this time, because not having enough to do was exactly what I needed.

    Comments

  • Amy


    Have you lived in the same house the entire time you've had insomnia?

  • Momo Fali


    Yes, I have Amy. Why?

  • Heather


    can, uh, you call up your inlaws & ask them if i can come stay for the next, umm, 45 days?

    I'll clean & cook, when I'm not sleeping of course!

    I NEED sleep. A lot of the time, I read your tweets/various posts on insomnia, and my heart goes out to you because I know just how you feel.

    xo

  • Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]


    Can you bring me next time?

    Please?

  • Sadia


    Oh hurray! Thank goodness for in-laws you trust. I have a pair too. 🙂

    Sweet dreams.

  • Hockeymandad


    suffering from the same afflictions, I can relate to your problem. Although I take half an Ambien every night, some nights the medication is overpowered.

    Other things I have been suggested to try is exercise more and preferably a couple hours before bed to allow a proper cool down. If that's not possible reading also helps.

    Basically you need to exhaust your body so that even a busy mind can't keep it awake. Definitely easier said than done, I know, but when I stick to it I see it help.

  • Misty


    So, are you headed back this weekend? And next weekend? I mean, maybe you've been looking at this all wrong! you can just have 5, 24 hour days to take care of all that needs to happen- and then sleep the weekends… 🙂

  • Angie


    Hey Mo! It's been WAY WAY too long since I've stopped by your blog to see how you are all doing. It's so good to read that you've slept! I think you found your place int he world… your in-laws' place! Now you know where to retire.

  • Aunt Juicebox


    Well, I know that you have a lot to worry about, and it could just simply be that. However, some of my own sleep deprivation is caused my OCD. If you have nights where you just can not get your mind to stop, or if some of those thoughts of worry are extreme, maybe that could be something to look in to. Obvi, I'm not your doctor. And there are so many things that can cause insomnia. Melatonin didn't work for me either, and we spent nearly $2000 to get the best bed EVER, and I still can't sleep on it. And crap, I don't have have the stuff to be worried about that you do.

  • Junk Drawer Kathy


    Sounds like a visit to your in-laws was just what the doctor ordered. I'm so happy for you that the chatter must have stopped long enough for you to snore…er, sleep.

  • Lynn @ Walking With Scissors


    I'll bet you feel like a brand new woman! Hopefully your brain remembers this odd thing called sleep and lets you do it at home as well.

  • Stacey


    That's wonderful that you were able to escape for a time and get some much needed rest. Now you just have to figure out a way to let yourself unwind when you're home.

  • Marinka


    I try to sleep as much as possible when visiting my inlaws too!

  • anya


    Sounds like you just need time off from worrying. Easier said than done, I know. And I also think exercise helps – to reduce stress, release endorphins and get you really tired by bedtime.

  • Tracey


    Sweet dreams… You are SOOO deserving!

  • Melisa with one S


    Wow! Glad you got some sleep!

  • Jaina


    Wow, that's great that you got such great sleep!! I hope this continues when you head home. So, any plans of moving to a smaller town now so you can get some sleep? 😉

  • Kori


    I for one amd simply glad you are not, in fact, dead-and am happy for you. Sleep is an elusive thing at my house, too, though NOT to the point of yours-and I am not sure if I could keep myself from going insane.

  • Manic Mom


    I have to write everything in a notebook to get it out of my head. It's crazy sometimes, like a mentl throw up. Sounds great I know, but for awhile that didn't work. I looked into fung shui & changed th position of some things in my bed room & my sleep improved. Glad you got some zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

  • Tom


    Shoot… I was really hoping Amy would reply back with some really interesting idea about why the insomnia is related to that space, like subsonic vibrations or bad Feng Shui or something. Anyway… glad you caught some Zzzzz's finally. Now you know where to go to get them.

  • Jamie E


    🙂 Good news!

  • WeaselMomma


    Or maybe your body was trying to fight off the flu.

  • Caroline


    I am so glad that you got the well-deserved rest. As mamas when we're sleeping, we're not really sleeping are we? And in your case, you're never sleeping.

    Hang in there! xoxo

  • mrsmouthy


    You mean the insomnia I've had for the past 4.5 years won't ever go away??! I, too, sleep way better at other people's houses.

  • James (SeattleDad)


    Getting a good nights sleep will certainly change your perspective on all sorts of things.

    Maybe boring suits you more than you realized.

  • Dapoppins


    Oh. Now that is the kind of medication I could take.

  • S


    I am glad you got some sleep too…

    You said you've tried everything, but I wanted to mention meditation as a possibility. There is a program called mindfulness-based stress reduction that can be used to address all kinds of issues — it's even backed by science! 🙂

    Here's a site:
    http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php

    I am wishing you well,
    Stacy

  • Stacy (Mama-Om)


    Sorry….

    Didn't mean to be cryptic, just hit return too soon.

    "S" is really me.

  • DysFUNctional Mom


    So, when will you be moving?
    I am one of those people who can sleep any time, any place, and I honestly wish I could send you some of my sleepy-vibes. Sometimes it's ridiculous how much I sleep and LOVE to sleep.

  • BlondeMomBlog (Jamie)


    That sounds wonderful. I don't have insomnia but I definitely have issues lately (hmmmm since having children) with relaxing and falling asleep. It sucks. I am a chronic worrier, too.

    I think you need to move to the country to a big ole house with a wrap around front porch! I grew up in a house like that and although I hated it when I was a teenager I look back at it fondly now.

    We're in the burbs now but my husband SO wants to move out a bit in about 4 years. I've pretty much decided that as long as I'm within 20 miles of a Target I can handle a little less urban life. 😉

  • Whiney Momma


    I hear ya there. I have anxiety issues out the wazoo too. I am currently reading a book to help with it but it seems inevitable that I will always have this problem. I am fortunate that I can sleep but there are days when the chatter keeps me from focusing on other things. Good to hear you found some solace in the country. Sounds like a few trips out that way would be good for you. Maybe that's what I need…a change of scenery.

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