Friday, July 3, 2009

That Which Satisfies

Nothing satisfies like a good night's sleep. If you've never been plagued with insomnia, you may not agree and can think of many things more satisfying. But if you, like me, have had nights when you couldn't go to sleep, you know what I'm talking about.

A night without sleep completely kills the next day. Instead of just losing eight hours during the night, you lose the next twelve or fourteen. I lost out on an early morning at Balloon Fiesta because I didn't sleep all night. We went to the park but by ten o'clock I was back home taking a nap. My brother and two cousins were here and I missed out on some hours with them.

In London I didn't sleep all night and missed taking the Eurostar to Paris the next morning. I'd been before but on this trip we were to go inside the Louve rather than just seeing it from the street. I missed being with family and enjoying seeing them explore Paris for the first time. I knew I couldn't go because I'd be a drag on the entire day trip so I stayed behind at the London hotel.

I have a drug I can take that will help me sleep, but it's habit forming. I don't want to take it all the time because I know where it could lead. When people cast aspersions at Michael Jackson et al, for becoming addicted to drugs, I understand how easy that happens. Their lives depend on them being awake and able to function before people. They may not be able to "take the next day off" when they can't sleep. Ergo--sleep aids.

Thirty-eight years ago I was an addict to tobacco. Like many young people back then smoking was our way of showing independence. I started in 1952 when I was sixteen. Most of the people I knew for the next many years also smoked. By the time 1967 rolled around I was sick and tired of smoking, but I couldn't break the habit. I tried and tried, and finally gave up. In 1971 God struck me in the heart with the words of a fourteen year old boy. This boy showed me how wrong I was about who God was and is. His words rang inside me all night and the next morning. In tears I gave my habit to the Lord and asked Him to help me give it up. Boy! Did He ever! In that instant the desire to smoke was gone and I've never wanted another cigarette. Honestly, it was like I'd never smoked a cigarette before in my life. That's just how perfect God's work was in me.

We can sneer at other's addictions, but we need to look at our own. Are we addicted to sugar, chocolate, soda drinks, sports, sex, perfection. . . you can add your own words. If I could eat sugar today, I'd be addicted to that because I have the propensity to become addicted. We all do. Some more than others.

Which brings me back to sleep. Those pills to help me sleep sit in the bottle calling to me when the Melatonin and L'Tryptophane and magnesium don't seem to be working--when I know I have something to do the next day and want to feel good--when I'm just sick and tired of lying awake. It is much too easy to throw a stone at someone who does something we don't do, when we haven't walked in their shoes.

What is it that calls out to you in times of stress? The best of all worlds is to go to God, but sometimes when I'm awake at two or four in the morning, I wonder if He's asleep. Of course, I know He isn't. He is sitting up with me and usually showing me what the problem is that's keeping me awake this time. Too much food that turns to sugar, stress, thoughts, even a natural pill I've been taking. Sometimes I hear. Sometimes it takes a little longer to get the message.

When I get His message, then I sleep and there's nothing like it.


  1. I just read your blog. It's 5:09 AM and I've not slept one wink. I know exactly what you mean, sleep is precious and really hard for me to find nowadays. I don't have prescribed sleeping pills but I do take Benedryl, nighttime pain aids, and Walmart sleeping pills each night. That's EVERY night! Sometimes they work, sometimes, like tonight, they don't. I use to take pills every once in a while, now I rarely miss a night. If one doesn't cut it, I'll take more if desperate. Hubby says, "It's all in my head." Isn't he Einstein! If he wanted to really impress me, he'd tell me how to get it out so I can go to sleep! Sometimes I know the problem that's keeping me awake, other times I have no idea why. It's probably just an amount of time before I give in and get prescribed sleeping pills. A friend recommends Ambien (sp?). I'll be grumpy and in a daze for most if not all day tomorrow, my kids and husband will suffer the consequences.

  2. You have my sympathy. The people who have never had a problem with sleep just don't understand. Sometimes I ask God what is keeping me awake and sometimes I hear Him. Other times it remains a mystery.

  3. Although melatonin often comes in 10mg doses, taking 10mg per night will make you immune to melatonin in only a few days. The optimum dose is apparently 3mg...that will not build up a tolerance, and the melatonin will continue to work. When I use it, I bite off one-third of the 10mg pill. If you haven't tried it, you might want to try that dosage. It may not be strong enough, but it's worth experimenting if it might help normalize your sleep patterns. (I have a feeling of deja vu - forgive me if we've already had this conversation!) :-)