Wanted: Insomniac Support Group
It's not that I have trouble falling asleep. I'm lucky if I read two lines before the Sandman knocks me out. But once I wake up, it's all over. Doesn't matter whether I slept eight hours or eight minutes. Instantly my brain starts fretting about something. Then I'll lay there for hours focused on the current worry-in-progress. Hey, maybe I don't WANNA get in touch with my feelings at 2:00 a.m., okay??
What keeps me from slumbering all night like my hard-to-rouse husband? For one thing, his scratching. For ten-odd minutes the bed vibrates like a jackhammer until I'm fully alert and impersonating Rodney Dangerfield.
Sometimes I wake myself up. On restless nights I don't toss and turn. [Does that mean people throw a discus in their sleep?] I just turn -- like some overworked revolving door.
Or suddenly out of the clear black sky one of my appendages will jerk or twitch. I was surprised to learn there's a medical term for this. It's called Restless Leg Syndrome. I just wish my gams could go to sleep as easily at night as they do when I sit on them.
Not that sleep is all it's cracked up to be. Some people's slumber is anything but restful. Everyone's heard of people sleeptalking and sleepwalking. Even sleepeating. But two new nocturnal activities have joined the list.
The first is sleep-slugging. Ann Landers published a letter about a guy who beat his girlfriend up in his sleep. I suspect SHE woke up though. Surprisingly, Ann advised the woman to stay with Rocky. I guess that makes him a lover AND a fighter.
Less prevalent but more bizarre is sleep-slaying. The strange case of Scott Falater comes to mind. He claims he slept through the act of stabbing his wife 44 times. However, his defense was weakened by the fact that he sleep-hid-the-evidence. As a result, the jury found him sleep-guilty.
But getting back to insomnia, I know I'm not alone. I see actresses on the screen who have trouble sleeping at night, too. I could relate to them if they weren't all dolled up. C'mon, Ladies! Where's the flattened-down hair and the eye crud?
You won't find them joining a support group for insomniacs although I'm considering it. After a sleepless night, I could use a half dozen people propping me up.
Corky is Lois Corcoran. Her column appears in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram Online and on a free parenting e-zine, The "M" Word.
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