To sleep, perchance to dream …

I have not been sleeping well lately. I do this every now and then: fall asleep quite nicely, then wake up around 4 or 4:30 in the morning. I perform the chicken-on-a-spit routine in bed for a few hours, then finally drift off about 7 am – and awake with a start around 10, thinking, Where the hell did my morning go?

This issue first surfaced about 10 or 12 years ago, when I was in the throes of a marriage that was not working out so well. When we finally split up, my sleeping very gradually went back to what was normal for me: 9 or 10 very solid hours of slumber, with the occasional pee break in the early morning hours.

Since then, this insomnia thing comes back once or twice a year, usually in reaction to some type of stress in my life. I guess that’s pretty normal. Lots of people don’t sleep well when they’re preoccupied or worried or upset. It’s just that I never used to be one of those people. I could – and did – sleep very well, regardless of the circumstances. I used to sleep like a log the night before final exams at university, for heaven’s sake!

My friend BFJ insists that this is all part of menopause. “Oh, pshaw,” I told her. “I’m not menopausal yet!”

My friend Meshka also tells me that this is part of menopause. “Tut tut,” I told her. “I’m not menopausal yet! I’m just not sleeping lately, that’s all.”

But both of these friends ARE menopausal, and they keep telling me that this is a symptom of menopause. They have both had trouble sleeping at times, and they both rely on meds to help them when the not-sleeping gets too awful.

I have a better solution, menopause or no menopause.

PG and I are going to Las Vegas on Thursday.

I’m reasoning that if ever there was a perfect place to be when you can’t sleep, Las Vegas is it. At least I’ll be able to keep busy when I’m not sleeping.

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15 responses to “To sleep, perchance to dream …

  1. It’s SOOOO not about menopause. It’s about a lot of other things — what you ate or didn’t eat, how much or how little exercise you got that day, how much sleep you got the night before, whether or not you have a lot on your mind, the temperature of the room, the light in the room, etc., etc. It’s too easy to blame everything that happens to women after 40 on menopause. I’ve had sleep issues like this since I can remember. Have a blast in Vegas…baby!

    • XUP – How I wish I could agree with you, but I have too many additional symptoms to say it’s not menopause. I have to bite the bullet: I am a perimenopausal woman (apparently you can’t say you’re menopausal until you’ve actually not had a period for a whole year. That’s not yet the case for me, so …). It may be all downhill from here – but at least I can still have fun in Vegas!

  2. Funnily enough, I have been having the opposite problem this summer – I get up and two hours later, I’m ready for a much longer nap than my regular sleep time was. However – menopause – believe it! That non sleep thing was one reason I decided to get myself a nighttime job. I figured I might as well earn some money if I was going to be awake for 5 hours or so every night.

    oooh, Vegas! Can’t wait to hear your stories of that trip! Have fun.

    • VioletSky – I will keep a night job in mind if (when?) I hit four or five hours of wakefulness, then. Perhaps something at the local casino? Yes, I’m sure there will be Vegas stories – PG is coming, so there has to be! However, there is that whole “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” stipulation. I’ll see what I can do to get around it!

  3. Wow! First Egypt and now Vegas, you are quite the world traveller! You’ve seen the “real” pyramids, now you will get to see the fake American ones! Woo!

    • Pauline – This will be our second trip to Vegas, and ironically, we stayed at the Luxor hotel the last time! We’re at a different hotel this time, but really, I should have planned this out a bit better so as to experience the Egyptian reality and then the American copy in the very same summer. (Also, this “world traveler” needs to go back to work and earn some money again – her bank account is now sadly depleted!)

  4. The menopause thing, darlin’, believe your friends. I live with it on the opposite side of the bed which sometimes has to mean the other bed in the guest room. Sigh. Sorry. Actually, I envy the fact you can get back to sleep. 4:30 is essentially the time I go and put the coffee on. May as well. No point in being where nothing is happening — sleepwise, that is. So, go to Vegas and good for you. It’s never night or day there. May you win brilliantly.

    • mrwriteon – Yeah, PG is starting to complain about my tossing and turning: he says it’s interfering with his beauty sleep, to which I usually respond that the reason I am awake in the first place is his snoring … to which he usually snickers. Wait till I announce that I have officially entered menopause! That should strike terror into his little heart – but I’ll mollify him by offering to share my Vegas winnings, I think.

  5. I must be menopausal for many years now.

    • Nora – Too funny! 😛 You’re a bit of a different case, though, I think. Your insomnia sounds quite different than mine – and besides, you can nap any old time you feel tired, so who cares if it’s not at night?

  6. PS: Have fun in Vegas!

    • Jazz – I suppose hot flashes aren’t far behind, if this is it. Well, at least I’d be warm then, even if I’m not sleeping. I’ll toss a couple of bucks at a slot machine for you, okay?

  7. Look at the bright side, at least you don’t have to get up at 7. Oh and for the record: menopause. Well, perimenopause at any rate… the getting to.Trust me on this.

  8. Yep, they’re right – it’s one of the symptoms of menopause, I get it too. Also? Vegas! Yay! I’ve not been there now for, ooh, 8 years, which is far too long….

    • Mrs Jones – So you’re telling me that I’m finally hitting menopause, then? About damn time – the women in my family are usually done by their mid-forties, so I’ve been waiting and waiting for a few years now! Maybe I’m a slow learner?