Lately, I’ve been having some very restless sleep. I have no problem getting to sleep, and I can stay asleep for about three hours. After that, my mind is bound and determined to wake up. I don’t know what’s causing it, but I have several guesses. Here they are in no particular order:
- I get too hot
- My husband snores
- My husband says I snore (I don’t believe that)
- Hormones… Ugh!
- I get uncomfortable
- My husband snores
- A sound outside or inside the house (other than the snoring)
- I sleep next to a restless sleeper- My husband…Who snores
- I watched three of the Paranormal Activity movies months ago, and they are still haunting me.
- My husband snores
I haven’t been able to pinpoint which of the above reasons is the cause. It’s driving me crazy that something is keeping me from sleeping through the night. I basically like to sleep for one reason, not for the sheer rejuvenation and healing effects (that’s a nice bonus), but mainly because I look forward to my dreams. Well… Not all of my dreams.
When I’m stressed, which I am more so now than I have been in a long time, I have some weird dreams. I have one recurring type of dream in particular that concerns me. I dream I go into a public bathroom with many stalls. It’s quiet and I’m the only one in there. Once I’m in the stall, however, there are tons of women outside waiting. Then I look down and see that the toilet- I haven’t even used yet- is clogged and on the verge of overflowing. Or in some cases, the toilet is a chair with a cushion. Yeah… I’m stumped on that one.
Dreaming about bathrooms can just mean you really need to pee while you’re sleeping, so subconsciously you dream about peeing. I know Annie Lennox sang that sweet dreams are made of pee, (who am I to disagree) but I don’t wake up from these dreams in need of going to the bathroom. I just wake up befuddled. Yes… Befuddled. So I did what any befuddled person would do… I typed “toilet dreams” into my search engine. I was surprised to see there are quite a few explanations about toilets making appearances in dreams. Evidently, dreaming of toilets the way I do, means I am overwhelmed by the current events in my life. Wow, sounds pretty accurate to me!
In the past, I have tried a natural sleep aid called melatonin. The doctor who advised me to take it said there were no real side effects other than nightmares. I don’t care for nightmares, of course, but I gave it a try. It doesn’t help one get to sleep, but it did help me stay asleep as long as I wasn’t disturbed. I stopped taking it because inevitably someone in my family would wake me up from my deep sleep and then I couldn’t get back to sleep.
“Mom… There is a sound outside my window.”
“Babe, where’s my cell phone? I need to set my alarm.”
Then I toss and turn the rest of the night. No dreams, just thoughts of how I need to buy my daughter earplugs, and of duct taping my husband’s phone to his head.
I don’t know what is worse: staying asleep and having nightmares, or having dreamless sleep and waking up every twenty minutes. Just two nights ago I tried taking the melatonin again, and only woke up once, but I had a nightmare. I dreamt my family and I were living during the apocalypse, and leather-clad goons straight out of Mad Max were after us. People had barged into our house and helped themselves to our food and amenities. Somehow we ended up in a makeshift movie theater and the goons had dogs that were trying to locate us in the crowd. I then woke up wondering why the heck I couldn’t just dream about an iron-clad Robert Downey, Jr. instead. Why the freakin’ apocalypse?!! Or at least the apocalypse with Robert… That wouldn’t be too bad. Lock me in a bunker with him and I won’t want to wake up!
In all seriousness though, I really need to find out what is making me restless. I know I tease about my husband’s snoring keeping me awake, but in reality, I’m sure the toilets are right- it probably is stress. I just don’t see a way I can immediately make the stress stop. I can’t distance myself from it; that would require quitting my job. I’m looking for another job and turning in resumes, but I have to find a way in the meantime to get some restful sleep: dream-filled or not. I don’t want to medicate or drink myself to sleep because doing so can cause bigger problems in the future. I just want to curl up in my bed, sleep soundly through the night, and dream of Iron Man instead of the porcelain throne.