I am staring at the ceiling, while the alarm clock screams “2:00 a.m. – go to sleep!”
I take my herbal insomnia medicine, read a book, count sheep, and think about new tax laws. Anything to help me doze off. Now the clock shows 3:00, and I’m still wide-awake.
My eyes are burning from exhaustion,and I pray that the blanket of sleep will softly fall on my menopausal brain. I shut my eyes and am sure, this time, it’s going to happen.
Then, like a maniacal jack-in-the-box, my eyes spring open and a hot flash descends, causing me to throw off anything that happens to be on me. This includes the comforter, the sheets, the dog’s leg, my husband’s arm and my nightgown.
My husband opens one sleepy eye and sees the red-faced naked woman standing by his bed. He knows that I’m sweaty for all the wrong reasons, and understands the mood that accompanies the sweat, so he goes back to sleep.
I, on the other hand, have conceded to the knight of no-sleep. I am defeated.
I pull out my trusty notebook and decide to make this a productive writing exercise. So, here I sit, sharing suggestions with you concerning what to do when you’re awake while the rest of the country is asleep.
Here are my top ten suggestions for things you can do in the middle of the night:
- Try to remember all of the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” then sing the entire song in your head. Don’t exaggerate the head banging section – you’ll wake-up the dog and husband. Plus, I hit the headboard and might have a slight concussion.
- Study all of your husband’s flaws and make a list of reasons he needs to get a physical first thing in the morning.
- Order some new books on Kindle or iBooks. I always start by ordering free books, but they’re usually not the really fun reads. My total after one hour of ordering books is usually fairly substantial, but I do feel satiated.
- Watch “Citizen Kane” on your iPad. It will make you feel super-intelligent and put you to sleep at the same time.
- Follow the broken veins on your legs and “read” them like palm readers read the lines on your palm. You can make anything up.
- Watch something like “Ghost Hunters” on television, then turn it off and try to communicate with the spirits. Ask a ghost to knock three times or speak to you. Of course, if it complies, be prepared to apologize to everyone you wake up when you scream your guts out.
- Blow on the back of your husband’s head repeatedly until he wakes up. This won’t help you sleep but at least you won’t be the only one who’s awake.
- Make a bucket list of everything you wish you could do before you die. Those lists are a challenge for me because I have never wanted to jump out of airplanes or travel. My list involves a lot of snack foods untried and movies unseen.
- Organize your underwear drawer and mock yourself, creating labels like, “Wasn’t made to be a thong but has become one” to “Maternity underwear? Still? Really?”
- Find something useless to buy on television, like the latest workout DVD. I have at least 20 of those sitting on my bookshelf. Sometimes I watch them while eating buttered popcorn.
The key is to keep yourself amused as you whittle away the hours you’ve been given through a gift called menopause.