Thursday, April 4, 2019

'Tis Wicked Tired I Am...

Image by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay
I think that I have forgotten how to sleep. Is this another "age thing" that people (older people anyway) have been telling me about for years? Have I become one of my grandsires? Abed before 7 PM, awakening with the sun? (Which in winter isn't bad, but now? Dang, I don't want to be up at 6 AM, even if my alarm clock insists.)

Getting my brain to shut off is part of the problem. I like to think about things, not important things mind you, just, ya know, things. But in reality it's not getting to sleep that is the issue. It's staying asleep.

Wednesday morning at around 0400 local, I was awakened by what seemed to be a waterfall pounding down upon the roof of the manse. Now, I'm not worried about the roof leaking as it is less than a year since we had it redone and it has, so far, withstood sustained winds in the 40s with gusts up to 60 mph. The roof just shrugs that off. (When we had the roof done the first time, back in 2003, the first wind storm, some two weeks later, saw rather a large number of roofing shingles scattered about the grounds.)

At any rate, the roof leaking was not my primary concern, rather, it was the noise of the rain pounding down on the roof as well as the northern and western sides of the house. It was awfully damned noisy, yes it was. Woke me up it did.

I am often awake at 0400 in the morning (that's 4 AM to you civilian folk), not that that's the time I get up to get ready for work, rather it's one of two "calls of nature" I need to respond to every night. But on those occasions I just go back to bed, sometimes I actually go back to sleep. (Yes, there are those days where I toss and turn a bit before deciding that further sleep is futile, so I go surf the 'Net. Quietly so as not to awaken The Missus Herself.)

Whereas the roof leaking isn't a concern, the basement taking on water is another thing altogether. It has happened thrice in 20 years, not a common occurrence but a possibility. So I had to go check, basement dry. No water in the house, other than in the cats' water bowl, so back to bed I went. To toss fitfully until about a quarter to six - might as well get up.

So I did.

It was a long day, a tiresome day, but I powered through it. No controlled flight into my computer monitor by my head, though it got dicey a couple of times. But hey, I got through it. The weekend ain't that far off, in fact it's well over the horizon.

While thinking about what to write. I started to go with an historical post, then realized that those take a bit of research, a bit of reading, then and only then can I start actually writing something. Sounds a lot like work, far too much work for my tired brain to accomplish last night. Besides which I wandered off to read this old post of mine. Still gets hits from time to time, at least one yesterday. I guess the title draws in those folks interested in the proto-Romantic movement in German literature and music that occurred between the late 1760s and early 1780s.

I get a lot of that...

After chasing the Sturm und Drang post down and reading that, I saw this one, read that as well. Next thing you know, it's dinner time (last night) and far too late for coherent thought. (For crying out loud! It's only 8 o'clock in the evening, such a codger I'm becoming.)

Until next time, I bid thee adieu.

Hey, Cap'n! Sometimes I post music...

I saw them do that song live at Saratoga. Not long after Burgoyne's defeat there...


  1. The more time spent outside the greater the chance of seven or more hours of sleep for me, although that still means odds are good that there will be visits to inspect the privy. February was a good month because of all the snow removal. ANY night with eight straight hours of uninterrupted sleep is rare and there are nights with only five or six hours.......sigh...... an afternoon nap helps. Now that April is here and temps warm up the bedroom window will be open (like to hear what's happening outside.......caught three groups of yutes checking out vehicles for unlocked doors during the last decade). How's the vision these days Sarge?

    1. Physical activity is good for sleep, now that the weather is improving I need to make a concerted effort to, how you say, "get off my ass" and get outside. ;)

      The vision is stable, no better, no worse. A bit frustrating at times but I'm adjusting, grudgingly...

  2. "But in reality it's not getting to sleep that is the issue. It's staying asleep."

    Yes! For a while now I have been intermittently waking up between 0500 (and sometimes earlier) and 0630 ish.
    I wonder if it is part of the aging thing, and I wonder if it is because our bedroom faces the street, and I'm being woke up by some of our early rising neighbors using their car remotes.

    As Nylon said, eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is rare. Yes the afternoon nap is great, but I think that the nap then throws off the sleep balance.

    I hope we aren't living in a Stephen King novel.

    Water in the basement.
    Squids tend to be rather jumpy when the water starts going where it doesn't belong.
    I added a water alarm that will send me an email and that is in addition to the alarm that senses water and then makes noise.
    Sadly, the new alarm is not in the form of a mechanical robot and it will not wave its arms around while shouting, "Danger Will Robinson!"

    I think there are some smart home water sensors, but we don't have a smart home.

    In reference to your thoughts on Burgoyne's defeat, it only feels that long ago. Some years ago I was telling a much younger coworker that when I was born the flag didn't have fifty stars. He stared at me for just a second and then said with an absolutely straight face and said, "John, did it have thirteen stars?" then we both burst out laughing. Good one.

    Good post.

    1. A water alert sensor, why didn't I think of that?

      Surrounded by technology and I never think of things like that. Sounds like a must have.

      That King book? I need to read that.

      The flag, 48 when I was born.

  3. Asleep around 0030. Up at 0545 this morning. Times vary but not by much.

    1. Ouch!

      Or are you one of those Thomas Edison types that can function with minimal sleep? (Lord knows I'm not!)

  4. I popped awake at 0420 this morning. Vivid dream of a cramp in my left calf, it looked like a rectangular hole in the muscle... Just a weird dream, then, that quick, wasn't a dream and I'm standing and stretching that thing out. Crap, I hate wake ups like that. Toss and roll until I fall asleep at 0500 +/-, then alarm at 0600... I'm bushed.

    Like the rest, work after work seems to help me sleep now. Ladder work yesterday in the closet to install an attic ladder. That explains the cramp.

    Since I don't have my folks to ask, it helps having you guys to listen to. I realize that my morning mystery aches are normal-ish. Thanks for that. Deferred payments for youthful exuberance... I can hardly wait for the organ concerts: "My liver leaves me bilious, my kidney, that lung, etc...."

    1. Oh dear, the leg cramps. Hates them I do.

      When I get one it scares the crap out of the cats, "Why is the human leaping out of bed and yelling at 0300?!?!" They seem to run in cycles, I can go months without then BANG, every other night.

      Back in the day I didn't know that you could just "walk it off," so to speak. I would pound on that bunched up muscle then The Missus Herself would awaken and help me get things back in place. Now I just stand up and POOF, it's gone. Still sore as Hell the next day.

      Many of us here are "of an age." We should have a pot-bellied stove to sit around and tell stories.


  5. That sleep thing can be a bitch. Being retired makes it easier, up too early? No problem, just get a nap when you need it. I took naps at the office too, but they were a little fitful.

    1. I do look forward to retiring when I don't have to get up during the week. I tend to stay up too late because it's my nature (or so I claim).

      I like the idea of having a kip now and again. It is frowned upon at work though, pikers.

    2. I'm in agreement with Joe. My sleep cycle has greatly improved since the first of the year. Still wake-up, but rolling over and going back to sleep is more frequently possible now. Hopefully, that'll happen to you also.

    3. I have to say, retirement is looking sweeter, yet further off for various and sundry reasons.

    4. It will keep getting further off for various and sundry reasons until IT rears IT's ugly head and forces you to eject, either health-wise or re-structuring wise.

      Take care of yourself. Stress, it's a killer.

    5. Actually it isn't stress, I think too much, the job is actually too interesting. If that's even a thing.

      I enjoy it enough where I can't shut it off all the time.

    6. Ah, too much joy over your job. And they actually pay you for it. You are very fortunate in your employment circumstances.

    7. I am indeed. It's war-stuff, technical stuff, and I get to play, er, work on it.

  6. Sooooo..... poor excuse for SLACKING, blaming it on not sleeping. Yeesh. And here you had a perfect opportunity to practice POCYR over the antics of the parking-lot people and you STILL haven't. Double Yeesh!

    Do you snore? If so do you possibly have some sort of apnea that is awakening you when you really don't need awakening? If you think you do, now would be a good time to go get a sleep study and find out if you need a face-hugger. Though, hmmm, this conversation sounds familiar, have we already had it?

    Hate not getting enough sleep. Though, with my body, 12-15 hours isn't enough somedays. And I have slept 28 hours with two zombie pee breaks (body lurches up, shambles to bathroom, relief occurs, shambles back into bed, human brain still asleep-all lizard brain activity only) before, so, well, surprise, Beans is weird...

    1. Oh I snore, it doesn't wake me up, it wakes up others, or keeps them awake. Thing is, I have been snoring for quite some time (literally years), only sleeping poorly for the past six months or so. It's work-related, trust me. DAMHIK

      Parking lot people, oh dear, that rings a bell way, way in the back of my brain. OIDNR. (Pronounced OY, dinner.)

    2. Ha! I checked the Acronym Page and it was there. Either you snuck a fix or you've been planning on using it on Paul or me for a while.

      And, yes, Parking Lot People. I am sure your fertile mind can grow everything out of proportion on that subject.

      If you need a reminder put it on your phone in the calendar.

    3. And, OIDNR? Suddenly I get the urge for Fish and Chips or Bangers and Mash...

    4. Beans the 1st - I put it in immediately after using it, because I knew that either you (or Paul) would look.

      As for the denizens of the parking lot, already in work. Neener, neener, neener.

    5. Beans the 2nd - I thought you'd like that.

  7. There was a time when I slept, or didn’t, like that.
    Certain minor lifestyle adjustments over the past 15 years seem to have fixed that.
    I’m not gonna go into detail because it would sound like proselytizing.

  8. Skip won't, but I'll proselytize a bit. You and I have lamented our shared shortfall with sleeping soundly in the past. It's never perfect, and I know you don't wish to go there, but half a pill of trazadone has helped me immensely. If your lack of sleep affects your life- be it happiness, work, overall health, etc., maybe re-think your reluctance? The basement leaking is something you can fix. Leg cramps? Plenty of remedies. Work stress? Eventual retirement. If you are waking early with thoughts about what you will write daily in The Chant? You can figure out that remedy!

    1. You could also try Melatonin, available with the Vitamins at pert near every store. Start with 5mg, go up or down as needed. Works for some people, not for others. Me? Out in 10 minutes from wide awake. Mrs. Andrew? Once she falls asleep she'll stay asleep for at least 2 hours, but it won't knock her out like it does me.

      Or, if you have allergies, 2 Benadryl. Back when I worked at the local Mental (not a) Prison, a bedtime regime of Benadryl was prescribed for many of the Not-Guilty-by-Reason-of-Insanity-People. Of course, their dose was 4. 1 slows me down, 2 knocks me out, Mrs. Andrew takes between 4 and 8 at a time and suffers not at all...

      Leg Cramps? Check to see if you're getting varicose veins. If so, support hose. May help. Otherwise we'll just laugh with/at you.

      Work Stress? Next Halloween go dressed as a postal employee and see if anyone gets the joke/not joke.

    2. And, before you ask, reason for Not-A-Mental-Prison but a Secure-Psychiatric-Facility is because the 'residents' are not criminals, they are Not-Guilty-by-Reason-of-Insanity.

      Not even run by the Fl Department of Corrections (because Not-Criminals/Not-A-Prison,) but by FL Department of Children and Families (because mental health stuffs, right?) So by the same people that keep children with crackheads, but take them away from good people who have just lost their jobs. So, well, everything's good, right?

    3. Tuna - ZzzQuil is my remedy of choice for going to sleep. Works like a champ. I didn't want to go there, but it helped. Again, my inability to sleep is tied more to too much interesting stuff going on, too many interesting things to do, Mr. Brain just won't shut down at times. Leg cramps, that's a dietary thing, which I seem to have licked.

      Eventually I will retire, no doubt within the next, let's say, 20 months. For now, the lack of sleep is something to write about, not worry about. It happens.

    4. Beans the 1st - See my response to Tuna.

    5. My dosage keeps me asleep which is what I need. No issues falling, just staying.

  9. Only two times? Count yourself lucky. I’ll bet I get up four or five times a night. And then making my rounds I’m thinking of the Peggy Lee song, “is that all there is?“

    I can’t remember when I have awoken and felt invigorated and ready to tackle the day. I generally feel worse than when I went to bed 😁

    The upside to all of this is that every time I go back to bed I get a new dream. And some of them are pretty strange. A Dream an hour. That’s all we ask.

    1. A dream an hour, a small thing to ask.

      Ike was in one of my dreams the other night, chastised me for still being in bed at 0400, "Don't you know the Germans are attacking in Belgium?"

      Yes, I'm currently reading a book on the Battle of the Bulge. I assured Ike that we would win and went back to sleep.

    2. Or, well, you are beginning to have precognitave dreams about the European Union...

  10. Thanks for linking back to the previous posts - I am fond of thunderstorms and wild weather, up to a point. But if that point is not surpassed, there is nothing quite so awe-inspiring as a wild thunderstorm. And for me, they are somewhat reassuring for some weird reason, especially when I am safe and sound, or at least think I am. For example, in San Antonio in a second story sleeping porch of my mom's uncle's house, being almost exposed but yet only having a slight mist occasionally hitting my face while thunder and lightning crashes around. Or being in a rock shelter overlooking the Brazos River, seeing the storms coming, hearing the thunder march along toward us, right on top of us then away from us ... And you are right, New England weather can be very beautiful at times! I have a cousin in MA that is a pretty accomplished painter who does a great job of capturing the quality of light on those days. (Texas also has some pretty spectacular light as well, but I'm prejudiced!)

    Having been retired for a total of something like 70 days now, I am no expert on retirement. But it is very liberating so far. Had a friend tell me back in the fall that at some point you realize that spending the time you have left doing things you want to do is more important than making money doing things someone else wants you to do. But I also understand being interested in the work itself - that's a powerful reason to stay for a while. For me the balance has always been between the interest of the work, the people I deal with, and the drag of the bureaucracy imposed at work. When the latter consistently outweighed the former two considerations is when I got out.

    I don't have a parking lot to look out over during my middle of the night head calls, but I do have an open yard that backs up to the community pond. I definitely linger at the window on nights with a full moon and just take in the beauty. We have a young albino buck in our neighborhood, and once I saw him at the edge of the trees and had to make sure I was really seeing a live creature and not a ghost...

    I don't have leg cramps, but I do sometimes have 'crazy legs' that spasm a fair bit when I am trying to sleep ... must be hereditary since mom had it as well. Anyway, one thing that will really help in better quality sleep is exercise. Physical tiredness helps a lot. And I know what you mean about an overactive mind at bedtime - why is it that our brain decides to dump all these random and sometimes not-so-random thoughts into our head just as we try to get to sleep?

    1. An albino buck? That my friend, is very powerful medicine.

      I do enjoy the thrill of incoming powerful storms, scares me and makes me feel alive all at the same time.

      But I think you get that. :)

  11. Before you go trying over-the-counter meds, check with your doc Sarge, as some of them may conflict with your eyeball meds, or other meds. Before you try pills to get to sleep try these:
    1. Turn off the electronics at least 1 hours prior to laying down to sleep. The light emitted from the TV/computer/cell screens interrupt the get-ready-to-sleep brain waves. Take a break for an hour.
    2. Be honest about how much caffeine you drink in a day...HONEST!! Caffeine is a stimulant, and has rather long lasting effects. If you have more than 1 cup in the morning, it will affect you at night. Most computer guys, and, for that matter, .mil types drink coffee by the potful. Not conducive to sleeping well.
    3. If you snore, (and you said you do), that prevents you ( as well as your sleeping partner) from getting deep, good quality sleep. So, now, while you still have health insurance, go talk with your doctor, get a sleep study done and see if what other things can be done to improve your sleep. Folks who snore and have sleep apnea have a much higher risk of sudden cardiac event risk. Not something I want you to have!!!
    4. You can try dairy (milk, yogurt, ice cream) shortly before bed. Calcium helps with sleepiness. Or a piece of turkey (tryptophan)also helps getting to sleep.
    5. When lying in bed, trying to shut off your brain and get to sleep--try taking a couple of nice, slow deep know, count 1-2-3-4 as you inhale and then 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 while exhaling. Getting the extra O2 into the lungs and the brain help trigger sleep.
    6. If you go the Benadryl route, start with 1 tab of 25mg, as Beans sounds like a very resistant/high tolerance person. Then there are folks like me---1 tab of Benadryl is like instant speed for HOURS!!! Try 1-2 tabs of Tylenol instead.
    7. Then there is the always popular "snuggling with your honey" and have one thing lead to another (wiggles eyebrows suggestively) which leads to relaxation and happiness...on several levels. Or you can take The Missus Herself for a walk every evening...just to get some fresh air, as that does help...think extra oxygen into the lungs and brain...

    Frankly, I suspect your snoring sll night is why you are so droopy by 8PM. Unless you are up at 4AM til 11PM. So you should go talk with your doc.

    PS: The ZzzzQuill...why not try a beeea or a whiskey/scotch/wine whatever your pleasure is. Most of those Quill's have a hefty dose of alcohol in them.

    Hanging up the RN cap...

    1. All bits of sound advice. Sometimes I do those things.

      Perhaps a turkey sandwich and a glass of wine? (a Seinfeld episode springs to mind.)

      I shall endeavor to "not die." Essayons!

    2. Ah, caffeine. I am fortunate because without caffeine, I am asleep, thanks to the allergy drain.

      And Mrs. Andrew is the Benadryl resistant one. When/If my allergies are not acting up, 1/2 of one (12.5mg) will knock me out quicker than getting slugged by Mike Tyson.

    3. Hahaha!

      (Does it bite your ear?)

    4. Yes. Well, my allergies do. Nothing like waking up with sweet potatoes leaking out, almost every darned day.

    5. Now there's an image I could have done without.



Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.