Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sleep. Or lack thereof.

I finished Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz last night.  It was my selection for a "New York Times bestseller."  I'm a long time fan of Koontz.  As a teen/young adult, living with my parents and not having a lot of my own money, I read whatever they were reading.  My Mom has always been a voracious reader, as long as I can remember.  She'd get so engrossed in a book we'd have to "Mom... Mom.... Mom.... MOTHER" her repeatedly to bring her back to reality.  She loves historical romances.  So for a long time, appropriate for my age or not, I read historical romances.  Luckily, my Dad started reading more and more.  He was a huge fan of Koontz and I have always felt like Koontz rescued me from romance.  I'm not trying to say historical romance is trashy.... we all have our own tastes and I know people who think Koontz or King is just as trashy as read as Fabio style romance.... I'm just saying I've never felt the desire to pick up another one of my Mom's books since discovering Koontz.

Ashley Bell is about a young woman named Bibi.  Bibi is a writer, engaged to a Navy Seal, and has brain cancer.  But then a mysterious man brings a golden retriever into her hospital room.  It licks her hand and miraculously cures her cancer.  I know, I know.  She learns that her life was spared from the cancer so that she can save the life of someone named Ashley Bell, who is being held captive by a neo-Nazi who wants to torture and kill her for his birthday.

Yes, it sounds ridiculous.  It's hard to describe the book without spoilers.  Koontz writes about paranormal things, but there are some logical explanations along the way. 

I wouldn't rank this up there with my favorites of Koontz (Odd Thomas will forever hog that spotlight), but I enjoyed it and was hooked immediately.  I finished it in under a week.  The characters were likeable.  I especially loved Pogo.  Pax, Bibi's fiance, fell flat though.  If you like Koontz, give it a shot.  If you want to read Koontz for the first time, I think there are far better books to start off with.


Next is my selection for "a dystopian novel".  I'm going to have to go with the queen of dystopian novels (in my opinion), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale is her most recognized work).  Her newest novel is The Heart Goes Last.  It doesn't have a really great rating on GoodReads, but the synopsis is really intriguing to me and I usually like her books, so I'm giving it a go.


You know what I love?  Sleep. 

You know what I don't love?  Not getting enough sleep.

It wasn't that long ago that I could settle down into bed, get comfy, and drift off to sleep within minutes.  It was awesome.  I go to bed about 10pm-ish and am up by 4:30am.  So, only having 6-6 1/2 hours to sleep a night, falling asleep quickly was important.  I can go on 6 hours of sleep easily.  "They" recommend 8, but in order to do that I'd have to give up my quiet "me" time, and I think that time is more important to my sanity than sleep.

But something has jacked that all up.  I go to bed and wait for sleep.  Toss and turn and wait for sleep.  Doze off, wake up an hour later.  Rearrange pillows, try to yank the covers out from under the behemoth Ollie, doze off and on.  It's like that every night.

I talked to the doctor about it.  He suggested I take melatonin, because it's natural and not addictive, and wouldn't leave me a zombie if I didn't get a full 8 hours of sleep.  He said that with me only getting 6 hours of sleep, most sleep aids would not have worn off by the time I needed to wake, so unless I could arrange my schedule to allow that, they wouldn't be a good option.  So, I take melatonin before bed.  It helped at first.  But now it doesn't. 

I had switched from a chewable tablet to a time release tablet, so I'm really hoping switching back might help. I hate not sleeping well.  I'm exhausted all day, then wide awake at night.  And it's really hard to do school with Isabelle when all I can think about is falling face first into my bed.  Tuesday I was so worn out that I literally did spend most of the afternoon face down on the bed instead of teaching her.  I just couldn't do it.  But even naps aren't as satisfying as they used to be.  If I can actually fall asleep, it's a too light sleep that doesn't refresh me at all.

And while I'm whining, my back hurts.  When I sit for a while and get up, my lower back seizes up and I have to walk like hunchbacked old woman for a few steps before I can straighten up.  It really pisses me off.  I've never really had to deal with back pain before.  And honestly, whatever is causing it, I would be hard to be convinced it's not related to my weight in some way.  Maybe going to get a massage or going to a chiropractor would help temporarily, but if I can't start taking some of this 2015 weight off, it won't get better.  I'm sure of that. 

But... when I went to the doctor this week, for the first time in a year, my weight was LOWER than the previous visit.  Hallelujah.  Only a few pounds, but I'll take it.  Unfortunately, my A1C was higher than before, so I need to get some serious focus in my life.  I can do this.  I have to do this.  I'm freaking 40, not 80 and I refuse to feel like it.


  1. Do you perhaps need a new mattress? You'd be surprised at how much they affect falling asleep and back pain. I need a new mattress bad!


  2. I can completely, 100% relate about sleep. I don't know what my issue is, but I cannot fall asleep anymore either which makes me cranky, mad at my husband (he's a truck driver so he isn't home to handle some of the homefront load) irritated with my kids. I don't like taking the sleep aids because they make me feel hungover the next morning. I run on 2-4 hours..and it sucks! I hope your melatonin starts working again!



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