Sleep or Not to Sleep
Lately Iíve been hearing other people talk a lot about their personal sleep
disorders. I confess I hadnít really thought much about sleep problems before.
Just show me the bed and I can be cutting Z's in 15 minutes any time of the day
or night. Now, however, Iíve found out that Iím not sleeping the correct
way. Iím supposed to wait until bedtime to sleep so Iíll be tired and able
to go to sleep through the night.
A sleep disorder is when we toss and turn and are unable to fall asleep, I
figured. Everyone knows about drinking warm milk and doing the sheep counting
routine to cure insomnia. Now, however, Iíve found out that insomnia is only
one of many sleep disorders. There are others that are common, plus some that
are not so common.
Insomnia is more than not being able to go to sleep in the first place, it is
also waking up in the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Heck, that
doesnít seem like a disorder to me. If it wasnít for waking up in the middle
of the night with my mind racing, Iíd never get my column written.
I decided to take a mini sleep quiz just to see if I needed to be concerned
about sleep disorders. Canít be too careful with health. Wish I hadnít taken
it, though. According to the quiz, Iíve got Ďem all.
First of all, I found that I have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when someone
has difficulty breathing and may stop breathing for several seconds many times a
night. Often this is accompanied by snoring. One of the questions on the quiz
was, "Have you ever been told that you snore?" Well, yes, I have. Iíve
never heard myself snore, though, and I donít really believe that I do.
I also have narcolepsy. This is when someone cannot stay awake, even in
social situations. "Do you ever fall asleep at inappropriate times?"
asks the quiz. "Do you sometimes feel sleepy even when youíve had enough
sleep?" The true narcoleptic can fall asleep anytime, even at a movie or at
a party. Obviously, writers of the quiz have not heard some of the sermons Iíve
heard at church if they expect me to stay awake at on Sunday morning.
Okay, that covers sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy. Whatís left?
Restless leg syndrome? Yes, I have that one too, tingling in the legs so that
you feel you have to move them. You mean some people lay perfectly still all
night and never have to turn over or move to a more comfortable position? Iím
not dreaming that Iím a Radio City Rockette and kicking like Iím in a chorus
line or anything. I always thought my legs had gone to sleep from lack of
movement. I hadnít really thought of it as a sleep disorder until now.
I never knew what a sick person I am. "If you think you have a sleep
disorder, see a doctor regardless of the outcome of the quiz," says the
article. Gee, should I be worried? Now Iíll be awake all night wondering how I
can be possibly be sleeping when I have so much wrong with me.
Actually, people need to get an adequate amount of sleep in order to be able
to function, at least thatís the story Iím going to use. I think Iíll just
stick with my old habit of catching Zs when I can. I believe there is a name for
people who think they have every illness they hear of.
Now, if you donít mind, could we continue this discussion later? Iím
starting to feel sleep deprived and itís time for my power nap.