I can't sleep. Ever. Okay, ever might be an exaggeration. Let me rephrase. I can't sleep soundly, or solidly, through an entire night. Ever. And this time the ever is not an exaggeration. My sleep issues have been years in the making. When I was really young, maybe two or three, we had bats that lived in the attic of our house. There were a few times the bats escaped the attic and flew into my bedroom. I remember burying myself beneath the blankets, crying for my dad. What kid wouldn't have trouble sleeping after that?
When I got a little older my mom would tuck us into bed and leave our radio on, with FM 100 playing softly. When she went to bed she would turn the radio off. This happened every night, without fail. One night she and my dad went to a meeting and said they would be back 'soon.' We had gone to bed, and the radio was on. I woke up about midnight and the radio was STILL ON. As a kid I worried about everything, EVERYTHING, and when I realized the radio was still on, I was sure my parents had died in some horribly tragic accident. I got out of bed and confirmed what I already knew: my parents weren't home. I'll spare you the dramatic details of what happened next, it was pathetic really. The experience traumatized me enough that it was years before I could fall asleep with music playing. And by years I mean that even now I can't completely fall asleep with music playing.
As I got older I couldn't sleep because I was certain every bad man in the world was out to get ME...not my sister who shared a bunk bed - in my mind she was always going to be safe, it was just me they were after. Thankfully I got over that fear...(I think it was when I found out that Ted Bundy had finally died).
I couldn't sleep if there were lights on - anywhere. Our radio had this little light that blinked and I would have to cover that light every night. My sister thought I was psychotic. Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have put that in past tense.
Anyway...where we live now I get it all: lights, noise, train tracks, loud neighbors, music...everything except the bats. I've tried covering the windows with black paper but it doesn't last because ironically, I like waking up to the sunlight. I've tried sleeping with an eye mask - I'm not a fan. I use ear plugs on occasion and I think they actually help.
I envy those people who can close their eyes and be out in two minutes. I think all of my siblings have that ability. It takes me an average of two hours before I can finally drift off to sleep. (And no, it's not a guilty conscious, for those of you who are going to suggest that.) Sadly, the idea of a nap is a foreign one to me. IF I do fall asleep in my attempt at napping, it lasts for maybe 10 minutes.
About once or twice a month my lack of sleep catches up to me and I crash. I can go to bed at 9 or 10 and sleep the entire night. I love those nights. Last week I took a sleeping pill two nights in a row; I loved those nights too. (I am not generally a pill popper but because of all of my bruises from the fall, I needed some extra help in the sleep department.)
Last night I had all the classic symptoms of "it's going to be a good sleep night." I was super excited to get home and get to bed. Alas...and alas again...Becca chose last night to bake her pumpkin seeds she's been saving since Halloween. My bedroom is above the kitchen and all smells - good and bad - float upward. Baked pumpkin seeds? Not such a great smell. And it was STRONG...and didn't fade the entire night. I think I awoke three or four times thinking our house was on fire.
Sigh...my next "it's going to be a good sleep night" probably won't come around again for a few weeks. Sigh again.