Back in the fall, I began a project of unraveling a cotton blanket in order to make a new blanket out of it.
I have always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. And I do mean always. When I was little, I would sleep in what my mom told me was 15-minute increments and it was driving her crazy. So she asked my pediatrician, who suggested she spike my bottle with whiskey. I . . . don’t even know.
When I was ten, I had an EEG. My third grade teacher had never had a child as distracted as I was. She thought I was having absence seizures.
Two years later, my best friend convinced me to join the girls’ summer softball league. I was not at all athletic and she assured me that it was all just for fun and I’d enjoy it.
I did not enjoy it. In fact, I didn’t enjoy it so much that the rest of the team invited my best friend to join them in ganging up on me. She took them up on it and so for however-many weeks it was, I was all by myself with no one to support me (my mom’s best friend’s daughter didn’t even support me). One of the girls decided to try to trick me into believing that I could be the hero of a game if I’d steal home.
For those who don’t know baseball/softball lingo, that means to just run towards home plate from third base when it’s not actually time for the people on the bases to move. I’d been telling them that no way was I going to do that, because I knew that I’d never be able to do it and that it would just expose me to more ridicule.
Still, they kept on me. Every game, “This is the one where you’re going to steal home.” “Not going to happen.”
Finally, I decided that the only way to make it stop would be to just do it and let them laugh at me. But I wasn’t going to make it look like I really was going along with it, so I just walked off from third base towards home plate.
My mom thought that this was the result of some kind of brain malfunction. She didn’t ask me what happened or anything. She just called my pediatrician (a different one from the one who suggested she spike my bottle) and scheduled a brain examination.
Anyway, I needed to be asleep for the test, so she kept me up all night and then gave me . . . a sleeping pill of some sort before we left the house. They hooked the electrodes up to my head and left me alone in a dark room.
My mom says that the tests show that I was awake the whole time, but I really only remember waking up once when someone opened the door to look at me.
But still, between the sleep deprivation and the sleeping pill, you’d expect that not even someone opening the door would have woken me up, right?
And it wasn’t just those things. I always had trouble sleeping. I tend towards bimodal sleeping anyhow, where I go to sleep and wake up about four hours later, and then go to sleep after having been up for maybe half an hour.
I talked to my first psychiatrist about my sleep problems and he suggested that maybe I had sleep apnea, but I think that would’ve shown up on the EEG. My psychiatrist suggested that if I had sleep apnea I would snore, and both Thomas and Alex assure me that they’ve never heard me snoring.
So, my psychiatrist suggested that maybe I’m having trouble regulating my body temperature at night. He suggested that I try turning the air conditioning down a degree or two at bedtime and that worked really well.
My dad moved in with me ten years ago (!) and he gets cold way easier than I do, so we stopped having the temperature drop farther at night. Then my insomnia came back.
I have recently remembered the conversation about my body temperature, and so I started sleeping on top of my covers. That works really well.
I’ve also heard good things about the weighted blanket, but the only one I like, which is knitted out of cotton, is $200 for more weight than I need at my weight. So now I’m thinking that when I make this new blanket, I’m going to thread glass beads onto the blanket as I go. Probably one every other stitch and one every other row, so that there’s some space between the beads.
I will, of course, not be able to sleep on top of this blanket. It’ll be far too bumpy for that. But just maybe it’ll have that weighted blanket magic and sleeping under it will give me a good night’s rest.
I haven’t finished unraveling the old blanket, but I am starting to cast the new blanket on so that I can see how it works out. I’ll make posts once I have some pictures of the work in progress.
In Gratuitous Amazon Link news, we have The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson.