When I retired, the first happy thought I had was, "Oh, goody, I don't have to go to bed so early any more!" For decades, I had been rolling out of bed by 6:00 a.m., in order to get to work. Now that I was retired, I could stop setting the alarm and sleep as late as I wanted to and go back to being the night owl I had always been.
Now, several years into my retirement, I seem to be in danger of getting my days and nights mixed up. I'm staying up later, and when I finally get to sleep, I can't stay that way. I wake up several times a night and just can't seem to stay in bed. I find myself wandering from room to room like Lady Macbeth and, most nights, end up dozing in my recliner until morning.
When my daughter was an infant, she got her days and nights mixed up, and my doctor told me to just make sure she was fed and her diaper was dry, then let her scream it out. He assured me it would only take a night or two. DJ, all too fortuitously, said he had to be out of town for a couple of days, taking depositions, and why didn't I let her scream those nights. Chicken. He just couldn't stand to hear her screaming and always gave up before I did, and ruined everything by picking her up. Then, he handed her to me and went back to bed.
The first night he was gone, I put her in her crib, all nice and cozy, told her good night, poured a bourbon and coke and went out on the patio so I couldn't hear her as well. She screeched and screamed for well over an hour before she fell into an exhausted sleep. Mission accomplished, I thought. But, I was as wrong about that as George W. Bush was. The next night, I repeated the routine and she screamed for about 45 minutes. Better, but at that rate, it would take more than a couple of nights to break her of the habit. DJ would just have to grin and bear it. And, sit out on the patio with me and my bourbon. After another night or two, she finally took the hint and settled down into a routine of sleeping at night.
But, enough about her. Let's get back to me. Because it is, after all, all about me, isn't it? Anyhoo, now I'm wondering how to get back into the habit of staying in bed all night. I don't think screaming myself to sleep would be a good idea. The neighbors would be pounding on the walls on two sides, and the floor above me. No, that wouldn't do at all.
I have decided that part of the problem is that after a few hours, I stiffen up and begin to ache, and that wakes me up. So, I have started taking some Ibuprofen just before I go to bed. That seems to help a little, and makes me think there is hope for a good night's sleep, yet.
I suppose I could try to forego that lovely little nap I take every afternoon. I hate to do anything that drastic, though.
Does anyone else out there in cyberspace have the same problem? What do you do about it? Hmmmm?