I woke up this morning at 5am to the sounds of my husband dressing for PT. I vaguely remember him kissing me goodbye......then my next recollection was him kissing me hello after PT a few hours later. But before, I finally fell asleep at 3am.......and in between I drempt of my father, who died 14 years ago and of course upon awakening, I now just miss him terribly.

I logged into my blog and checked out my daily reads and Spousebuzz's Gbear had this post up this morning....and here is the irony.....it is also what I am writing about today.....

The dreaded insomnia that we all endure. She referred to it as TDY Insomnia....and while for the most part I would say that it is a fitting title for what we go though as military spouses. But we also endure it during different parts of our lives. As I grew up the problem began in my teens and has only been compounded with more complex issues......the day's events for example, how often do you lie awake and worry about something that happened that is out of your control, it doesn't matter that you can't do anything about it, you still lose sleep. There are the times during extreme stress, hectic schedules, sorrow and worrying that cause us to lose sleep. As adults, as parents, our children keep us up at night worrying over sickness when they are young and dates when they are teens....and all the things in between that cause the Sandman to evade us....

But me, I'm a career insomniac. What do you have to have in order to qualify for such a title, well you simply don't sleep. Sometimes for days, weeks and unfortunately one time, for almost 3 months straight (by the way, you get really really super sick from this). And so I read, I read everything...... during the deployments you could find me cleaning, doing laundry, etc....all the things I did not do during the day because I was so busy with other commitments.......I used to also surf the web but then I was just reading online.........still amazed at the bizarre stuff I would come across....but now, I have given most of that up and gone back to my old habit of reading late (or early into the am). At present reading Les Miserables with my oldest daughter who has to finish it for her senior AP English class.......although, I have been known to be up at 3am sanding walls (that damn foyer).

This habit has increasingly gotten worse every time my husband has had to go away (the dreaded TDY Insomnia Gbear speaks of). When he was with Group, it was bad....and then when he was home I would seem to creep back into some assemblance of sleeping, if it only being 4-5 hours. There have been times in my life where I have slept normally, (whatever that is) but it has been so long, I don't recall exactly when that was....... I do not have a television in my room because it promotes insomnia, even reading in bed does as well, but that I simply do anyway......but there are nights where I refuse to give into it, even if it means laying in bed for hours praying......most nights I eventually fall asleep, but it seems to be 30 minutes before my alarm goes off.

Last night my husband, who in all the time he has been home has never had issue with my late night habit of reading, woke up and rolled over to me at 12:30am and said, "Babe, you gotta get back to a normal sleep schedule." Hm.....and here is where this becomes an issue......I don't have one anymore. This is who I am........I have lost so much sleep in my life, I surely have aged well past my 40 years. Experts say that inconsistent sleep can be a factor in having a shorter life.
A 2007 British study found that people who slept the same amount of time (seven hours) each night lived longer, on average, than people who adjusted their schedules to either add or subtract hours from their nightly slumber. Finding your own ideal sleep/wake cycle—and staying consistent—is key to healthy sleep, agrees Carol Ash, DO, medical director of the Sleep for Life center in Hillsborough, N.J.
I remember a time when we were told that you couldn't make up for lost sleep.....that it was just lost and you had to move past it.......whether that is true or not, I guess is up for discussion....but the following is a good example.
Q: Is it possible to make up for sleep hours lost during the week by sleeping in on the weekends?

A: Sleep can’t be fully made up until you get back into a regular pattern. One of the problems with trying to catch up on lost sleep hours is that it disrupts your natural sleep clock, which requires roughly 16 hours of wakefulness before you’re ready to fall asleep again.

After a night of getting only six hours of sleep, many people try to catch up by sleeping until 9 or 10 a.m. the next day. But when they try to fall asleep the next night at 10 p.m., their sleep clock won’t let them, because they haven’t yet been awake for 16 yours. They may not be able to fall asleep that night until 1 a.m., and if they have to get up early the next day, the whole pattern starts again.

It’s best to try to establish some regularity in your sleep schedule, so that every night you go to bed at a reasonable time, get a good amount of sleep and wake up at roughly the same time each morning. Varying that schedule by an hour or an hour and half isn’t a big deal for people who aren’t having sleep problems. But trying to make up three lost hours of sleep on a Saturday morning is going to be tough on anyone’s sleep clock.

Studies show that people who chronically lose sleep, find a way to adjust themselves to the problem......but they are deficient in their daily tasks, memory becomes a problem as well.......so how do you win with this..... For me, I have come to the conclusion that it is just something I have to live with.....best I can. But I hate that when it's late and I'm up, I feel like I am the only person, it seems in the world, awake........... The issue of the deployment/moving cycle from hell which we have been on has only made matters worse and it's no grand surprise that I don't sleep anymore.

My husband, he can sleep anywhere......he is a sleep magnet. But he also has vivid dreams when he sleeps.....when I told him of my dream of my father, he hugged me and kissed away the tears, but he also told me he had dreamed that he was back in Iraq......life was normal in his dream....but in real life.....it's not. How can it be for him when he has spent more time there then here......more time with soldiers then family......more time fighting and less time living? I mean, come on.....when you go away for years at a time.....why would home feel normal? And then there is my issue....... we have been separated for so long, we often wonder if we really know one another anymore..... Over time I worried about whether I would have a husband who would make it home alive and if so, would he be the same man? Let's face facts, I am far from the same woman.......

And so that just gives me pause to be concerned.....if we are the product of our experiences...... and what I have written is our life......is there a time when we will once again find a harmony in which to live, where his being here is normal for him and my having a husband home is for me? One where I can finally sleep along side of my husband all night long and he no longer dreams of war?


  1. Lots to think about in this post, ASW. I sympathize with your sleep issues... I have some of my own, too. But my issues are more of the "when," not "if" type. I get seven hours a day, everyday. It just comes at the oddest times. Example: I didn't go to bed until 0430 this morning. Getting up at noon kinda kills the whole day, ya know?

    ...is there a time when we will once again find a harmony in which to live...

    The answer, hopefully, is "yes." I'll pray for you... as best I know how.

  2. Oh, ASW. I feel your wariness. When The Husband is deployed, I hardly ever sleep. The strange part is when I'm awake in the night, I'm more nervous with each noise that comes. Even the ice maker dropping ice scares me enough to make me crawl out of my skin. Then when he gets home I can't sleep because I freak out when I find someone in my bed. It's a never ending circle of sleep hell.
    As for knowing each other? Well, don't you feel that it's almost old-fashioned the way deployed marriages survive? We send love-letters through email and have snippets of conversations. I think being over there will always be a part of our husbands, it's determining that they WANT to be here that makes the difference, right? Of course you aren't the woman he married. You're stronger and wiser for what you've done.
    ~The Cat's Pajamas

  3. Wow. Great post.

    I TOTALLY subscribe to homeopathy to help with things like this... insomnia and the anxiety. I promise that if you find the right homeopath and they can figure out the correct remedy for you, you will feel so much healthier and happier. Of course, we all still have our moments (and you've witnessed some of mine) but all in all, homeopathy helps find balance in your life. Click here to find a homeopath in your area. And here to learn more about homeopathy. I'm telling you, it has changed both my and my children's lives for the better.

    Of course, both you and your husband have changed. As with any marriage, you will grow and hopefully not grow apart. Maybe once you guys get settled, you both could spend a vacation together without the kiddos. Just to reconnect.

    You've also given me lots to ponder. I'll keep you in my prayers, as always. Thank you again for being the wonderful support that you are.


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