I wake up at 4 am, again this morning. I turn away from the alarm clock and press myself against my husband. Don’t think, I tell myself. Don’t think, and maybe you can go back to sleep. It doesn’t work.

Deep, restful sleep is a phantom, a fairy maybe, flitting among the gradually greening trees, playing in the flowering branches. She teases me but she doesn’t let me catch her.

I’m so tired. I think I have slept eight uninterrupted hours twice in 2017. Or perhaps it was seven hours. I thought it would get better when I reduced the venlafaxine, but if anything, it’s become worse. I went off trazodone, which did help me sleep some, but left me groggy until early afternoons. I hoped that once I was adjusted to being off it, I would stop napping and sleep more at night. That hasn’t happened either.

In early March I got a CPAP machine, and I was so hopeful that it would make a difference. The doctor told me that I was waking up all the time because my brain “forgot” to breathe, and the machine would stop that from happening. I would sleep better and feel more rested. If that’s true, it hasn’t worked yet. Some nights I rip off the mask in the middle of the night to see if I can sleep better without it. Sometimes, I can.

Often, I’m able to take this in stride. It’s temporary, I tell myself. I’m in the process of regaining my health, and in time, refreshing sleep will be part of that. It didn’t work at all this morning, however. I tossed and turned, kicked off the covers, pulled them back on. I grew increasingly frustrated. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t things settle down? How long is this going to take?

My feet and knees hurt. I rub them, but it’s not enough. Two hours later, I roll out of bed and put my clothes on quietly, trying not to wake my husband. He just got a new job that starts next Monday. He doesn’t have many more days to sleep in. I pull on my sneakers, and my dogs lift their heads, interested.

“No, puppies,” I tell them, “you stay.” I go outside into the cool morning and take a walk around the neighborhood. The birds are noisy this morning. Tulips bloom in my neighbor’s yard. The first families arrive at the daycare center down the street. I try to walk quickly; the movement of blood in my feet will like an internal massage, I think.

As I walk, I realize I don’t want my husband to go to his new job. Well, I do, of course. We have had very little income since I quit my job in September. We’re frugal, but we can’t keep living on savings. I tell myself to be grateful that he’s willing to go back to work (he’s older than me and had retired) so that I don’t have to. He knows I don’t have the energy and consistent mental space to work full-time right now.

But instead I’m pouting, imagining being at home by myself every day while he’s at work. It will be lonely. I won’t feel like doing things. I can stay in bed all day, or just get up to eat and apple, harm myself and go back to bed and stare at the ceiling. Now there’s a bright image for the future.

I’ll have to make a lot of effort not to fall apart without his companionship during the day. I’ll have to get some sleep so I can make that effort.  What will I have to do to get some sleep?



  1. Q I hope you can get some sleep soon. I’m with you. Sleeping during the day and not sleeping at night it’s terrible. It happens to me all the time. I’m here if you need to talk you can email me any time XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How long can a body go without sleep? I’ve experienced some of what you’re going through and lack of sleep really effects one’s mental stability. I hope you can get rest soon. It sounds like both you and your husband arevgoing to miss eachvother greatly.


    • It affects everything, doesn’t it? Also if I’m too tired, I don’t go for walks or go to yoga class or other things that could make me feel better. It’s a vicious downward cycle. I’m trying hard not to give into it.

      Today is Day 2 of his new job. So far I’m hanging in there, keeping myself busy. I do not want to turn into a gelatinous blob in bed all the time again. I’ve already done that enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not getting enough sleep is horrible. When you’re trying something new, like the CPAP, and you’re having problems like sleep disturbance it’s always hard to know how long to try before you give up.

    From the info I got when I started CPAP (from the techs, the sleep physician and a sleep apnoea forum – all had slightly different viewpoints) it’s pretty common to take 4-6 weeks to get used to the mask/ find the right mask and to get the pressure and humidity settings right even if you aren’t having problems with leaks etc. The analysis of the data on the machine’s sim card can be helpful in determining how long to persist – if it shows that you are getting a benefit in terms of reduced apnoeic episodes and other measurable physiological parameters then it’s worth keeping going in the hope that overall sleep quality will improve as you get more used to it, but if you’re not getting this it’s hard to see why it would be worth pushing on.

    The sleep apnoea forum I joined ( was helpful in terms of small fixes and advice and venting your frustration, although I’d be cautious about any advice given on bigger issues. I also downloaded some free software (Sleepyhead) so I could look at the sim card data myself – WARNING: if you do this, make sure you lock the card before you connect it to your computer (all explained in the fine print of the software info).

    I too had very high hopes for CPAP improving my sleep and some of the PTSD symptoms, but in the end all it came to nothing for me. My apnoea was borderline to start with and the machine caused bad enough sleep deprivation that I became suicidal, so I was only on CPAP for a couple of weeks. Your situation may not be comparable.

    I can also relate to how difficult it is going to be when your husband starts work and you’re left alone. On the one hand structuring your time with some sort of planned activity can very helpful, but on the other hand it’s really hard to stay motivated to pursue anything if you’re depressed, tired and in pain and the activity seems merely designed to fill in time (because who wants to feel as if they’re running their very own sheltered workshop? 😦 )

    Hope things get better soon.


    • I think that’s about right, 4-6 weeks to get used to the CPAP mask and find ways to keep it from leaking. I think I finally have that mostly under control. I’m finding though that the pillow cushion mask seems to lose its shape over time, so just when I get it down, it seems like it doesn’t fit right again.

      I can get some data online already, through the program that came with my CPAP. One concern I have is that even though you can see my usage going up (number of hours) and a good mask fit (little leakage), the number of apnoeas has not gone down. So why am I even doing this? I called the sleep doctor about this a few weeks ago, and she increased the pressure in the machine. It helped at first, but now it doesn’t again. Anyway, I see her next week, and we’ll see what she says. It’s disappointing though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course it will be hard for you to be alone when he goes to work. You’ve probably already thought of this, but is there something you could do, even just 2 or 3 hours a week, that would give you some companionship, such as visiting a friendly elderly neighbor, doing some light volunteer work, etc? Something that wouldn’t have to be a commitment (i.e. no stress) – only for you to do when you had the energy and wanted to?
    I know it’s not that easy. I know the depression, the not wanting to do anything, the not being able to do anything. It sucks.
    I really, really hope you get some sleep soon. I’m crossing my fingers every night for you!! And sending a hug. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m thinking of scheduling a regular walk with a friend. I want to schedule a yoga class too, but I find that unless I’m going with someone, it’s too easy to not go. Definitely having things that get me out of the house is a good idea!

      Thanks for your support and encouragement. It feels good to come online and see friendly comments from my WP friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yoga is awesome. It can be easy to not go but I’m finding that it feels so good that I want to go even if it’s inconvenient.
        Another thought – what about a low key community choir? Doesn’t have to be church based. I find making music with people even on a really low key level to be a really wonderful thing. A walk with a friend is a great idea!


  5. You need a plan of action, a routine… and perhaps some friendly company other than pups? Is there a book club around you or an adult art class?
    If I leave the day open to chance, things fall apart. Chance leaves too much time open.
    I was thinking of getting a TV, me, of all people, with a TV. lol. but I’ve got too much time on my hands. My health is failing. I’ve got too much time and too much quiet to think and feel. That space has to be filled with something or I fall of interest or off the cliff.

    I must admit, even when I have options to help me sleep, I still put it off. Even when I have options to help with anxiety, I still don’t act. There’s obviously an answer as to why but to spell it out is difficult at times.


    • You are so right, I need a routine and some company. I am part of a book club, but it means monthly in the evenings. An adult art class is an excellent suggestion. I should poke around and see what’s available. I love time to myself, but too much of it can also give me space to fall apart.

      I wish I could go over to your house and take a painting lesson from you… That would be so much fun!


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