Thursday, December 30, 2010


It is amazing what a difference a good night's sleep can make.  I've had sleep issues for a few years.  The sleep doctor gave me a "sleep hygiene" regimen last year around mid-winter that included, among other things, getting unfiltered sunlight as early after getting out of bed as possible (and sometimes more difficult - stay away from the bright computer screen after 8 pm).  It has mostly worked. My sleep has been much better.

But, during the winter, not only are the hours of sunlight fewer, but the cloudy, cold, and windy weather is demotivating.  Getting outdoors (not in a car) early can be tough.  Whether it is the lack of sunlight or something else, I find my sleep patterns erratic this season.  I feel achy and have rotating pains which make the nights even longer and the days unpleasant.   I get up, sometimes at 3 or 4 in the morning to face the day irritable and depressed.  Everything is a chore, every movement an effort.  This has been frequent this season.  I've had to just "suck it up" and keep going.  I do, but I grumble and moan and swear and curse.

What a difference when I do get a good sleep in.  I have energy and am motivated to do things.  Life actually makes sense.  Especially enjoyable is the absence of aches and pains.  I enjoy being out in nature and cooking for my hubby.  I even enjoy work, (the paid variety) when I get it.  I am pleasant (well, as pleasant as an old grouch can be).  I am more patient.  I'm definitely easier to live with.  Ask Leon.

The next time you run into a grouchy old man, an irritable woman, a nasty person, a grinch, a scrooge, a curmudgeon, just stop to consider that they may be an insomniac or in constant physical pain.  Pain can be exhausting and draining and interfere with sleep.  I know.  I am a different person when I lack sleep.  I am a different person today after getting in a good snooze last night.  

Today's hike in the woods up back - ah, sunlight:

 Benni with a stick

 Some critter's den

 House from the back woods


A wild New Jersey holly tree - dug up from the side of a road when we stopped to walk the dog (Bruno) in a rain storm more than 12 years ago and now growing by the driveway.


  1. As someone who suffers from sleep apnea I can feel your pain beleive me. I haven't slept through the night in years but even when I do get go under into REM sleep for a period of time and wake up I can feel the difference in my energy levels in the morning.
    It's nice that you have the woods right in back of the house like that to take your walks.

    I have one of those holly's in the yard and try to keep it under control during the summer. Those damn spikey leaves hurt like hell!
    Hope your sleep patterns get better for the New Year.

  2. You make a good point about forbearance; we rarely know what kind of cross another has to bear, do we.

    From one old grouch to another, happy new year.



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