Today I woke up at 4:30. I was tossing and turning and finally I decided to get up. I made a choice. I could easily choose to be frustrated with my momentary infliction of insomnia but instead I choose to be grateful. I woke up and that alone is a wonderful gift. I could spend time being angry over the hours of sleep I missed or I can sit here and contemplate the promise of the moments that lie ahead. There’s even a third choice and this one is the best of all. I can sit here in the moment and listen to the wind. I can take in the sound of the clock ticking on the wall and I can just enjoy this moment of solitude before the day really begins. What are you grateful for today? How can you turn gratitude into attitude?
I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I watched the clock change before my eyes as I struggled to find a sense of quiet that would afford me the opportunity to drift off to sleep. Isn’t it amazing how we can walk into a room in the middle of the day and have no idea why we are standing there in the first place? Then something magical happens at nightfall and everything becomes crisper and clearer. It’s as if the brain magically over magnifies every single thought that races through my head. The tiniest situation feels like a major ordeal in the middle of the night. I toss and turn and fight the voices in my head searching for some solitude from the noise that’s keeping me awake. What do you do to help you fall asleep? How do you quiet everything down so you can drift off to a peaceful sleep? I have tried the voice led meditations in the past and they have worked well but I am not the only one in the bed. I am looking for some suggestions and solutions for those nights that feel like they are never going to end.
Monkey mind. A funny little term that represents the relentless thoughts bragging around in our overactive, controlling little heads. It’s pathetic really the way they get louder and louder like when I use my megaphone to yell to my kids to make sure they cannot ignore me. Well now, as karma would have it, I have a megaphone inside my head screaming my own thoughts in my own head. Wow! I had absolutely no idea how aggravating that could actually be. Here I thought I was being funny but somehow the double standard doesn’t suit me well. Part of me asks who needs sleep anyway right? Nothing numbs the mind like extreme fatigue. So, here’s hoping all my fellow bloggers are asleep while I graciously take one for the team. Now please someone post something interesting so at least I have something to read!
Okay, I get it. I’m in my 40s, but I am so tired! It is absolutely awful, laying in bed watching the clock flip from 1:00, 2:00…. and eventually 3:24. That seems to be my new magic number. Don’t reread the last line, you read it right. Who the heck can function on 3 hours of sleep a night? And further
more, what is it about 3:24 that releases me from the horror of not being able to fall asleep in the first place. A few weeks ago, I woke up to my very first night sweat. What the heck was that all about? I almost woke up my husband to feel my shirt. Boy did I not see that coming! What a relief though that being soaked actually ended up being what finally cooled me off after the last few weeks of tossing covers off and turning the heat down at night. Then, after everyone leaves in the morning, cranking up the heat and adding an extra blanket to the 2 that are already on my bed. I guess this is the start of that M word that so many of my older friends have talked about while I sat quietly chuckling to myself. Well guess what? It’s not so funny after all. Will I ever be able to fall asleep before 3 am again? I don’t know how much longer I can function as the zombie I’ve become. And, what’s worse is I am starting to talk like I have severe brain trauma…juggling my words up, turning the wrong way, and forgetting where I was going in the first place. And leaky bladder…really. Can someone come up with a solution because sometimes I have to sneeze, or laugh, or jump, or blink, or yeah, you get the point! I thought there would be a party, a rite of passage, or a sign in my front yard with the words: Welcome to your 40’s, sit back, strap on depends and enjoy your new, hot, sleepless peri menopausal ride.
I can see my mother rolling her eyes as she thinks these words in her head, Why does she she have to tell everyone her business? Shouldn’t some things be too personal to share? Well mom, what I say to that is this, YOU didn’t tell me what to expect. In fact, no one did. Most of my information comes from the Internet and its times like these that make me very grateful for technology. I have really been wondering if I’m crazy lately. I know about weight gain around the middle, mood swings, tearing up frequently, and incontinence but tinnitus and internal shaking? That I didn’t know. I have been thinking I am reaching a new stage in enlightenment and yet it’s been peri menopausal symptoms all along. The headaches are a real trip. There are some days I physically hold my head when I try to walk because even the slightest movement is excruciating. The night sweats are increasing and the ringing in my ears is sometimes too much noise for me to stand. I have stopped watching tv because I am trying to find some sort of place of quiet. How the heck can I remove my ears from my already pounding head? I bet even David Copperfield cant pull that one off. So, I am telling you this because nobody told me. At least not the whole story. This is from an article that had the most comprehensive list of symptoms I could find. I hope you learn something new. I know I sure did! You may notice I added my two cents if you see this symbol *
These are the common signs and symptoms of peri menopause:
-loss of energy (overwhelmed by steps and planning of basic activities/outings) *Explains why food shopping and meal planning are so exhausting for me
-hot flashes (lasting a few seconds to hours, while sleeping is called night sweats)
-chills & shivers ( may shiver for hours)
-hot flashes & chills in rapid succession or together e.g. hot face, body chills *Thought this was from hot yoga 😦
-dizzy, cloudy *Phew! Explains why I can’t remember where I am going!
-changes in menstrual cycle ( shorter periods of longer periods e.g. 3 weeks late )
-PMS symptoms all the time *One of my favorites!
-new allergies or sensitivities
-sensitive skin/crawly skin ( feels like an army of ants marching just under skin surface)
-itchy scalp and face, tingling lips
-toothache (often in mid-cycle)*This one was really a surprise and I have it!
-humming or buzzing in ears ( may sound like low frequency buzzing or electrical power line humming)*Note to self…not enlightenment!
-lightheadedness, vertigo ( dizziness, inner ear disturbance)*Do not spin in Kundalini class. You will regret it!
-heightened sense of smell, stuffy nose & sinuses *I swear I smell the yoga room all the time!
-changes in vision *Cant see the dose or directions on a pill bottle:(
– tired legs, lower back pain, achy joints *Exactly why I am extremely motivated to run until I stand up!
-fluctuating interest in sex
– heart palpitations ( heart beat speeds up suddenly for few seconds then back to normal)
-irritability, mood swings , anxiety ( anxiety worth mentioning again since some women think they are seriously ill until they begin to understand their perimenopause symptoms)
-loss of confidence, depression, feelings of isolation
-difficulty remembering things *What was I writing about?
– thinning scalp hair
-weight gain ( be kind to yourself and put the scale away at least for a little while since the 5lbs you suddenly gained may just be water retention and may go away as quickly depending on where you are in your cycle)*Another favorite 😦 Like we can’t see the weight if we don’t step on the scale? I’m gonna fight this one! Explains why when I asked my daughter if I could be bikini ready in 3 weeks she said, “That depends, are you planning on eating?”
There you have it. I am traveling the road of peri menopause. Next stop, Menopause Lane. Oh boy! I can hardly wait! I am also looking for travel companions. Let me know if you’d like to come along!