It could be 10 o’clock at night and that would be perfect and even kind of normal, but it’s more likely that it’s at 1 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning or 6:30 at night. I look at the clock and weigh my options . . . If I can. If I’m home and the kiddo’s in bed or at school and I’m not working. I look at the clock and ask, do I have enough time to get a solid two or three hours of sleep?
No? I suffer through. Drink something with caffeine. Get up and try to move . . . most likely sit and veg while making half-assed attempts at being productive. I stretch my legs. I kick my legs. I shake my legs. I search for the bottle of Hyland’s Restful Legs. I stick a few pills under my tongue. I stop kicking and shaking my legs. I still stretch. RLS sucks.
Within an hour, my window has passed and there’s no shot of me sleeping. So I find something productive to do. I work. I write. I clean.
Yes? Awesome. I make my way to my bed, cell phone and iced tea or water in hand. I stop at the bathroom to help keep me from jumping up in an hour. I make sure my alarm is set, if necessary. I organize my pillows, snuggle under my blankets. I flip. I toss. I turn the pillow over.
Eventually I fall asleep and start to dream. Immediately. No gradual wandering through the stages of sleep. Google says it’s because I’m not getting enough sleep or maybe because I’m depressed. Whatever the reason, I dream. Something weird. Sometimes scary. Slitting my wrists with a credit card in a public bathroom. Raped in my kitchen in front of my boyfriend. Sometimes just weird. Kidnapped by a fake Time Lord with a plastic TARDIS. Neon green glowing cats in a cave. Freud would have a field day with me.
Sometimes I can’t sleep more than 5 to 15 minutes. Involuntary leg movements just as I’m dozing off. They kick. They jerk. They piss me the fuck off.
Sometimes I’m lucky and I sleep for 3 hours. I wake up and I look at the time. I curse. Sometimes in Greek. I fight consciousness. I toss. I turn. I meditate. I ma . . . . I toss. I turn. I pick up my phone. I check my email. Facebook. I sigh.
And I get up.