Tuesday, January 05, 2010

And you think I don't sleep!!!

Sooner or later, everyone pulls an all-nighter. Goodness knows I pulled a few last month! The thing is, even though I may have been going to bed in the wee hours of the morning, I'm blessed to have a child who sleeps in pretty late, so I was still getting between six to eight hours of sleep every night.

Not getting enough sleep sucks. I remember those first weeks when the baby was born! I went into it thinking that I really knew what being tired felt like - after all, I did go to college and I did the going out on a worknight thing when I was younger! The thing is though, when you're doing that kind of missing out on sleep, you usually find a way to get back on track, even if it is just for a few days. Having a little person who is up every three hours to eat kind of keeps that from happening! As a result, you get to be pretty familiar with the short term effects of only getting a few hours of sleep a night: fatigue, irritability, careless mistakes, slow reaction times, and increased stress. Fortunately though, after a few months your baby (hopefully) will start to sleep for longer stretches and so will you.

Since my husband and I started dating, it's been pretty obvious that we both are most productive at night. The problem is that calling him a "Night Owl" is putting it mildly. You know how little kids will want to stay up past their bedtimes and deny being sleepy even as they're yawning and dozing off in front of the TV? Yeah well, my husband never grew out of that. We used to have knock down, drag out fights because of this. I would get so mad because every night, I went to bed alone. That just didn't seem right to me! Eventually though, I decided to pick my battles and I let it go. He would tuck me in and then go about his business. I told myself it was just how he was and that it would come in handy when we had a baby (which it did).

The problem I'm having now is that it's getting worse. Where before, he would finally drag himself to bed and sleep for 3 or 4 hours each night, it seems like now never even makes it in! He usually passes out on the couch, slumped over in a sitting position. He's late to work a lot because of it. He tells me that because he is salaried that it doesn't matter as long as he works however many hours he should be there, but this means he works late EVERY NIGHT. Sometimes he doesn't get home until seven!

There's another thing too. Before, he would fall asleep during the day, whenever, wherever. We'd go over to a friend's house and he'd doze off on the sofa. We'd attend parties and he'd be passed out on a chair, even though he didn't drink anything. It was so embarrassing but he just didn't get that. To him, it was a joke, a blessing that he could sleep anywhere and everywhere. To me, it was hurtful and rude. He could sleep anywhere but with me in our bed. During the day, when we were up and I was trying to interact with him, he'd fall asleep while I was talking or trying to show him something.

Well, the other day, something scary happened. We were in the car, and when I looked over at him, HIS EYES WERE CLOSED! As I watched in horror, his head started to droop forward toward his chest. That's right folks, he fell asleep while he was driving! In the past few months he's fallen asleep while waiting at stoplights too. It wasn't even at night - I'm talking these incidents were in the middle of the day. This is DANGEROUS! What if I hadn't been there to yell and wake him up? What if I hadn't been there to make him pull over and let me drive?

Also, sometimes when he is supposed to be watching the baby, I see him fall asleep on the floor. I ask you, who is then watching the baby? What if I had been out of the house, or in the bathroom, or still asleep? What if he had gotten into something and really been hurt?

I feel like this is a battle I need to choose now. My husband is no longer a single 20 year old. He has a family now and is closer to 40 than 30. He needs to take better care of himself, and he refuses to do so. Not only does he not sleep, he doesn't eat breakfast, works though most of his lunch breaks, eats stuff like a pop tart or a cookie for lunch if he even eats anything, and most of all, he doesn't freaking SLEEP!!! I'm really worried and stressed over this.

I tried to appeal to him as his wife. I'd like to go to bed together. I think that would be nice. I tried to appeal to him as a father. He needs to be rested so he has enough energy to enjoy his son. I tried to appeal to him as an employee. If he were better rested he'd be able to better concentrate on his job. I tried to appeal to his health. Not getting enough sleep has been associated over 50 health problems, including heart disease, a weakened immune system, cancer, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, premature aging and symptoms similar to those of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Nothing works. Nothing. I'm so angry and frustrated with him over this right now. I'm tired of all the excuses of why he "can't" go to bed. I'm tired of feeling like he doesn't care about us enough to take care of himself so that he can be there for us. I can't even talk the man into getting a simple physical! I know he hasn't been to the doctor since we've been married.

Why are men like this? Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can smack some sense into him before it's too late?



Blogger Myong said...

Hello, I have never left you a comment before but I love reading your posts. I would've thought that by him falling asleep in the car and you yelling at him would've knocked some sense into him. =( I am sorry to read that it really hasn't.
I am currently taking an eastern theory class and we have something called a Jing in all of us. Jing is essence, a most concentrated store of chi in our body. We have this thing called a prenatal jing and it is formed before birth/inherited from our parents. The quantity is fixed at birth and it's irreplacable and naturally diminishes with age. It's basically a trust account and because he doesn't eat or sleep right and doesn't seem to take care of himself, he is loosing this pretty quickly. So when he is an old man, he's not going to have any left to take him into his old age. Don't know if that sounds scary enough or not. I guess it depends if you believe in it.
You know, you may try to talk him into meditating in bed with you every night. I tend to "try" to meditate laying down and I ALWAYS end up falling asleep instead. =) If I think of anything else, I'll post. Good luck.
Oh and on your other post about moving less. Have you thought of trying jump roping? I just bought a jump rope the other day and I have been sore. I think it said jump roping 15 min could burn 160-200 calories. =)

1:01 AM  
Blogger Myong said...

I usually end up trying to meditate for 5 min and fall asleep in less then that time. Lol*

1:02 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

Wow, that is so scary that he fell asleep behind the wheel. That didn't scare him? I assume Sawyer was with you guys. I know that would have scared the life outta me. Does he ever take Sawyer places without you? I would refuse to let that happen until he gets some rest.
Other than slipping him a sedative in the evening I've got no other suggestions. Men are the most stubborn creatures on the planet.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

That's a tough one. You make good points, and it ultimately feels hurtful to you if he isn't hearing them the way you do because you're looking at the quality of life factor for him, you and Sawyer. It's difficult when things like this aren't in our own personal control to change. You can't force him to do what you think is best (and I'm not suggesting that you are). So, what'a girl to do?

I wish I had some sure fire ideas to pass along. I'm actually interested to hear how you guys end up resolving this, just from a learning vicariously perspective. I did have one thought that might help. When I am doing something I know isn't balanced, it's usually in a response to something else being imbalanced ... some other need isn't being met somewhere. So, I overcompensate elsewhere. For example, when I sit around on the computer for too long in the morning, I end up speeding when I leave the house because I'm running late. The problem isn't with my driving -- it's a lack of planning and getting in the shower right away. It's a cause and effect reaction to the original imbalance. It's more effective for me to go to the source -- commit to getting ready as soon as I wake up so I don't end up feeling rushed when it's time to leave. Do you get where I'm heading with this? Maybe an idea would be to help him explore why he feels the need to stay up. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but let's say he's addicted to TV or he doesn't feel like he's getting enough alone time. So, he's stays up late to fill that need. Not to create something that isn't even there, but it's worth a try. On the other hand, it just might be as simple as a bad habit that he hasn't decided to correct yet.

Good luck!!

2:18 PM  
Blogger Sgarbossa Family said...

If he's falling asleep at the wheel, it's quite possibly beyond the point of being a bad habit and could be a sleep disorder of some sort. There are a few sleep clinics in the Phoenix area... Banner Desert in Mesa, a sleep center in Scottsdale, Mayo clinic in Phoenix. On the Scottsdale site, they have a quiz with maybe 5-6 questions which if you answer yes to one of them, they recommend taking to your doctor and getting a sleep evaluation. One of those questions is falling asleep during the day (ie at work, behind the wheel, etc.). Can you try getting Brad to take it one step at a time. 1st step - take the online quizzes that are out there on sleep. 2nd step - call & talk on the phone to a doctor or sleep center. 3rd step - perhaps see a doctor in person (which he really should do if he hasn't had a checkup in that long). If he's stubborn as he probably will be, you can call a sleep center to ask questions/see if they can offer any advice. If he can identify why he's having issues with sleep, there may be a easy way to fix it. And not all fixes are medication. But you can't fix what you don't know is broken. It's scary that he fell asleep behind the wheel - good luck!

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you figure it out, please let me know! My husband acts very similar. Goes to sleep at 3-4 AM. Sometimes he stays up all night altogether. His work is also flexible, so he goes late and comes home 8 or 9. Some days he skips work because he went to bed at 5 and can't get up until 11.
He walks our son to school and brings him late every day. It's getting out of hand!

When I go somewhere and he stays with the kids, he is usually sleeping as well.
Ack! I know how you feel.

10:05 PM  

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