Wednesday, December 15, 2010

(Wo)Men Of A Certain Age

"Just A Doodle: #13"  ©2010 Diane Evans
There was an Internet blurb sent around recently that made me smile:
“Be the kind of woman so that, when you wake up in the morning and your feet hit the floor, the devil says, ‘Oh, crap – she’s up.’”
I want very much to be that woman – I really do.  I am finding, however, that I have become the woman for whom a good night’s sleep is now a distant memory.  I face my bed each evening with a fair amount of dread; it has become my enemy, since I lay awake for long stretches during the night.  I blame it on hormones.  Come to think of it, I blame MOST of my troubles on hormones these days.  I know they’re responsible for my fuzzy thinking, because my doctor told me that the estrogen isn’t running all the way to my brain anymore.
"Just A Doodle: #14"  ©2010 Diane Evans
Therefore, I’ve decided to surrender to the sleeplessness by drawing; my reasoning is that, even if I can’t face the morning with renewed energy, I can at least have something artistic to show for the last eight hours.
So I ask all of you out there who are old enough to have received your AARP cards in the mail to let me know if you’re experiencing any of these same sleep issues and if you’ve found a remedy. Especially if the cure involves something artistic – I’ll be excited to hear about it.  I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts at 2:00 in the morning.
Diane

19 comments:

Karen said...

Hey Diane, yes the hormones are to blame for my sleepless nights. I've found that over the counter sleep aids help some and the rx ones are pretty good too. Since I am still working I try not to be too creative at 3 in the morning :). Good luck, at least you are productive!

Kate said...

I love the doodles - more classy and polished than most doodles I've seen. Sleeplessness for me is more annoying than anything - but I just get up and read, watch TV, make a cup of tea and kind of do something...I've also found that however tired I am I get much better rest if I go to bed around 11pm or 12midnight rather than trying to get extra hours earlier - for me the hours after midnight to 7am are the best...I also have no computer, no work - nothing in my bedroom that is unconnected to sleeping and relaxing. I make sure there is nothing stored under my bed - clutter and stuff seems to affect my sleep too....

Allie said...

This is my life - and I also have fibro and arthritis, so cannot get up in the morning! Folks know not to call me before noon. I HATE IT. Right now it's 2:30am, I might be asleep by 5am....

Drawing is good. I do that too. I also do my hand-stitching at night when I can't sleep, listening to an audio book [with headphones, lol]. If I lay in bed and listen to a story, it seems to relax me enough to fall asleep - classical music also works. I feel your pain!

Tracey said...

I completely understand the sleeplessness thing! I rarely have a very good nights sleep these days. Your drawings are beautiful though! Maybe this is the start of something new for you? They would make lovely cards.

I should follow your lead and do something constructive in my sleepless hours instead of trawling the internet as I usually do!

moosestashquilting said...

Hummm I strangely think I know what internet blurb you are referring to! :-) Gotta love those sleepless nights, even in my younger years. Blame it on being creative. I have long lost sleep if something in rattling around in my mind that needs to be stitched. Hormones or lack of, have add to that stress for sure, but it's all good when the project is finished. Right? :-) Your sketching are proof!

Eunice said...

I recently started following your blog and love it! I can totally relate to this post, although I'm not as creative as you are. I just read your etsy bio - I taught for 23 years and decided to take the year off to discover my artistic side and to also explore fiber art.

Terri Stegmiller said...

I can relate to your sleeplessness. Although I think I'm just in the beginning stages of it as it doesn't happen every night and too regularly yet. Perhaps there should be an online group for those who are up at night and not sleeping.

JafaBrit's Art said...

I empathize and it seems to be an irritating factor in being a woman of a certain age.
The devil isn't saying crap she's up to me. He's saying wheeeeeeeee, let's see how much I can torment her with pain today.
It's a menopausal side effect I hadn't considered, joint and muscle pain. Such a drag eh!! Glad you are able to use your time creatively.

Quilt Rat said...

well first of all........OMG LOVE those drawings Diane. GORGEOUS! I can see them turning into some fabulous Diane Evans Fibreart.

As for the sleep issues.....ya I have been there for a number of years. At first I did the same thing....go to bed at the normal "bedtime" only to lie awake and become frustrated that sleep would not come. Then I'd just end up getting up. I refuse to take sleep aids.....don't want to go there. So I now stay up until my eyelids begin to fight me, when I hit the pillow I am out and sleep terrific. I fill those extra hours with doodles, knitting, and I hate to admit it but I am a bit of a video game junkie so my little Nintendo DS gets a workout in the wee hours. Oddly enough I rarely feel sleep deprived during the day.
You are NOT alone!

Pat Spillane said...

Gee - call me! We could save on daylight discussions.
I'm loving doodle #13. Any plans for it yet?
Pat

Diane Wright said...

See...there's something ELSE we have in common. I am not a productive as you. Usually, sudoku fills my otherwise empty hours. My surgeon suggested a capsule of benedryl before bed. She said that's what she prescribes her patients post-op. It isn't habit forming, and, while it doesn't put you to sleep, it helps getting back to sleep. So far it helps. But maybe if I could draw like you, I'd trade in those couple of hours that it provides.

Marilyn Rock said...

I hear ya! Frankly; my "hormonal" surges have calmed down but I've actually never been a great sleeper. Even as a young person, I couldn't sleep "in" and my biological clock is used to early to bed and VERY early to rise. I don't seem to require a lot of sleep but if I don't get any - look out!

One thing I found, is I can't think about art upon going to bed - I can't sit with an art mag or draw because it keeps me up thinking about it, wanting to complete it - kind of gets me revved up. I've discovered crossword puzzles and that seems to take the "edge" off from the day - it used to be wine :) But - I'm out of that stage, too! Dang it! xxoo Happy Holidays

Oh; I adore your drawings!

Chris said...

Loved your quote. What a hoot! Stinking hormones! My wake up time is usually 3 am. Same with my mom. When I stay at her house we usually run into each other in the middle of the night and have some of our best conversations then.

Regular exercise helps me sleep better and cutting out caffeine and sugar after 4:00 pm makes a huge difference.

Linda Miller Designs said...

Oh yes I have been there! Acupuncture and TCM helped me immensely to smooth the path into menopause. Soothing breaths, with longer exhales can settle the mind. If the drawing works, keep it up!

imquilternity said...

I hope your insomnia resolves itself soon Diane. I had it too (but not recently) and it lasted about 4 months. I just used that time to sew and be creative and didn't worry about how much sleep I wasn't getting. It seemed to work out fine for me and I sure hope it does for you too!

Marlaine said...

Hi Diane - love those doodles! I haven't had to deal with too many sleepless nights which is lucky for me because when it does happen, all I can think about is how grumpy I'm going to be the next day at work when the need for the missed sleep kicks in. You've inspired me to try something more creative the next time it happens.

TextileTraveler said...

YES! I've had so many "bad" symptoms with this menopause thing that I've started hormones. I've seen some improvement, but not in the sleep area. Plus the hormones make me feel like I'm PMSing 24-7, so I may not be on them long. I'm glad you found something productive to do with your time! I find myself just surfing the net for hours on end :-(

arts4all said...

Am a bit late to post on this, but have just discovered this blog - the hormone storms are safely behind me, but am still occasionally sleepless. Turning on a light in the wee hours adds to the problem for me, so I just stay in bed and listen to soothing music in the dark, do some yoga breathing, or just allow myself to think on things I might be too busy to give time to during the day. Sometimes I design quilts in my mind and play as if I had all the talent and skills in the world, with an unlimited stash of fabrics! But I don't fret about having to actually make those same quilts!!!

I also compose Haiku, but without worrying about capturing the poems on paper.

In these creative pursuits, there is no real work involved - no cutting and piecing, no editing, no finished product to complete, store, sell or give away, so I am more relaxed about the creative process. And pretty soon, I have closed my little eyes and fallen into a deep sleep knowing that I am absolutely brilliant!!

Looking at the photos of the other posters and realizing that I was there ten + years ago, was an interesting women-connect sort of experience. I feel for all of you! And this too shall pass.......

jkim said...

I discovered your blog via a link from subversivestitchers that featured your wallflowers block--absolutely loved it!

About the sleeplessness. I've had sleep problems most of my life, but I learned something that has made a huge difference. It comes from aryuveda. I discovered it when I was reading up on alternative medicine.

The book described four different "personality types"--for lack of a better term. According to the one that fit me, my sleep cycle ends about 10:30 p.m. and my wake cycle begins then.

So I started going to bed at 10 p.m. instead of my usual 11 or later. To my amazement I'm normally asleep in about 15 minutes now. Before, it took an hour or more.

I've also found if I take my shower later than 9 p.m., it wakes me up instead of making me drowsy.

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