Tuesday, July 06, 2010

My top six worst nights of sleep

All this talk of trying to sleep while essentially being on speed has reminded me of this post I've been meaning to write. Namely, my worst nights of sleep EVER. I'm limiting these to adulthood, by the way (but you can read about a couple of childhood sleepless nights here and here). I'm not putting them in any particular order because then I'd have to recall them in too much detail. Shudder.

July 2002, Slovakia. We were staying at my Slovakian cousins' house and their hospitality was warm and heartfelt but not exactly comfortable. At night, Jeremy and I shared a couch whose middle cushion was missing so our bodies were contorted in an awkward sunken V shape as we "slept." Also, my parents were in the same room, and they snored, and also the roosters woke up really early and made a racket.

November 2002, Siberia. Jeremy served his two-year Mormon mission in Siberia and in early November 2002 we took a trip there to visit Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk. We took an overnight train between the two cities and it was so, so very HOT inside the compartment, and impossible to sleep. We asked the train worker lady if she could turn the heat down a bit but she replied with a seemingly unrelated rant about not getting paid enough. After the fact, we realized she must have been making a veiled request for a tip in exchange for turning the heat down. In retribution, she cranked the heat UP a notch. Increasingly crazed by lack of sleep, it was all we could do to restrain ourselves from breaking the train compartment's windows to get at the frozen, -40 degree tundra outside.

June 2009, Tucson. You remember this one. Right around midnight the night before Jeremy's long-awaited dissertation defense, I started throwing up. It was bad enough puking all night long but it was even worse because I realized I was going to miss his defense. It just about broke my heart. To this day, I still have nightmares that Jeremy did not, in fact, finish his PhD. (And if I thought about it hard enough, I think this one would be my number one worst night of sleep.)

September 2005, Tucson. This was not a single night of bad sleep, but rather a whole week of almost no rest. After an unexpected, unplanned induction and 36 hours of labor, Miriam was born. I was so exhausted and so new-mother-worried that I couldn't sleep for days, even when the baby slept. Then she was re-admitted to the hospital with jaundice and since she screamed when she was by herself under the bili lights I had to hold her in an awkward hospital chair for hours at a time...Yeah, it's been almost five years and I am STILL tired from this.

May 2010, Cairo. We were staying at our friends' house and the girls were going crazy at night from jet lag, as in, they wanted to wake up at 3am and go play in the living room. Obviously we couldn't let that happen. Meanwhile, Jeremy and I had almost adjusted to the new time zone so it really felt like 3am to us. Not a fun time, let me tell you. I'm sure our hosts adored us for letting our kids fuss all night.

March 2004, American Fork. I had a UTI that hit its worst stage right when I was about to go to bed. Instead, I sat up all night and alternately peed and watched the special features of the movie Miracle. The next morning I had to go to work and act real chipper as I taught my LSAT prep class. I haven't watched Miracle since, by the way.

What are your worst nights of sleep? Please share. It's therapeutic.

Edited to add: I guess comments are broken...? I'm getting email notifications for them as usual but they aren't showing up here...

12 comments:

Crys said...

The first night after my babies are born I can never sleep. I think it is a combination of the fact that I'm jazzed up on hormones, I have a new baby, and I have a paranoia about locked doors...which hospitals don't have. Oh and they are always walking in. So after Ezra was born at three in the afternoon I spent the whole night watching X-Files. Jason was passed out on the couch. Grace, 1 pm, spent night watching Prison Nation. Sadie, noon, spent night watching the closer. Let's just say I couldn't wait to get out of there.

Fromagette said...

I blame my kids for most of my bad nights. One of the worst was at a family reunion where the first night, my daughter was up all night because she wasn't used to sharing a room with us. The next night, she was once again up all night because she wasn't used to sharing a room with us. And it continued. I was so sleep deprived and crazed I could hardly control my emotions. It was awful, but it did teach me that I needed to go to bed earlier when I was at home.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I've had too many sleepless nights to count at this point in my life. And there is a strange response my body has developed to exhaustion--at times when I go to bed beyond tired, I can't sleep--it can take hours to finally fall into slumber.

And by the way, I don't snore . . .

Bridget said...

Test. Why are comments not showing up?

Liz Johnson said...

Ugh. I don't remember any specific nights, but I do remember SOBBING and BEGGING Connor to go back to sleep, and that I'd give him a Porsche for his 16th birthday if he would just shut up and sleep already. And you know what? He didn't go to sleep. So I owe him NOTHING.

I had several crappy nights in the ranchos when the chickens would come into my room before dawn and start pecking at my toes. There's a reason I take great joy in the slaughter of chickens.

Brittany Cornett said...

This is nothing to your list but I spent the night at my in-laws for a couple Christmas's and I can never sleep there. They have duct work that seems to make noise travel right into the guest room. My brother-n-law sleeps with the TV on and so both nights I kept thinking when is he going to turn that thing off. Also lots of nights at our previous residence with all the trains, planes and automobiles (not to mention the big mexican family parties my neighbor would throw). I have been sleeping so much better now that we are here.

Jen said...

I've had MANY sleepless nights, but the worst ones ALWAYS involve sleeping in a tent when it's too hot and there are a couple of rogue mosquitoes.

The worst of THESE was last summer. We were camping, but forgot the air mattress, so we had to sleep on the floor of the tent without padding. It was about 77 degrees at NIGHT, and I was 11 weeks pregnant and my morning sickness was ridiculous. Couple that with needing to pee twice/night, and my sleep was nonexistent. I'd call THAT a worst-case scenario.

Susanne said...

I remember when my great-grandmother was sick...near death and I stayed with some of my great aunts at her house. My dad's aunt and I ended up sharing a couch. The back of it folded down, but we were literally sleeping back to back all night. I think I slept OK though. I remember my dad's cousin tapping on the window the next morning so I'd unlock the door for him.

Your sleepless nights sound dreadful! :/

Christi and Clifton said...

My worst sleeping was not just one night of not sleeping, but the two months after Casey was born. She demanded to eat every two hours even through the night. So when I did sleep, it was in two hour increments. I was so sleep deprived-I think I lost a little sanity during that period. It was a dark time in my life.

Sherwood family said...

Like everyone else, mine come from children, and traveling... and especially a combination of the two. I'm not sure if those lovely trans-Atlantic red-eye flights count as 'nights,' but those probably take the cake.

Nancy said...

Most recently, as in the past three nights, I've been trying to nurse a striking baby who screams because she wants to nurse but can't due to a cough/stuffy nose which I also have.

Even when she falls asleep out of sheer exhaustion I can't because I am so swollen with milk that I can't get comfortable. So I pump. And then I feed Miriam out of a cup. And then she goes to sleep. And then Rachel wakes up coughing. And then...and then...and then...

But now I sound like I'm complaining. :)

Kristen said...

Trains crashing through our tent.

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