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Insomnia...waking up in the middle of the night

Insomnia: Doing It All Night Long

| Sande Caplin |

Life in the Boomer Lane, like others in her post-menopausal peer group, has added countless hours to her day, all of them in the middle of the night. These hours are available for a wide breadth of information gathering about such diverse topics as keeping track of the national economy, the latest research on aging, up-to-the-minute technological advances and whether Bachelor Juan Carlo will end up with the weird opera singer.  A typical breakdown of LBL’s week is as follows:

Monday: At 10 p.m., LBL snuggles in bed with a book, her happiness marred only by Now Husband watching reruns of “The Honeymooners” on his portable DVD player. At 11, she easily sinks into a deep sleep. At 11:20 she wakes up. She repeats this pattern throughout the night, sleeping in 30-45 minute intervals, just like her new granddaughter.

Tuesday: LBL doesn’t get into bed until 12:30 a.m.. She reads two pages of her book, falls asleep and awakens at 2 a.m.. She turns on the TV and watches QVC selling pants with elastic waistbands that come in 11 different colors. She considers purchasing at least two pairs but falls asleep on the chair. She awakens at 1 a.m., when they are selling a machine that roasts a whole pig. She gets into bed falls asleep.

Wednesday: LBL falls asleep easily, is awakened by the sound of either Miracle the Cat jumping on the bed table and pushing the phone off/a squirrel and a raccoon having a fight to the death outside the bedroom window/the refrigerator making a suspicious noise/a leg cramp/a car starting four blocks away. She jumps out of bed, inspects the entire house, and turns on the TV. She watches a show about a woman who snacks on styrofoam peanuts and foam rug pads. She considers the banality of her own snack choices. At 4:30 a.m., she gets back into bed.

Thursday: LBL is up all night, even though there are no noises or leg cramps. She writes a blog post, searches for napkin rings online and watches six episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Friday: After having not slept the night before, LBL optimistically gets into bed at 10 p.m., opens her book, reads one page and closes her eyes. She is quickly asleep. At midnight, she awakens, goes to the bathroom and realizes she is completely alert. She watches an episode of “General Hospital” on her cell phone, as well as one of “The Bachelor.” She gets back into bed at 1:30 a.m. and falls asleep again.

Saturday: LBL falls asleep at a dinner party she is hosting. She cannot keep her eyes open. When her guests leave, she is wide awake. She cleans the kitchen, spends two hours online on and rearranges the pantry by alphabetical order. She gets into bed at 2:45 a.m., awakens at 3:15 and rearranges the pantry by size order, instead.

Sunday: LBL nods off during “Downton Abbey.” At 10 p.m., she gratefully crawls into bed, closes her eyes and relaxes. At 11:15 she is out of bed. She tries again at 2 a.m.. She is up again at 3 a.m.. She eats an entire bag of frozen corn as she writes this blog post.

about the author:

Renee FisherRenee’s entire life has been formed by her naturally curly hair and her having topograpanosia, a real disorder of the frontal lobe that results in a complete inability to orient herself in space, as well as an inability to remember people’s names. Because of this disorder, she gets lost a lot.  If you see her wandering around anywhere, don’t call anyone.  Just get her ice cream.  That will calm her down.  For the hair, there’s not much you can do.

She is, indeed, a former hula hoop champion, as well as the co-author of two books for women over 50.  They are Invisible No More: The Secret Lives of Women Over 50 and Saving the Best for Last: Creating Our Lives After 50.  She is also a Featured Blogger on Huffington Post.

If you are a very important publisher, a wealthy donor, or if you would like Renee and her co-authors to speak or lead a workshop for your group or organization, you can contact her at:

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