Julie Julie


Julie has struggled with insomnia for over 20 years, and her lifestyle, working as a teacher and owner of a German pretzel bakery, has made it challenging for her to focus on sleep.



I tend to have two distinct sleep patterns. First, I nap in the late afternoon, and then I’m up all night. I hate this pattern because I miss out on family time. It makes me feel so guilty, when I fall asleep in the late afternoon. It happened to me today. I worked and then ran a bunch of errands this afternoon. I came home, put away the groceries, and promptly fell asleep. During that time, my husband helped the kids set up their very first lemonade stand. And I missed it. I woke up around 8 p.m., and tucked the kids into bed. I had barely said more than a few words to them today. The guilt I feel is immense. And then at the same time, sleep is so fleeting to me, I hate to turn it down, if I get the chance. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If I can avoid falling asleep, then I can go to bed at a normal time. However, I will wake up in about three hours, ready to start my day. It seems like my body doesn’t want to stay asleep. I’ll try doing one of the “boring” activities that Dr. Dautovich recommended, like reading the phone book, but it doesn’t work. I can’t focus on it. Rather, I am a little too adept at multi-tasking 12,743 things. So while I’m reading the yellow pages, I start to tangentially think about each of the businesses, and what connection I have to them. Plumbers… hm, I need to call the plumber as soon as I get that shower tile finished. I think I need to get another bag of mortar. I can do that tomorrow before class. Don’t forget to hand back their quizzes tomorrow, and find out if Jose got that scholarship. I need to finish Chen’s letter of recommendation. And this blog post. I think my teeth are due for a cleaning. All of this is going on, while my husband’s snoring in my ear, and I’m singing 80’s hair band music in my head to shut up the snoring. And there you have it. I choose to get up. So I start my day in the middle of the night. It’s a terrible cycle, because I know that when the next afternoon rolls around, I will be exhausted by 5 p.m. I repeat this cycle every two days, it seems.

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