To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Carolyn McBride
3 min readJan 16, 2022


Hell, I just want to sleep an entire night!

A Golden Retriever puppy sleeps on a sofa
Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash

I remember when I was a kid, I would snicker when I’d glance over at my grandad and find him asleep in his chair.

There was no snickering when I jerked in my chair last night and realized I’d lost a half hour. (Although, I’m pretty sure my Grandpa would have at least smirked knowingly)

I have had sleep issues for the past six years, but only in the past 6 months has it seemed to catch up with me. Back in 2006, my fibroids (that I did not know I had) decided they wanted to make an appearance in a big way. Thankfully, within a few months, I was diagnosed, referred to an OB-GYN and boom! Was suddenly without all the reproductive organs I’d been born with.

Hello, instant menopause!

(My only regret is missing my youngest son’s 16th birthday while under the knife)

I’ll spare you all the kinda-gross details, which to me are fascinating, but suffice it to say that hormones play a huge part in how we sleep. Suddenly, I couldn’t sleep an entire night without waking up. And once I woke up, I was UP. There was no going back to sleep for me. This is still my truth. After a week, my body crashes HARD and I sleep so deeply that I wake up with a near-hangover. I have tried herbal sleep aids. I have tried all the environmental fixes and sometimes resort to having two beers before bed. A former-nurse friend tells me alcohol prevents sleep, but it has always knocked me out. The beer works better than anything, to be honest.

While cruising the web looking for something completely unrelated to this article, I came across a piece on sleep-debt. What’s that? According to the Sleep Foundation,

Sleep debt, also called a sleep deficit, is the difference between the amount of sleep someone needs and the amount they actually get. For example, if your body needs eight hours of sleep per night, but only get six- you have two hours of sleep debt.

I need 7, but I’m lucky to get 4 uninterrupted hours. So if we add up sleep debt and look at it through a broader lens, I fall short of 21 hours of sleep per week, 84 hours lost in a month and 1092 hours in a year. No wonder I fall asleep in front of the computer after supper!

The worrisome part is this,

Not getting enough sleep can have serious consequences and interfere with work, school, and driving. Sleeping less than seven hours per night on a regular basis increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Sleep deprivation is also linked to reduced immune function, metabolic dysregulation and weight gain, and a greater risk of falls and accidents. Prolonged sleep deprivation also affects memory and cognitive functions.”

Potentially, I’m screwed.

How are your sleep habits? Do you get enough? Let me know in the comments.

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Carolyn McBride

I’m a self-sufficiency enthusiast, an author of novels & short stories, a reader, a gardener, lover of good chocolate, coffee & life in the woods.