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Do you sleep while they are gone?

While reading the postings No Sleep... and Looks Like We Are Not Alone.. I began thinking about all of the issues and funny things that I have done when my husband has been gone.  Lack of sleep sure can make you do insane things sometimes!

You will most likely think that I am totally off my rocker after reading this post.  And I am okay with that.  I am one with and at peace with my nutty self!

I think we all probably have issues sleeping from time to time.  Deployments, TDYs and even motherhood can all make you have sleepless nights.  They all equal STRESS in some form or fashion.  During my husband's last deployment, I spent more nights lying in bed awake than I care to admit.  The lack of sleep during that deployment ran a very close second place to how much sleep I lacked and how evil I became after my first child was born and the first OIF deployment.

How do you deal with sleepless nights alone?  Do you cuddle up to a pillow case or t-shirt that still smells like your spouse?  Do you read, exercise, surf the net, call friends, chat online, watch tv?  What do you do?  I finally figured out that if I slept with a shirt that smelled like my husband, I was able to doze off a little easier. 

Have you resorted to taking meds to help you sleep?  Has your lack of sleep adversely affected your otherwise 'happy & glowing' personality?  I can attest that lack of sleep does turn me into a rather evil human being and I must politely ask anyone that I have offended while lacking sleep to try and forgive me.  I promise it was my evil twin that offended you and not the real me!

Think of all of the ways that the lack of sleep or sleep issues, have affected you and share it with us.

Have you been able to sleep just fine?  Oh, if you have, please, please share you story with us.  I could use the advice for sure.

I was able to sleep a little better during our last deployment after my husband sent me one of his t-shirts, my hormones (that whole middle aged thing) got a little straightened out, I exercised a bit, I started taking long baths before bed time and took melatonin.  I took Ambien one time and I quickly learned that being that asleep, was no good for anyone.  The house could have burned down around me and I would have slept right through it.  That is when I resorted to more 'natural' measures and was thankful that the melatonin actually worked for me.  I know many people that tried it and it never phased them.

I also slept better after I went to the shooting range and brushed up on my sniper skills.  I didn't have the gun locked in a safe in the upstairs bathroom for nothin' and I needed to make sure that I still knew how to use the thing, just in case I ever needed it!  After all, I am from the South and that means, "Do not be surprised to find that many 10-year-olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim."  Okay, I like guns, they make me feel secure and protected and I know how to use them, but not all of us are 'gun girls' ~ so what makes you feel safe when you are at home alone?  Is it your dogs by chance?  I love my 'killer dogs' ~ all 20 & 40 lbs of them!  :)

I also learned that I could NOT watch the news when I was in desperate need of sleep, especially in the hours leading up to my bed time.  Watching the news always makes me crazy when my husband is deployed and I want to often yell at the tv.  I finally had to just turn it off.  (My tv is lucky that I knew how to use the off button, or you never know, I might have ended up pounding it with a bat or shooting it.)  Even though I felt a bit less informed by turning it off, I was able to regain what little sanity I had left and get a little more zzzzzz when I 'just said no' to the news.  Do you watch the news when your spouse is away and does it make you unable to sleep?

I also tend to have the same issues that Air Force Wife wrote about:

It's like the military wife version of "If You Give a Moose a Muffin..." 

If a deployed spouse wakes up, they're going to want to check the doors.  And if they check the doors, they're going to want to check the stove, too.  The stove will remind them that they are craving Oreo cookies.  And if they have an Oreo cookie, they're going to want to have a glass of milk to go with it...

I can't even tell you how many times per night I would leap to my feet out of a dead sleep, at any little noise.  I am the 'protector' when my husband is gone and boy, I am all about protecting my babies.  I had double locks on all of the doors and I put beeping alarms on all doors and windows (which were also good at keeping children from going outside just because they saw a cute puppy and then decided to wander the streets aimlessly) ~ sorry, that is an entirely different story!  When I would hear a noise at night, I would jump up, grab the bat, take my largest dog with me and proceed to 'search' my house for signs of the noise.  If the noise sounded too spooky, I grabbed the gun instead.  I had to remember my glasses too, because if I forget to grab my them, I would end up hitting or shooting the basketball goal in the backyard, that in the dark, had the eerie silhouette of a large man.  No, I never actually shot anything or anyone, but I sure could have!  And that my friends, allowed me to sleep better at night!

Thankfully my children never have the sleep issues that I have when my husband is gone.  They never move, never hear even a mouse!  Thankfully they are never awake in the middle of the night to see how crazy their mother truly is.

Alright, now that you think I am officially insane, go ahead, share you stories!!  Do you sleep while they are gone?

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