Dead Tired: Part 1

An ongoing nightmare for so many.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

“I’d kill for a good night’s sleep.”

How many times have you heard that? Or said it yourself?

It’s after two a.m., or thereabouts. I really don’t know as I’ve been roused from a Big Pharma-induced sleep, (Xanax, Seroquel), by the sound of my husband shuffling into the room like an extra from a George Romero movie.

The bed creaks…our shitty mattress emitting a sound like crackling bubble wrap as my exhausted husband crawls in next to me. I hold my breath for a few seconds, then…“You ok, babe?”

He doesn’t answer. Rather, lets out a sound very near to a whimper as he immediately gets back up again. I lift my head from the pillow, and in the gloom of our bedroom, dimly lit by a street lamp outside our home, see him slowly, almost painfully…make his way from the room. A light goes on in our home office and I lay back down, so frightened for the man I’ve been married to forever that I pull the covers over my head. So ashamed that I cannot help this man who I dearly love…and who is my very heart.

According to The Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from a sleep disorder.

Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder, with short term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%. My husband’s condition is acute and chronic.

What’s more, 4.7% of sufferers reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month. “Drowsy driving” is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 non-fatal injuries annually, in the United States.

And then, adding insult to serious injury, there’s Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), with 9 to 21% of women and 24 to 31% of men, afflicted. OSA is a condition that requires one to hook one’s self up to a contraption called a “CPAP” machine, which has at its core a long, elephantine tube that attaches to the face by way of a chin strap and mask. GOOD TIMES!

All of the above gadgetry is to help the sufferer breathe more easily during sleep — and lest you think I’m discounting it, I’m not, as a CPAP does work for many individuals living with OSA.

We had a CPAP machine. Unfortunately, it’s somewhere in our laundry room gathering serious dust as the trick here is, in order for a CPAP to help one’s quality of sleep, the afflicted individual has to actually be able to fall asleep And therein lies the proverbial rub.

I cannot pinpoint the exact day/week/year when, for us, night time turned into a nightmare. My husband was never what you’d call a “good sleeper,” but at some point, his condition became progressively worse. Scarily so. Just writing about it heightens my anxiety.

As a screenwriter, and possibly to self-soothe, I wrote a screenplay called “Dead Tired,” a female-driven thriller I liken to a vampire tale…without an actual vampire.

I would love to share more about my script, but night is falling…and my husband needs me.

Sherry McGuinn is a longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Photo Credit: Minnesota Vikings
    Sleep Well//

    NFL Star Kirk Cousins on How Quality Sleep Raises His Game and Improves His Performance

    by Shelly Ibach (Sponsored By Sleep Number)

    The Top 3 Pet-Related Perks of Sound Machines

    by Liz Heinberg
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.