Community//

Dead Tired: Part 2

Soporifics: Oral and otherwise.

Elavil. Trazodone. Seroquel. Ambien. Lunesta. Xanax. Anti-depressants. Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors. You name it. All of these Big Pharma productions have had a place in our household at one time or another. Because, when you can’t sleep…really can’t sleep…you will do or try almost anything. And I don’t mean this in a disparaging way, as I know anyone who suffers from chronic insomnia will know exactly what I mean.

In order to help my husband — and at times, myself. I have explored more “natural” solutions to sleeplessness and the anxiety that goes with it. AKA, Melatonin. Passion Flower. Lavender and Chamomile Teas, (including the one with the sleepy bear on the front), etc. etc. Ad Nauseam. Sometimes these nostrums work. Other times, no go. It differs from night to night. A somnum crapshoot, to borrow from the Latin.

Again, as so many can attest to, when sleep eludes you, when you lie awake night after night, thoughts racing, heart fluttering — there is literally nothing you won’t try in order to achieve even a modicum of restful slumber. And my hubby and I have tried it all, short of performing a ritual sacrifice in our backyard. But, being that my husband and I are lifelong animal lovers, that particular tactic is out of the question. There are one or two human sacrifices I wouldn’t mind making. One resides in the White House, but that’s a story for another time.

I, too, suffer from racing thoughts, but luckily, stumbled upon a medicinal cocktail that works for me. I can’t say that it will work for me next year, or even, next month, but right now, it does the trick and I’m grateful for that.

What floors me, is that, when my husband had to go into the office every day (he now works mostly from home), he kept up his end and did an amazing job. I truly am proud of him for that, as I wouldn’t have that kind of focus…that fortitude.


Who, out there, is “sleepless in (fill in the city/state).” Do you, in fact, ever attain a good night’s rest? How often? How much? And if you’ve found something that works for you, please share. Essential oils, for example. They’re huge right now but I can’t really attest to their efficacy…yet. I do know that my husband loves it when I rub lavender oil into his tight shoulder and neck muscles, along with magnesium oil on his feet and chest, (a muscle relaxant). But who the hell wouldn’t love this?

By sharing, perhaps we can help one another get through this, or at the very least, explore just why sleep is so elusive to so many. if nothing else, it helps to not feel so isolated…so alone, when the night terrors kick in at 3 a.m.

On Valentine’s Day of 2018, I was laid off from my day gig of 14 years…over the phone. (Thanks, Epsilon!) I worry that the lack of my contributing to the household coffer contributes to my husband’s stress level, but he swears it doesn’t. He’s typically generous, that way. It certainly adds to mine, but I bust out a few Burpees and a Jillian Michaels DVD and I’m (almost) right, again.

The heroine of my screenplay, “Dead Tired,” Dani Knox, stumbled upon a solution to her sleepless nights. Unfortunately, it’s not something I can recommend. Good night, everyone. Sleep tight.

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.

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