Long ago a woman in her mid-50s warned me that sleeping all night becomes difficult as we age. I just said "uh huh" and my brain and eyes glossed over, utterly unable to relate to what she was saying.
Now, years later, sleeplessness has become my best friend, or adversary, depending on my mind-set and what hour of the night it is. Lately, I wake up around 2:30 a.m. If I squint my eyes or only open one part way on the way in to pee, I can go back to bed and fall asleep again. If I decide to try to read, one usually sure-fire, non-narcotic way for me to fall asleeep, well, half the time now it doesn't work - both eyes gradually open all the way, like a blind on a window being slowly lifted. My mind becomes involved with the book and my lids don't get heavy until anywhere from 4:30 to 6:30 a.m. I've found I can actually sleep holding the book open in front of my face, until my hand gives way and the book drops with a thud to the bed or the floor, waking me up with a jolt. I'l usually pick the book up and read a little longer, then play the same game with my eyelids. Eventually I'll put the book away and if I'm lucky I'll sleep. But sometimes I don't, and if I do too many physical things before I finally give up, the game repeats itself.
Twitchy legs keep me awake, too. I'll roll and thrash and make artful designs with the bedcovers before waking up enough to do anything about it, "it" being RLS - Restless Leg Syndrome. Funny phenomenon...the legs just act like they're trying to escape or something, walk away. They don't want anything to do with the rest of the body and the frustration exhibits itself as this restless leg business. There's some good Hyland's homeopathic pills called "Restless Leg" that work very well. Lately, though, I've been "hardening" myself up to a tighter budget, as well as trying to adhere to the "living small" lifetstyle, so a banana is a must-have every day.
Sometimes I'll amaze myself and stay awake all night, or get by on 2-3 hours of sleep. Used to be that would make for a nightmarish work day hours later, dressing in clashing clothes, wishing I liked coffee (can't stand the stuff), major brain fog, fearfully focused on driving, sunglasses guarding bloodshot eyes. Once at work, my hands would spend much of the day clenched on my cheeks, supporting my head, desperately trying to appear as if I'm seriously absorbed in the report I've carefully spread out on my desk.
Nowadays, I can often get up and get going on very few hours of sleep, live the day without my eyeballs rolling back in my head, and actually be rational. Sometimes, though, I go through waves of too many brutal sleepless nights in a row and I give up all control. There's no comparing the total deliciousness of just letting go, crawling into bed at a bizarre time of night anywhere from 6pm to 9pm, letting go, checking out to some wondrous peaceful valley, and really not giving a rat's ass whether I sleep all night or not.....