I am a lifelong insomniac. I have always had trouble sleeping. (Not counting the three years of high school I had swim practice at 5 am and then was overcommitted after school as well and then collapsed out of pure exhaustion by nine.) When I was little, thanks to an overactive imagination, I would make up stories in my head. Somehow, that helped lull me to sleep. These days, however, I have more and more trouble getting my brain to calm down long enough to drift off. Thanks anxiety and depression. Smooches.
But I’m not here to talk about me.
I think insomnia must be genetic. It is impossible to get Lorelei to sleep sometimes. I’ve done everything “right.” I don’t let her sleep too long during the day, she has a set bedtime routine, we swaddle her and she has her demon bear to comfort her. Sometimes bedtime is an hour long saga of fussing and screaming while nothing is actually wrong. And if we are lucky enough to get her to sleep at a reasonable time and with little trouble, she still wakes up. A lot.
What does she want? Her binky.
Or the demon bear has turned off and (gasp) it’s THE END OF THE WORLD!
Luckily (knock on wood), all she needs is for those things to be fixed and she goes right back to sleep. I’m not complaining – do you hear me universe? don’t start fucking with me now – it’s just that I really want her to sleep through the night. For the purely selfish reason that I don’t want to be so exhausted during the day that nothing ever gets done. So, I’m sending this question out into the void that is the internet: what should I do? That whole cry it out thing doesn’t really appeal to me. And my book (ha ha) suggests giving her a few minutes to try to calm herself before going to her, but since what she really wants is her binky and she can’t get it while she’s swaddled, leaving her alone just makes her more angry.
Or perhaps I should get used to this insomniac thing. After all, I’ve been one my whole life.