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Sleep & Sober Awareness

The week before COVID hit the U.S. and the cancellation of events started pouring in, I had made a decision to stop drinking wine in hopes of improving my sleep.

I've suffered from insomnia for quite a few years. I rarely have trouble getting to sleep each night, but 3am would find me awake and unable to get back to sleep. This "joy" of perimenopause appears to have joined forces with my general tendency to ruminate in the middle of the night about inane things like what color to paint the basement workroom walls.

Many of the articles I read suggested caffeine and alcohol could be the cause of my sleep disruption, so I begrudingly switched to my morning coffee to a 50/50 blend of regular and decaf coffee and limited my caffeine consumption to before 10am. When that didn't make an impact, I decided to try taking a hiatus from my daily glass (or 3) of wine. Lo, and behold, I started sleeping through the night regularly for the first time in I can't remember how long, probably since before my twins were born, and they'll be 14 in May.

And then COVID hit the U.S. Fine time to give up wine.

So, feeling the stress and anxiety creeping in, I started adding wine back in to my evening "relaxation" routine. And my sleep went right out the window. Back off wine, back to sleeping through the night. Damn it! It is the wine. {sigh}

I miss my wine. But I really love being able to sleep. And here's the thing I realized today: Maybe going off wine and reducing my caffeine and alcohol intake altogether is timely. Much as I would prefer to dull the worries I have about the devastating effects of our current events, sober awareness is exactly what we need right now. What I'm thinking about, most of all, is how this pandemic is impacting the most vulnerable members of our society - as if the gulf between the Haves and the Have Not's weren't already wide enough. My heart is aching for the artists and musicians and restaurant workers and many others who no longer have a viable income, for the kids who relied on breakfast & lunch no longer having meals, for the homeless population who don't have the luxury of "staying home" and "social distancing," and for the elderly and immuno-compromised among us who are at greater risk if they contract this virus. Me not getting to have wine is hardly a sacrifice.

And if I'm going to be sensitive to the needs of those who are most affected by this pandemic, then I need to be well rested and "mostly" sober. (Turns out having an occasional gin & tonic doesn't seem to adversely impact my sleep - Hurray!)

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