A reader writes:
I am a stay at home Mom of a toddler, active in my synagogue and preschool. I also have suffered from secondary insomnia almost my entire life. Two or three nights a week I fall asleep, only to wake up 3 or 4 hours late. I am then unable to return to sleep for the rest of the night.
In my twenties, I had a cigar box full of marijuana that I left in a drawer by my bed. (I was never a recreational user, since smoking in the company of others made me feel paranoid.) If I woke up in the middle of the night, I would smoke a little, go back to sleep and wake up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed. But I stopped smoking when I met my now husband, since he didn't approve. Now my insomnia has gotten much worse since the birth of my child, with all the attendant middle of the night awakenings.
I have tried prescription sleep aids, they make it impossible to wake up if my daughter cries. The over-the-counter ones work, but they leave me drugged and hungover the next morning. Sedatives work, but it bothers me that they can be physically addictive.
Some bleary eyed mornings I find myself reminiscing about that cigar box I had by my bed so many years ago. I know if I had a prescription for the drug, my husband would not dissapprove. I look around the playground at the other mommies and wonder which one might have a connection.