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Insomnia...

1. New mattress straight from the factory? Check.

2. New memory foam topper by Sealy from Target, only slightly less straight from the factory? Check.

3. Considerably more comfortable bed? Check.

4. Insomnia? Check.

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One of the most frustrating things about chronic insomnia is dealing with very well meaning people who assure you that yes, you can get a good night's sleep if you just make a few simple lifestyle changes: getting a new mattress, taking everything out of your bedroom except for your bed and perhaps a picture or two, changing your diet, exercising in the morning and not at night, exercising at night and not in the morning, eating a heavy meal at night, eating a light meal at night, not watching TV after 9 pm, and so on, and when all else fails, visiting a sleep clinic.

What most of these well meaning people forget is that I've already done all of the above, frequently more than once, and it hasn't worked.

Insomnia can be divided into a couple of general groups -- temporary, adult onset and chronic insomnia. Temporary and adult onset insomnia sometimes can be cured or alleviated by the above methods.

Chronic insomnia usually cannot, particularly when, like mine, it stems from multiple causes.
My first attack of insomnia happened when I was 10 months old, and continues now, stemming from a multitude of causes including restless legs syndrome. And I have found nothing that completely alleviates it for more than one night.

That said, I have found some things that can improve the quality of my sleep once I finally reach that state -- the protein snack right before I head to bed has sometimes helped, at least with the morning disorientation; trying to make sure that I have at least good laugh in the evening has helped as well. And for the sake of most of my sleeping partners (excluding the cats, who were well able to find comfy corners on the old mattress for napping purposes) and for the sake of my own comfort I don't regret getting the new mattress (and especially that memory foam topper), but it's not a cure for insomnia.

Mattresses, box springs and tuna -- oh my!

Like many households, we have established a routine here for when visitors arrive: I open the door and say the necessary words; the Little One headbutts visitors and then attempts to sit on them, regardless of their desires to be used as cat furniture, and the Grey One immediately flees to the box springs beneath the mattress and then spends quality time considering whether or not she should come out and greet these visitors or not. This process worked well from nearly everyone's point of view last night, for instance, if you ignored the almost constant headbutting, which, let me tell you, when you're still feeling dizzy, is not precisely the response you need from a cat, and if, like K, you were willing to overlook the Little One's intense interest in his cheese dip.

But this routine, I must note, completely fails for the process of delivering a new mattress and box spring set, a process that requires removing the old box spring set, regardless of whether or not a cat is within the old box spring set. All started well: I opened the door, signed the papers, the men removed the old mattress, then walked in to pick up the box spring, lifting it up to reveal an underside bulging in a strange and terrifying manner. It took me a second or two to figure out why my bed was wiggling in terror and another second to recall my extremely ungrammatical Spanish of "HAY GATO DENTRO DE CAMA!"

(As I've frequently noted before, entiendo mas que hablo. Mucho.)

Luckily this was just enough to warn the delivery guys. They put the box springs back down, then lifted the box springs upright, causing more terrified wiggling, and I put on my best calming cat voice, which isn't much, and tried to convince the Grey One that really, she would be better off coming outside of the box springs instead of getting taken away in the box springs. This went nowhere, so we ripped off the bottom cloth of the box springs to reveal a quivering grey creature with her claws throughly stuck into the sides of the box springs. I reached down to remove her and received an unfriendly bite for my efforts. She howled. In a further effort to not help the Little One chose this moment to headbutt one of the delivery guys.

After my second attempt to pick her up she tried to jump and wiggle out, only to find herself stuck, which required some careful paw removal. Contrary to certain opinions I was not removing her paw from box springs solely to torture her. Once freed she fled as fast as she could, the old box springs were removed, the new box springs and mattress setup.

Tuna has been carefully administered all around, but I suspect it may be a little while before the Grey One agrees to talk to me again.

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