Ferberizing Myself


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I’m a bad sleeper. Notoriously. Record-breaking. I was born a bad sleeper. Ask my mom.

I didn’t go to sleep.

I didn’t stay asleep.

When I was a teenager, I didn’t go to sleep and I didn’t get up.

Now, I have such anxiety around going to sleep that you can’t knock me out with the strongest sleep meds available. I can ride out a dose of Ambien CR like it’s a baby aspirin. My brain views it as a challenge. “See if you can make me. I dare ya.”

Enter the only solution left, short of a nightly elephant tranq dart (which my husband is about ready to volunteer to administer): Sleep Training - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Insomnia (a.k.a., Ferberizing for grown-ups).

Fortunately, Kaiser offers an online version of the program, so I don’t have to drag myself to a weekly class.

I’ve just finished Week One, which consisted of an educational piece and the start of my sleep journal. To say my sleep patterns are a little fucked up would be like saying Dolly Parton’s a little busty. I average a normal number of hours of sleep in a 24 hr period, but it often takes me upwards of 7 hours to fall asleep. Yes, seven. Hours.

In Week Two, I have to go to bed at the same time each night and get out of bed and the same time each morning, whether I’ve slept or not. WHETHER I’VE SLEPT OR NOT. Let me repeat myself. WHETHER I’VE SLEPT OR NOT. When it takes you 7 hours to fall asleep, there’s a strong possibility the alarm to get up is going to go off before you’ve fallen asleep.

Wish my family luck.

I don’t get to take naps this week, either, unless they’re under 45 minutes. That’s not a nap. That’s a blink.