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August 10
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BuffyW's Links

OCTOBER 13, 2009 11:06AM

Sleep Eating-- When I Wear My Best Pajamas!

Rate: 35 Flag

I know, what the heck is she talking about now?  It seems as though several times in the past few weeks I wake up in the morning only to find my night table covered with empty food wrappers. I find bits of chocolate melted on my duvet cover, Tootsie Roll Pops which have been devoured, right down to their puny little white sticks.  That pisses me off.  I love to suck on my Tootsie Pops, savoring the sweet layers of sugar until finally my tongue detects that rough little ball of chocolate nougat in the center. Y-U-M-M!!  But no-o-o-o, apparently when I am sleep eating I crunch through everything, like a power eater trying to break some kind of food Olympic record.


sleep eating 


It only seems to happen when I have had an especially emotional day, and two days ago was a whopper for me.  I attended a family gathering to celebrate my late husband’s (why do they say “late husband” when he is not late, he is missing, gone, never coming back?) life.  It was the same morning my throat was sore from yackety-yakking-- seemingly non-stop, single throatedly trying to fill up a void left by Lance’s running baseball commentary, or his funny jokes in fact all of the amusing sounds he could fill a room up with just by being present.


His family, aunts, uncles, cousins, brother, mother and friends all got together to share stories, comfort and eat.  I didn’t get to eat much, even though it was a lovely catered affair.  I don’t do well at buffets.  Lance hated them, which could be part of why I don’t do well with them.  I can never decide what to get...so usually end up with a few carrot sticks, some jicama, hummus, a spinache dip and a finger sandwich of some sort.  Healthy, but hardly filling, especially under such circumstances.  I drank water when I could easily have knocked back a few vodkas...but besides his brother and mother, all eyes were on me.  So, I picked judiciously, avoiding sweets and heading only for the savories.


I knew I was in trouble when I gave my car to the valet park at the condo complex...walked across the street, across a puzzle of squared off cement hiding places for Koi...a clever disguise for a meandering stream, but frightfully dangerous when you are not looking down at the checkerboard pattern.  Frankly it is a wonder anyone over the age of 80 even made it inside without needing a change of clothing or worse.  I was happy to be in my suede flats, ever so practical for a change.


Once inside I felt the swivel of 50 necks in my direction.  Gulp.  Then the onslaught of, “How ARE you?  We are so sorry...” and my eyes welled up and the water scaled over the carefully waterproof mascara’d eyelid dams and spilled down my face.  Someone handed me the box of Kleenex from the table.  So much for the brave front.  All bets were off.


Several hours later, as I drove home, the entire afternoon replayed in my head.  I got home around six-thirty.  Cesar had come up to feed the dogs, and hopefully prepare some hot nourishment for me.  Uh, no.  


“Do we have any soup Cesar?”  I asked, while looking around the pristine kitchen.  Cesar is the cook we hired six years ago so I didn’t have to do the after dinner dishes...which I dodn’t, but ...well, suffice it to say he doesn’t seem to remember what his whole job is; cooking is definitely a part.  


“Some frozen split pea in the freezer.”  He smiled, arms crossed.


Oh.  “Any chicken soup?”  I asked, hoping for a sore throat soothing.


He smiled, leaning on my table he said proudly, “Four cans of it in the pantry.”  


He watched me open a can, plop it in a big old mug and nuke it until it steamed.  “You can go home now.”  I took a drink, eager to go to bed and look through a photo album given to me of my husband at the past three years baseball games.  A snuggle in on a cool night with a mug of soup and my sweety.


I suppose the emotional void I felt that night could only be achieved by eating something more, that is when my sleep eating took over.  I may get that fat suit yet folks....but I am going to buy better food for my bedroom cabinet, just in case.


*I should tell you it has happened only twice since my husband died, both times while on the sleeping pill in the news...I feel fortunate I am not driving to Mickey D’s!!  No refilling this prescription!    





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Off to work with a donut and coffee....
I insist on being wide awake when I shovel food into my mouth. I enjoy it too much! (Congrats on the Dodgers--my Phils will see you in two days.)
I was riveted after the description of you eating a tootsie pop. Sorry, my addled mind tends to drift these days.
It's not you. That heavily-advertised sleeping pill (oh what the heck - it's Ambien) is dangerous.

I wish for you that you never had a reason to write these posts, but I appreciate your honesty so much. If grieving can possibly be done in a beautiful way, you've succeeded.
More pearls. I can't use sleeping as an excuse. Stock yourself a minibar in the bedroom, and throw away the Ambien.
See's Nuts and Chews will fill a lot of gaps, trust me, I know.
Sleep eating the ultimate in multi tasking.
I'm coining a new word: somnalimentation. I'll let you know if it goes viral.
I discovered this too. Only I was blithely getting up and pouring myself a glass of wine! Shoot, for that, I could've skipped the pill and gone straight to the bottle.
I used to have an ex who would do this almost every night.
I remember one time I found him asleep in the living room and later on discovered the "remains" of a popsicle tucked into the side of the chair. Fortunately it was leather and I was able to clean it up.
I sleep hooked up to an IV filled with pulverized Hostess Cupcakes. You shoud try it, Sheila. No chewing.
What a fun read and the colorful cartoon!
You just want to keep looking at the sketch.
Wear a Welch Grandfathers shirt. It a nighty.
Th striped cotton shirt buttons up to the neck.
The 'skirt' lower-half comes down to the knees.
It's very comfortable, and Ya no need any undies.
I even were the Grandfather shirt to all weddings.
When my daughter wed. She tossed me a bouquet.
I was flabbergasted. She tossed it just before vows.
You can be sure that I have my yes bulged wide open.
Oh, no flower girls. My Granddaughter dropped petals.
My daughter turned around and smiled:` Catch Father!
Happy Father Day!
She made me tear.
BuffyW. I loved it.
This read is cheer.
Giggles heal griefs.
You need sleep? Skip the pills. Read my blog at bedtime ... and no more pills for you, Missy! ;-D
I feel so honoured to be able to visualise Cesar smiling in your kitchen and have lost count how many times his omissions as decribed by your wonderful words have made me laugh.

You know my answer to insomnia, but it's not an admirable or sensible one. Maybe you better pin those canines down, one over each arm to stop you moving.

It's a hard road you're travelling but writing about it hopefully helps. May you have less stressful days and more peaceful nights ahead. Love You.
After reading this, the sun broke through the Connecticut clouds! Thank you. Fondly....
It's a good thing the dogs didn't get to your leftovers.....
Sheila- Your "family" gathering sounds both healing and emotionally exhausting and I'm so happy that you have yet another book of treasured memories of your Sweetie

I'll echo others in hoping you cease the Ambien. Knowing you sleep in close proximity to bodies of water concerns me, just in case you might wander as well as munch.

On a lighter note. My late hub's dog was a chocolate fanatic...as in one could not place anything chocolate on a napkin, eat the entire thing and walk away, without her completely decimating said napkin because it SMELLED like chocolate. She found her way into my Easter Bunny stash once, and every box was ripped to shreds and the contents entirely devoured in minutes. You might wanna' be checkin'-out your pups' breath for whiffs of cocoa... I'm just sayin'...

Buffy...as soon as I read your first paragraph, I thought, "This sounds like Ambien eating!" Oh the Ambien stories I could tell (and have!). My husband took a picture of me once while I was on Ambien...sound asleep with a handful of Cheez-its and Cheez-its falling out of my mouth. Embarrassing! You continue to be a true inspiration!
Oh Sheila, I so identify. I still get the "how ARE you's" almost eight years later. And they still stop me in my tracks. You're doing great girl. But eat.
I've fallen asleep while eating, but that's different from what you are doing.

Nothing like a bowl of chicken soup to soothe the soul. But I'd swear off the Ambien. Good to hear from you.
Can't see you sleepeating your way to Micky Ds. Nuh-uh. That's one image I couldn't possibly get my mind around.

Spagos. Now THAT would make sense.

Rated for your usual fine dinner conversation
I am so glad you are here with us and not alone during all this. When my son died I called friends and told them what had happened and asked them to stay away. Just couldn't cope with talking. You are a strong woman and I am sure Lance would be, is, proud of how you are handling life. You are a woman to look up to!
Oh yeah and when I get home I will pm you the name of the sleeping pill I use. No side effects once or twice a week sometimes for horrible insomnia. It does a good job of no morning hangover like some sleeping aides.
Sleep is wonderful, choking on some food is not. Be careful, dear girl!
I don't eat while I sleep. But I have, on occasion, passed out into a bowl of spaghetti.
You make me laugh, Sheila. Funny, true post as always.
You make me laugh, Sheila. Funny, true post as always.
Sleepeating is something I've never done, or ever hope to. Sleepwatching TV is another matter.

I'm rooting for the Dodgers to go all the way and win the World Series in Lance's honor this year.
Wishing you nights of sweet dreams...
I was going to ask if you were taking Ambien!? That pill is more dangerous than LSD, I swear!! What is your work these days?
I don't think you'll need the fat suit . . . no need to carry anymore weight than you have already. Here's to peaceful sleep!
Oh here's to some good rest and healing dreams!
Yikes! Be careful, and enjoy the coffee and donuts while you're awake.
Love Cesar. He sounds like a hoot!
Sounds like the inner Sheila is taking care of business or it's just the damned pills, whichever!
Slip Cesar one of those Ambiens—I've heard stories of people cleaning the house and baking cakes on that stuff. Maybe you'll get that bowl of homemade chicken soup after all!

Seriously though...Not only would I not renew it, I'd flush the remaining pills. Take care of you. (((Sheila)))
This is so real and very funny.
Well done.

I sleep eat too! I'm not on meds though. Seems it is a genetic thing. Nice to hear I'm not the only one.

Glad to see you're doing well.
First, "time" eases most pain. Second, there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in sweets--yours, tootsie rolls; mine, ice cream. In fact I take pride in eating my well selected ice cream very late (like 3 AM). It's only natural.

Very endearing, yet funny read.

PS, there is something about your cartoons; they always make me smile.
I did that when I was pregnant, musturd and chocolate! :)

Ambien is creepy!

Wow, Buffy. So interesting that you write about this. I too have had a sleep eating issue. I didn't think anyone in the world had it. Years ago, I watched a program, like 20/20, where they talked about it and I couldn't believe it.

But yes, you are right as far as the emotional aspect. Its taken me YEARS to make the correlation. I thought it was a blood sugar issue or something. I don't think it has much to do with your meds but maybe.

Years ago, I used to go to TOWN. I'd eat cold spaghetti, apple pie, lemonade, chunks of cheese, anything. I wouldn't remember if it weren't for the food on my face the next day. It was like the food barely made it into my mouth, like a baby.

Now, I have occasions but not as severe as years ago. Its "feeding the hole" I call it. The "hole" being anything empty inside - loneliness, pain, whatever. Now I realize a little more when I'm doing it - though it often feels like sleepwalking.

Anyway, rambling. Just trying to connect with you too. I know you're going through a lot. But I feel your spirit, living, breathing, amidst it all.

Oh if it's Ambient - a little bit of a different story. That's a powerful pill. There's some much milder stuff that could help you sleep and not do as much to your system. Gosh, melatonin still knocks me out and that's all natural. I have lots of good natural suggestions if you need some.