Most people hit the sleep wall -- when they can fall asleep but can't stay asleep -- at some point in middle age. So, what's keeping midlifers awake? Here's what a typical night's "rest" might look like in a boomer brain:
1. What's this ache and is it fatal? Nobody gets headaches like this unless it's a brain tumor, right? Going on WebMd to check it out right now.
2. Why isn't the top sheet tucked in at my feet? It's letting in a frigid air stream.
3. This isn't my pillow. My husband switched pillows again. What's wrong with him? I want my pillow back. Pillow-theft is a punishable offense. I'd yank it out from under his sleeping head but now he's made it all hot. I like my pillows cold and my toes warm. What's so hard to understand about that?
4. I can't believe I'm older than the President.
5. I know at least four people who have either died or are being treated for cancer. Is that more than average? Do I live in a cancer cluster?
6. It's 1:30 a.m. and my 25-year-old son who lives at home isn't home yet. Should I start calling hospitals or just assume his date went well?
7. Will I ever be able to afford to retire? And I don't mean retire to Iowa.
8. Damn, I thought I was over hot flashes. Maybe I was the one who kicked the top sheet out from the tuck?
9. Would Iowa actually be that bad? How much do houses cost there? Let me go look on Realtor.com.
10. Do three trips to the bathroom in one night mean my husband has an enlarged prostate? WebMd to the rescue, again.
11. How will we ever afford college for our teenagers? Let me play around with these school price calculators a little more. If I lost my job, I would have zero income ...
10. If my kids don't get their grades up, college is a moot point. OK, must stop this. Everyone goes to college, right?
11. It's 2 a.m. and the 25-year-old son still isn't home. Should I text him? He won't like it, but too bad for him: He should have called or texted us. He knows we worry. At least I worry: His father is sleeping soundly -- on my pillow.
12. I need to call Mom's doctor in the morning. She kept repeating herself on the phone to me today and it could be her new meds causing mental confusion. WebMd is inconclusive on this one. It also could mean early onset dementia. Not happy.
13. Who is WebMd actually? I mean, do they have real doctors explaining this stuff?
14. It's not just the President who is younger than me. All my doctors are younger too.
15. I wonder how old the WebMd doctors are, assuming they are real doctors.
16. Sigh. Will I ever be able to retire? Do I even really want to retire?
17. Iowa is very cold. OK, Iowa for retirement is like having a safety school when you apply to college. You don't really want to go there but take comfort in knowing you could.
18. My house is my retirement nest egg. Don't they say that's a bad thing?
19. How much is my house worth anyway? I'll go check on Zillow right now.
20. I really need to better understand Medigap policies. I'm too young for them, but information is power.
21. I really need to find a financial adviser. We're going to wind up in Iowa, aren't we?
22. The dog's snores are keeping me awake. Will I get another dog when this one crosses the Rainbow Bridge? Let me do the math in my head: Snoring dog is 8 years old and in six years I will be too old to start all over again with a puppy.
21. We have a wedding to go to in four weeks and a graduation in two weeks. When precisely should I color my hair?
22. Boy, our auto insurance premium sure went up. I should go online and see if I can get some cheaper quotes.
23. I wouldn't get a puppy ever again, even if I was younger. There are a million older dogs on Petfinder, which is where I just spent the last 20 minutes. Do people really drive to Texas to get a dog based on its photo?
24. My heart is palpitating. Am I having a heart attack?
25. I may just lock the garage and teach old sonny-boy a lesson. Seriously, why can't he call if he's not coming home?
26. Wow! Who knew all these insurance brokers would be online at 4 a.m.? Hope they don't start calling me.
27. Was that coffee at dinner really decaf? Note to self: Don't ever stiff a waiter if you think you'll be returning to that restaurant and might get him again. Uh-oh.
28. Oh shoot! I didn't pick up my white blouse at the cleaners and need to wear it Saturday. I'll go write a yellow post-it note and put it on the door so I don't forget it again. Am I forgetting a lot lately? Too much? Is early onset dementia hereditary?
29. Actually, I wanted to replace that blouse anyway. Let me see if Amazon Prime can get it here by the weekend.
30. Kid still not home. I'm sure he's laying dead in a ditch. I better wake my husband. Hubby probably has to use the bathroom again anyway.
31. Don't these insurance salesmen ever sleep? Every time one of them sends a quote, my phone pings. I check it because I hope it's the kiddo texting.
32. While I'm on Amazon, might as well order the kids' summer reading books. Why can't schools let them read what they want over the summer? Schools are so screwed up.
33. If the coffee was regular, it would explain the heart palpitations and the hot flashes. Thank you WebMd, how could I ever have doubted you?
34. I hear the garage door opening. The prodigal son is home! That or we're being burglarized.
35. And that? That was the alarm going off. Seriously?
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