I love sleep.  I am a good sleeper.  Well okay, I am not one of those people that can fall asleep anywhere or anytime.  In fact, in that regard, I’m probably considered a picky sleeper.  It has to be dark and it has to be quiet.   I don’t do night-lights.  I don’t do tick-tocking clocks.  I love those dark curtains in hotel rooms.  I love absolute silence.

I haven’t slept all that well the last few evenings.  This fact, coupled with having a very stuffy nose last night, urged me to take some cold medicine.  It was just some over-the-counter-stuff–you know, the kind that will make one pleasantly drowsy.  I should mention here that with both alcohol and drugs, a little goes a long way with me.  So typically when I take cold-medicine, I forgo the two capsule recommended dosage and just take one.  But last night was different.  I don’t know what brought on the devil-may-care attitude.  Maybe it was my comfy, fuzzy Kermit pants.  Maybe it was the noisy neighbors across the way.  Or perhaps it was just the lateness of the hour.  Whatever it was, it was sufficient enough for me to “go wild” and take the recommended two Alka-Seltzer nighttime cold capsules.

At first, nothing out of the ordinary happened.  I took my turn on a couple of Scrabble games on facebook, spread my quilt upon my bed, and contently settled in for the expected restful night of sleep.  And I did sleep.  For a little bit.  Then, my sleepy train curved around the bend and entered Freaky-ville.  I woke up instantly out of dream sensing that something was wrong.  My legs were upset.  “It must be my blanket,” I thought.  So I sat up and took off the quilt.  While I was sitting up, it occurred to me that the idea of upset legs was silly, so I returned my quilt and laid back down.  But my legs were still perturbed.  I’m not sure how else to describe it.  They wanted to do something–anything–as long as they didn’t have to just lie there.  But my head had other plans.  The top half of me was super drowsy.  But the bottom half?  My bottom half wanted to laugh and jump and pretend to be popcorn on a trampoline.  My legs wanted to be unscrewed from my kill-joy body so that they could do cartwheels in a field of sand, pebbles, or those squishy stress-balls.  My arms wanted to see how far they could stretch between wrist and shoulder.  Across the street?  Around the building?  Up to the sky?  I remember repeating the cycle of “my legs do not like this blanket,” remove blanket, “that was nonsensical,” return blanket, lie back down, “my legs do not like this blanket,”…and so on for a considerable amount of time.  I also remember trying to massage and stretch my legs (and my arms for the times they seemed fairly vexed).  I even got up and walked around.  But my top half was so tired.  Both sides resented each other.

I don’t recall when or how I was able to finally quiet my legs.  But I woke up around 11:00 this morning with my Kermit pants missing, the closet light on, and confusion of how the sun the could rise in the west.  I had an abundant supply of mucous (much more than before) and only a vague recollection of what happened over the course of night.  I went to my medicine cabinet and pulled out the Alka-Seltzer box, covered in warnings and directions to make sure I hadn’t taken too much.  I hadn’t.  “May cause excitability, especially in children” looked back at me.

When I hear the word “excitable,” I think of emotional excitability.  It seems like an innocuous (and subjective) symptom to have.  But physiological excitability is something else all together.  And it’s not nearly as enjoyable.

PS:  Alka-Seltzer, give me back my pants.


  • Ian says:

    It’s called Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome (or restless legs syndrome) and it was probably casued by the antihistamines in your cold medicine. I get it too, and it’s no fun.

    Good luck with the pants.

  • amandarountree says:

    Thanks, Ian. Gah–RLS is sucky thing. I’m glad I at least know what caused mine.

    Update: I found my pants! So, in a way, I feel like I beat Alka-Seltzer.

  • Nathan says:

    I;m very impressed you got all that from just two. I have to take atleast 100-150 mg of dextromorphen for a similar effect.