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Motorcycles, Barking Dogs, and Sleep Deprivation

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following message is a follow-up to Injury and Other Problems.

I have been very exhausted all week (week of 4/4/10) as once again I am getting woken up by motorcycles roaring up the hill outside my home. For years now, from March through November, every weekday it doesn't rain, I am woken up by at least one if not 2-3 motorcycles in the early morning. Other motorcycles roar through late into the evening, so I cannot go to bed early to make up for the loss of sleep in the morning, and periodically, they zoom through in the middle of the night. I cannot even take a nap in the afternoon without being woken up by them.

During the winter months, instead of motorcycles, I am woken up early every morning it snows by the salt truck, beep, beep, beeping, as it backs down the dead end alley perpendicular to my home. Add to that dogs barking anytime of the night year round and other sounds that half the time I cannot even identify, and I almost never am able to sleep a whole night through without being woken up by something at least once if not several times.

Before anyone starts making suggestions, I am already wearing ear plugs, and I have tried various “white noise devices” all to no avail. Most recently, I have been wearing clip-on headphones over the earplugs with white noise playing, and even that doesn't' even come close to blocking out the the roar of the motorcycles, the high pitched yelp of one of the dogs, and some of the other sounds.

In addition to the noise  problem, I have various health problems that keep me from getting a good night’s sleep and which make it very difficult for me to get back to sleep when I get woken up by these noises. It all leaves me chronically sleep-deprived, which is a big part of the reason my health has deteriorated over the years. It completely collapsed last year, and it looks like the same could happen again this year.

Between my sleep deprivation and other health problems, I figure it is pointless and even dangerous to try to lift hard. I was already going very light for lower body work due to my adductor injury, but now I dropped all of my weights for all of my upper body workouts so I would just be going through the motions. And even with doing that, I have been exhausted after my workouts this week.

I am just about ready to give up even trying to stay in shape, But at least for now I am going to try to keep working out at a low intensity as if I don’t work out at all I am afraid I will get to the point where I won’t even be able to function on a day to day basis. Actually, I already almost to that point due to ongoing fatigue from the sleep deprivation and fibromyalgia. But in regards to exercise, if I don't work out I am afraid I will become unable to function due to fibromyalgia fatigue and stiffness from my stiff person syndrome.

However, my faltering health has already just about ended my writing career and ministry. I simply do not have the energy to use my computer hardly at all anymore.

After my powerlifting book was published almost a year ago, I started working on what was to be my next book (Volume II of the Second Edition of my Scripture Workbook). But given all of the problems of the past year, I’ve barely gotten any work done on it, and I doubt now that I will ever get it finished.

I’ve been publishing a Christian and a fitness newsletter for over seven years, but doing so is getting so difficult that I am considering canceling both newsletters, while my Christian and my fitness Web sites that I’ve had for many years are turning into cobweb sites as I don’t have the energy to update them. I cannot even keep up with answering email, which has always been a big part of my ministry and business. Just typing up this short message took a couple of days and left me exhausted.

With the LORD’s help, I’ve managed for many years to keep up with my powerlifting and my various writing projects despite all of the problems I have to deal with. But I feel like everything has been falling apart over the last several months and especially the last few weeks since the motorcycles started up again. To say this is all frustrating is a great understatement. Only my faith in the LORD is keeping me going at all, and that is faltering as well.

Prayers are appreciated.


In September of 2011, the one motorcycle that always woke me seemed to stop coming. So at least that one problem improved. But I'll find out this spring (2012) if it's gone for good. But other motorcycles still were coming on occasion, and there's still the barking dogs. Then at the beginning of 2012, my area got a new garbage/ recycling company. The old up used to come in the late morning, but this new one comes in the *early* morning, waking me up with all of the banging. Then if I do manage to fall back asleep, the second truck comes half an hour later to be sure I am awake. So now, on top of all of the other noise, I have a new problem making sure I am tired every Wednesday.

Motorcycles, Barking Dogs, and Sleep Deprivation. Copyright 2010, 2012 by Gary F. Zeolla.

For an update to the above message, see April 2011 Health and Training Update.

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