I’m an insomniac. No, I do not live above a screaming baby and it is near to silent when all my windows are open. My bed is comfortable, spacious, and has no snoring occupants. My place is the ideal setting for a solid eight hours. Yet, it’s 6:11am and I’m writing this post.
Our bodies were trained to sleep. If you don’t sleep long enough, you will die. So why is it so god damn hard to actually fall asleep?
If you’re like me, you’ve tried everything to catch some Z’s. Over the counter sleeping pills, sedatives, meditation, hypnosis. I’ve had doctors perform overnight sleeping tests and read pamphlet after pamphlet on ways to get a better nights sleep. Unfortunately, none of these things make a difference.
I’ve been an insomniac as long as I can remember. Other than “Who was watching Jerry Springer?” and “Who ate all the butter?”, “Go to bed!” was among the highest used scoldings I received from my parents growing up.
Here are the steps people with insomnia go through on a nightly basis:
1. Think about going to bed. Have anxiety attack.
2. Think about all the stuff you were going to do before you go to bed and didn’t.
3. Think of all the things you have to do tomorrow and how tired you’ll be if you can’t get to sleep.
4. Brush your teeth and wash your face in hopes that your body will get the message it’s time for bed.
5. Lay in bed and watch TV until you’re tired. Which never comes.
6. Start to get hungry/bored/need something to snack on while watching TV. Think you’ll just eat an apple before going to bed.
7. Develop a craving for sugar. Stress out for 30 minutes over if you’re going to actually eat it or not.
8. Give up and devour everything in your fridge.
9. Blame random things for your insomnia. It’s too hot and/or cold. If you had a different mattress, you’d sleep soundly. This is everyone’s fault but yours.
10. Take sleeping pills or drink an entire bottle of wine just to try to be drowsy.
11. Lay in silence with eyes closed. All you can focus on is that you need to fall asleep and wonder how long it’ll take. Your brain has never been this active.
12. Wonder what you’re going to dream about. Randomly are reminded of a previous nightmare and suddenly become extremely paranoid to experience that again, even in a “fake” reality.
13. Check your phone every 30 minutes to see how much time is left until you have to wake up.
14. Are pissed that everyone in the world is sleeping except you.
15. Try to quiet your mind with a nice book.
16. Instead, stay up till 6 am doing something completely unproductive.
17. The next day, blow off all your plans, get nothing done, and take a five hour nap. WHERE YOU SLEEP LIKE A BABY. (Having a newborn niece, I now see the irony in that saying.)
18. Enjoy the rest of the day until you realize… it’s time to go to sleep again.