Monday, December 24, 2012

What is Sleep?

I’ve dealt with insomnia for as long as I can remember. It comes in cycles and I have to say I’m actually used to it. I usually don’t get more than 3 hours of sleep a night when a cycle of insomnia hits. I lay down for the recommended 8 hours but for the 5 that I’m not asleep, my thoughts are racing in anticipation of the day’s events. I’d also rather sleep during the day than the night. Something about sleeping at night doesn’t feel right to me and I’ve never known why.

The only time insomnia is a problem is when I don’t have any “day’s events” to anticipate. So recently, having not steadily worked in a few weeks, I’ve been AWAKE. I’ve not slept for more than 30 minutes at a time since Friday, December 14th. I lay down, read two sentences from a book, cry, get up, eat, write, cry some more, listen to sounds of nature outside my window, stare at the wall, fall asleep for approximately 4 minutes, cry again, eat again then lay in bed like a mummy until sunrise when my child promptly requests breakfast.

I know that it will be over soon and manageable when I’m working again or have some other activity awaiting me so I don’t want to bother my doctor. I’ve never taken anything for insomnia before and I don’t want to start now. I don’t particularly fancy medications but I understand they’re sometimes necessary. I’m also prideful in this regard. I think most things can be accomplished by being strong-willed, although I’ve not been able to prove this yet.

It’ll be another two weeks before I return to work and I’m not sure if I can last that long without some sort of slightly psychotic episode. I shall now make a list of house chores I need to complete but that list won’t be long because I don’t move around enough to create any new work to be done, tragic, yes? I’d mentioned that I’m an exceptional bibliophile so you’d think that I would be reading in my sleepless state but sadly, no. I don’t seem to have focus or energy to sit up and read. Its like my body sleeps but my mind doesn’t. This is parlous torture, dramatically put. I’m sure I’ll spend a good portion of the day researching melatonin, valerian root and other sleep aids. I’d prefer something natural.

Do you suffer from chronic insomnia? Has anything helped you?


Nails Beautiqued said...

I never had insomnia until my job let me go. And now that I don't have a m-f, 9-5 job anymore I now experience insomnia and also the hubby snores that doesn't help either. That's funny if I try to read since I can't sleep it's hard to focus. Weird. Lol! :)

Chadras S Coples said...

Yes, melatonin doesn't work for me, but that's because I wouldn't let it. The more I anticipate falling to sleep; the longer I stay up & start to get anxiety. Idk. While you researching that, I'm trying to see what's up with some serotonin to get rid of this "Wellbutrin" for my "Classic ADD" ~_~

Jannalou said...

It's probably more like a body clock thing. If you saw a sleep specialist you would probably find out.

allison said...

There's definitely a connection between ADHD and insomnia...I don't have insomnia per se, because once I fall asleep I'll sleep for at *least* 8 hours (often more, thanks to depression. Yay!), but it's next to impossible for me to fall asleep without some sort of aid.

Since you don't often take medication, you might have luck with just about anything. Melatonin and valerian root both worked for me, though I stopped using valerian because it made me feel like my heart was racing (apparently some people have this side effect. I don't know why.).
As someone else mentioned, it's possible to sort of push your way through melatonin. I'll usually get sleepy within 30-45 minutes after taking it, and there's probably an hour's window of kind of fogginess where I can fall asleep...but if I stay up doing stuff, it'll eventually wear off. Also, if I'm super-anxious, it sometimes doesn't work.

The lack of a regular schedule definitely doesn't help. I work from home with no set hours, and I've been falling asleep anywhere between 4 and 8am, and getting up between noon and 3pm for what seems like forever now. Ugh.

(I actually found your blog at 3am, while reading Tumblr posts about insomnia...go figure.)

I hope you find something that works for you.