The gift of insomnia

March 9, 2011

Me and sleep? We’ve got a difficult relationship.

I know people who can sleep long, hard and late. I envy them.

It started in my early 40s, when insomnia hit hard. I’d wake in the middle of the night counting down the hours until I had to go to work and obsess about being sleep deprived.
Toss. Turn. Obsess. Repeat.
For some reason, I couldn’t get back to sleep in my comfortable bed. I’d lounge on the sofa and if I was lucky, fall back to sleep there for a little while with my (now dearly departed) cat, Beeboo.

Insomnia’s stuck with me ever since.

I can get to sleep easily, usually around 9:30 p.m.
But most nights I just don’t stay there more than five or six hours.
Or, like last night: hardly at all.

In my 20s and 30s I’d fall asleep around 11 p.m. and start my day at 7 am., but in the years since I’ve become an early-to-bed, waaay-too-early-to-rise girl. Way too early.

Go to bed later, you suggest?
I still wake up the same time, with even less sleep.
Take sleeping meds to stay down longer? Lunesta and all the sleep drugs scare me.
As much as I like an occasional benzo or smoke,
I’m reticent about taking meds that are new to me.

Since I’m retired, you’d think power naps would be a solution.
Just an hour, midday. After all, what else do I have to do?

But no, I don’t often nap.
I can’t.
I don’t want to lose those mid-day hours when I could be…what?
Reading? Watching a movie? Shopping? Seeing friends? Even just hanging out feeling exhausted.
All of those things.

It’s almost like deep down, I think sleep’s a waste of time.

Oh, hell, no “almost” about it, it IS what I think.
I can’t wait to start the day.
Sometimes, when I’m programming the coffeemaker for morning,
I find myself wishing I could just skip the night and start my day then.
I’m like a kid:

Each new day is like a gift that I can’t wait to unwrap.

I’d just like to feel less sleep-deprived.

Any suggestions?

5 comments on “The gift of insomnia
  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Diva and Insomniacs,

    Sooner or later your lack of sleep will rear its ugly head in the form on some kind of illness… mental or physical or both.

    Insomnia is in part responsible for a host of diseases and lack of sleep accounts for 36 percent of all fatal accidents on our high ways!

    As a former news journalist and medical break through videographer/reporter I have done MANY stories on sleep deprivation and insomnia and the news is NOT good!

    “Wasting my time sleeping…”. I can not believe that anyone would think that sleep is a waste of time. Sleep is the time when your body heals, your mind rests, you dream, you refresh and re-charge your batteries so that you can go out and do all the things that you THINK you will miss by taking a nap. Now you get to do all the fun things you do not want to miss when you are napping and you are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation leads to you being exhausted and more irritable and less likely to enjoy yourself than if you had rested or slept an entire night. You may be jacking up your energy by eating more sugar and drinking more caffeine (and both of those solutions just lead to more medical problems down the line). Are you having trouble losing weight? This is medically proven (this should scare some of you into getting help) people who sleep less than 7-8 hours of night are generally more fat than those who get a regular 8 hours of sleep!

    I can not say enough about how important sleep is. I have done story after story about it. There are several things you can do the first one is…get a complete medical health examine right away. You need to make sure your lack of sleep is not a medical condition such as sleep apnea or worse. Insomnia is actually part of the Fibromyalgia spectrum and chronic pain suffers have it as well. If you are menopausal you WILL have some insomnia related to this period in your life. There are many holistic approaches to soothing you to sleep as well. Holistic alternative such as a warm bath, aroma therapy, massage,meditation, yoga and a drop or two of melatonin are all healthy ways to help you get back to sleep! Exercising in the afternoons or after work (closer to bed time) is one way to get sleepy. Turn off the television when you sleep. Get off the computer at least several hours before going to bed. Keep your room cool dark and quiet. You may want to listen to a guided mediation CD that has music geared for sleep. These guided cds are at your book store and they generally work with the Alha, Beta and Gamma brain waves that are used in sleep. Be careful not to eat a lot of food late at night, spicy stuff, sugars, caffeinated items such as chocolates can keep you from resting well.

    These are just some of the suggestions that I can give you! I could literally talk about this for a half an hour hope it helps!

    NAMASTE Sleep tight!

  2. Ann Hite says:

    Two weeks out of every month I go through what you describe. I wake up at three in the morning as if this is a normal time to rise and shine. I wish I had an answer. Like you, I refuse to sleep during the day. I have too much going on to waste it on rest ;). Let me know if you figure out a solution.

  3. Matt says:

    Awesome blog!!!
    My top insomnia tip is to get all your worrying over with before you go to bed.
    If you lay in bed thinking about tomorrow, set aside some time after dinner to review the day and to make plans for the next day.
    If you do this while trying to fall asleep, it can be super-difficult to get to sleep.
    Hope this helps some of your readers.

  4. Srivari says:

    Thanks for sharing your valuable information to us, its very useful to me, Keep on doing it, waiting for next update form you!!!

  5. srivari says:

    very informative

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