Tuesday, September 15, 2009


oh how I miss thee. To everyone else I know, sleep is just something you do. You don't have to think about it, for the most part. Sure, people have their nights when they can't sleep, but for the most part, you wash your face, brush your teeth, and go to bed. Simple, isn't it?

Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, I have had insomnia problems since I was a kid. I remember being sent to bed at 8:00 and still being awake when my parents went to bed at 11:30 on more than one occasion as a child. I wish I knew why. Many people say that insomnia plagues those who are stressed, but I have no idea what could have distraught my nine year old self. Instead it has become a normal pattern for me throughout my life.

In high school when I was juggling early bird and honors classes, an after school job and a lot of homework I would usually get up at 6am and not turn my light out til 1 am. But lights out doesn't necessarily mean sleep for me. I could spend hours tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable or put my mind at rest. I remember looking over at the clock as the minutes ticked by, counting down the amount of time I would actually get to sleep that night.

1:30 am -- 4-1/2 hours of sleep

2:15 am -- 3-3/4 hours of sleep

2:30 am -- 3-1/2 hours of sleep

And so my sleep dwindled. Through high school I was able to manage though. I slept in on Saturdays and developed a need for coffee in the morning. College was a different story though. My schedule with work and school varied so much that sometimes I got to sleep in during the week! This messed up my sleep schedule even more and often I cannot even THINK of sleep until after 1:30.

My biggest frustration, is not with my lack of sleep, amazingly. Rather, it is with those around me. Because my chronic insomnia is not something that most people suffer from they have trouble grasping the idea. My parents are constantly giving me "pointers" on how I could sleep better. "Maybe if you walked in the evening" or "have you tried a glass of warm milk before bed?" And on and on. Yes, I've tried everything and, no none of it always works.

So here I am, at 5 in the am. Not able to sleep. Frustrated and wide, wide awake.


Mindy said...

I'm sorry! I've never had insomnia that badly, but I remember as a teenager being unable to fall asleep for ... well, for me it was a long time, but the point is, I'm sorry you have to go through that!!

jess said...

I'm sorry. :( Insomnia sucks. I don't struggle with it very often but when I do I think, "How do people who deal with this chronically manage?!"