I Am Insomnia

June 7, 2008

People who know me more intimately (such as knowing that I am not a person of few words) are bound to know that I suffer from insomnia.

The summer nights are not assisting me in catching the elusive feature some like to call sleep. The nights never darken and as soon as the obscurity of a normal evening has been reached the light starts to grown stronger again. This is of course amaxing and a feature which I adore and greatly will miss the day that I move abroad, but for the time being it makes sleeping harder for me.

My main problem is that I do not know how to sleep. This may seem like an odd problem, even I think that it indeed is odd, but what to do about it? I can lay down, tired after a long day and not catching enough sleep the night before, and nothing happens. I can lie down, exhausted, for hours without falling asleep. I like to describe it as if my body simply does not know how to sleep.

Most usually I try to come around this problem by drinking hot milk – it is an old method, but as of late it has not aided me much when falling asleep. The first few times I had it it worked like a charm. Now, weeks later, it does not help at all. I had finally found something which worked and now it does not work any more. Could anyone have guessed that one can grow immune to the tiring effects of hot milk?

These last few days I have been having a cup of evening tea, in which lavender is one of the ingredients. It was better than ordinary tea, no doubt, but still it did not aid me much in falling asleep.

That the last 2 weeks have been hot, hotter than usual summer days, has also meant that the temperature of my poorly-insulated post-attic room is well above 30 degrees Celsius. This has not made falling asleep any easier, especially not as I am required to have a steaming cup of hot milk or tea before having any chance of falling asleep.

Of course I could open a window to make the temperatures drop, but I am not living in a city, I am next to a meadow. Idyllic as it is, it also means that there is a wide biological world outside, separated from me by the thin sheet of glass which I occasionally removed. I slept with it open twice – both times last year.

The first time I slept with my window open I was awoken in the middle of the night by something moving across my face. Frightened, as anyone would have been, I wiped the something up in my sleep. I woke up when I realised that the item between my fingers was a beetle, and not even a small one. It resembled a flour beetle and smelled like one too – only worse. Scared, annoyed, irritated, I sat up in bed to go to the bathroom to wash the smell off my fingers, but as I lifted my covers, I found more beetles in my bed.

The second time I opened my window before going asleep I woke up to find a gigantonormously large spider perched on the wall right next to my bed. For someone who is terrified of spiders – like myself – this event almost lead to cardiac arytmia.

Because of the danger of waking up with creepy crawlies I do not open my window anymore.

People say that one should try and go to bed at the same time every day and sleep better that way. The problem is that I do. I go to bed every day at 2AM – which I realise is not the best time of day to go to sleep, but my inner clock works in mysterious ways. Still, this does not help me. Instead, as I cannot fall asleep, my inner clock has grown increasingly more late. Nowadays I try to sleep around 2AM (as usual) but not falling asleep until around 4AM.

Last night was like all other nights, with the exception of I me being dead tired having been through so many exciting events in one day. I sat down in bed, with a cup of steaming hot tea, the room steaming around me – just as usual. In order to rewind I read (another good thing to do if one is having trouble sleeping). I passed some 5 chapters in my newly-purchased Pride and Prejudice, but without feeling any tired whatsoever. So, I read some additional 5 chapters – no more as I do not wish for it to end too soon.

I guess I drifted off to sleep around 4:30AM, only to wake up around 6AM, fall asleep soon afterwards, only to wake up at 8:30AM. Since then I have been awake. Without you judging me, I can say that I most usually wake up around 1PM, so for the time being I am so tired.

The worst thing of all is…? I hear you saying. I will tell you. The worst thing of all this is that when I go to bed tonight, having been awake for too long in order to be not-tired, I am not going to be able to fall asleep.

I guess some simply are cursed by life, doomed to watch the hands of time rotate around themselves. At least the early hours of every newborn day offers time for contemplation – but having spent weeks in total over the past year contemplating as dawn breaks, I am running out of ideas to contemplate upon.

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2 Responses to “I Am Insomnia”

  1. cedarstreetwriter Says:

    I sometimes believe that this is genetic; one of my parents “never slept” and I have a daughter that like me survives on about 3 or 4 hours a day. I am understanding of your not being able to sleep. I force myself into bed about 3am and I am up by 7am; going at top speed all day and I have tried everything just as you have… just call me sleepless in Wisconsin.

    Enjoyed your entry, will check back soon.

    Annie O.

  2. blavinge Says:

    Annie,

    I am confident in that you are correct in your claim that insomnia is genetic. Though none of my parents suffer from the condition (it is rather the opposite – they can fall asleep anywhere at any time) my paternal grandmother does. I resemble her in more ways that this, validating my claim. As far as I know she has been pharmaceutically treated for her insomnia since she was my age. This is a very serious way of dealing with the problem – one which I am not ready to take. This far it has only been an annoying part of my every day, but not to the extent that I can not live with it.

    Thank you for your comment, it was much appreciated. It is always nice to realise that one’s experience is shared by others – something one not always do realise in the midst of non-starlit nights.

    Josephine


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