6 things insomniacs hate hearing.

Unlike most people, having kids has actually made me sleep better.

Nothing puts an insomniac to sleep like crippling exhaustion, in fact it’s something I need to easily fall asleep most nights.

Most people who have sleeping problems can run on empty, in fact we’ve spent years learning how to function on hardly any kip. We also have a thing called resting bitch face.

An insomniac is a person who finds it hard to fall asleep, finds it hard to stay asleep and often wakes up and can’t get back to sleep, at least three nights a week every month.

Unfortunately this is me.

I can hand on heart tell you that I can not remember when I have ever slept for 8 hours in a row without waking up. Just look at my profile photo to the right, my eyes are hardly open!

Before falling pregnant I went through a horrific period where I’d be lucky to get four hours of continual sleep a night. It was tough and all the tricks in the world weren’t helping.

You kind of get used to it after a while and usually after two nights of barely sleeping you manage to get six hours in a row on the third night and that gets you through another couple of nights.

Rinse and repeat.

Right now my stupid bacterial sickness has returned due to a lowered immune system caused by a lack of sleep, too much work and stress. End of financial year will do that to a small business.

And what’s up with always getting sick once you’ve got through all the work? It’s like the body says “okay I let you get through that and now I’m going to shut down for awhile, so you can’t even enjoy not being so stressed because you’re now sick, suck on that.”

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Over the years I’ve heard it all; advice, astonishment and judgement, but these days I take it with a grain of salt and just smile warily with my lazy eye and nod.

Here’s a few things insomniacs hate hearing.

  • Gosh I don’t know how you do it, I get eight hours a night and don’t even wake up once and I’m still tired. (I want to punch this person).
  • Have you tried warm milk, yoga, meditation, writing things down, specialist help? (yes I have, most insomniacs have tried all sorts of weird shenans).
  • Really? Not even if you try going to bed earlier? Surely that would help? (I want to kick this person).
  • Yes I know how you feel, I had a shocking sleep last night. (I’ll see your one night and raise you 20+ years).
  • Gosh do you look tired. (No shit Sherlock, now bugger off).
  • It’s probably because you sleep with your smartphone beside your bed. (I had this problem before mobile phones were smart).

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Those in camp insomnia know what I’m talking about. For those who have no idea then I am extremely pleased for you. It’s not something I’d wish upon anyone.

It’s not all bad though, some nights I succeed in completely emptying my brain so it’s void of all thoughts, but it’s not an easy task.

And then there are days when I’ll sleep soundly; this is when shit gets done!

Are you a good sleeper?

Have you always been?

What’s you go-to strategy to get a good night’s sleep?

Comments

  1. I was getting worried that I don’t sleep as much as I should. Then I thought back to when I was a kid and would stay up until 3am reading under the doona with my torch. I realised I’ve been sleeping badly since I was at least 8. Probably since before then. Maybe I’m just like this? So, since this epiphany I’ve embraced my non-sleeping. I am reading books late at night until my eyes go blurry and I just pass out from exhaustion. So much free uninterrupted reading time I thought I didn’t have. I’m still bleary eyed in the morning – but no more than when I lie awake thinking things and tossing and turning and getting stressed about not being able to sleep.

  2. Michelle says:

    SO spot on! I sometimes fantasise about how amazing and successful I could be if only I could flippin sleep better!

  3. I have no trouble falling asleep but I wake up at about 2 and can’t go back to sleep. That’s annoying. The breathing thing, 5,7,8, really does send me off though. Have you tried it? I hope that’s not a bad thing to suggest. It did help me 🙂

  4. You poor thing. I vary. Usually don’t have much trouble getting to sleep (but that’s usually either from having done yoga – I know yawn – or more likely having a few tipples that send me off to la, la, land). But then whammo! I have gotten better at fully waking – writing, or reading, or going outside to stare at the moon and drying to get whatever useless (and sometimes useful) shit is in my brain out of it, trying to reset my nervous system. Then I can hopefully get back to sleep. But you sound like you’ve got it bad – my only suggestion is less things to do in your day may mean fewer things to mull over in your not-sleep! Hope the holidays are quieter for you. X

  5. Brierley Hope says:

    I have suffered from insomnia for a long time too. I also remember being awake reading until 3am and going to school in the morning.

    I suggest breaking your foot. since January when I fractured three metatarsal bones, I crash quite quickly! Slightly drastic but who knows, it may help!

    Another tip that has helped me out (pre-fracture obviously) is

    • Brierley Hope says:

      Going through your whole day in your head, from waking up to getting it if bed etc…. I am normally asleep by morning tea time Haha

  6. I don’t know how you function so well on so little sleep. I have no problem falling asleep but go through periods where I find it difficult to stay asleep.
    I’m off to bed. Sleep well. x

  7. Oh Em, I don’t have insomnia but I really struggle to get to sleep. (Maybe I do have insomnia) and with 3 kids that don’t sleep through the night, most days I’m like a walking zombie. I went to bed at 9 last night and was still awake at midnight. So frustrating. A very over active mind with too many ideas in it I think. xx

  8. I don’t have insomnia but am a very light sleeper. And our neighbour has a rooster that goes off randomly during the night, when the damn thing is supposed to be sleeping, so now I’m not too! I seem to be humming the tune of “I feel like chicken tonight…” a lot lately… Hope you get some more shuteye soon x

  9. From late February this year I went for NINE weeks and only twice during that entire time did I get to sleep before 2am. I did everything I could think of to try to sleep earlier and nothing worked. Even now I am probably awake until after 1am half the nights each week. I avoid nanna naps and even try to have early nights, but my mind struggles to settle.

    Even during the day, the moment I lie on my bed my mind gets busy. I often lie down if I’m needing to find some inspiration!

  10. Between a brain that performs gymnastics the second I turn the light off and my equally-insomniac children, my sleep is so fucked up I’ve kind of forgotten what it’s supposed to feel like.

  11. I have always loved my sleep and don’t do well without it. Yes I am one of those 8-10hrs sleep people. Well, I was. Now I do a crazy combination of day and night work. It screws with my sleep, it screws with my brain and now I survive mostly on 4-5hrs sleep a night except for those three lovely nights I am not at work at night when I’ll go to be earlier and then lay there trying to go to sleep because my body is used to the midnight and after bedtime and working during those earlier hours. Some weeks it is fine, others I turn into a witch.

  12. Di from Max The Unicorn says:

    I get into bed and literally have a thousand thoughts, and proceed to tell my husband all of them. He can go to sleep straight away (and hates is when I want to have a detailed conversation at 11pm). I can lay there for ages thinking/stressing about things. I can sleep after that, though so I don’t have any idea how bad it would be for you. But I know what you mean about switching your brain off though!

  13. I am naturally a good sleeper (don’t punch me) but having a child has f*cked me up haha. I am in no way suffering as much as you, but I have definite episodes of insomnia. I find that when I’m woken, my mummy/overworked brain kicks in and I get mad that I can’t go back to sleep for hours. I look forward to every second or third night when I know I will crash out with exhaustion and somewhat recover. If my husband snores or somehow wrecks that second or third night, he is lucky to see the light of day haha.
    I try exercise, but sometimes I just get MORE restless. I have learnt to embrace it. I have a journal called ‘why i can’t sleep’ (or something like that) from Officeworks and I fill it out when I’m really struggling. Feels good to vent in it.
    I think sometimes the biggest struggle is letting go of the concept of sleeping all night straight.

  14. I reckon I get my best sleep between midnight and 3pm and 5am and 6am. The rest of the time I’m just waiting it out. Sigh. Cheers to the insomniacs of the world – the sentries who guard against the night. x

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