Monday, April 21, 2008
I have to say that besides my pornography/lust addiction, the absolute most frustrating/infuriating/asinine thing that I have ever had to deal with is my insomnia (I don't like that word, but it is the best word to describe the problem).

Let's take today for example. I woke up after eight hours of sleep, yet while I was with Cathy taping all morning I could hardly stay awake (and not because of Cathy). I took a two hour nap in the afternoon, which helped me get through working on stuff for Stephen, but by eight I was pretty tired. I stayed tired until ten, at which point my eyes perk up and I am wide awake. It is now 11:30 PM, and I know that I will be nice and perky until at least 2 AM.

This is actually a routine for me. I sleep eight hours at night (sometimes plus a nap), by late evening I am dog tired, but by midnight I am wide awake, sometimes wanting to go running (at midnight?). If I stay up, I will get around to being tired at two, but if I try to sleep at midnight and fail, I get up at two and am awake until four.

Question is, why am I so dog tired during the day and so awake at night? I have tried my best to go to bed at the same time every night (around 12:30), but it gets harder and harder.

I am so jealous of people that can just lay down and go to sleep. I, on the other hand, have the privilege of often laying in bed for two hours until I am so tired of hearing myself talk that I get up. And this isn't a new problem; I remember when I was in middle school laying in my bed (under the train table, if anyone remembers that) and crying through the night because I couldn't sleep (until dad came in and held me... somehow that made me go to sleep).

OK, this rant isn't coming out as well as I thought it would. It isn't expressing the utter frustration that I have with this. To lay there knowing that you are wasting precious hours of your life and yet you can't do anything about it... it angers me. I want to cry, I want to punch something, I want to scream, all so I CAN GO TO SLEEP! And of course I rile myself up, getting angrier and angrier, making it harder and harder to sleep. But what else can I do? I only have me to talk to, and I only incite myself!

How can a body that is SCREAMING for sleep refuse to go to sleep? How can I be more tired at 10 PM than at midnight? How can my eyes be so heavy yet my mind can't slow down enough to rest?

Half of me thinks I need to go to a sleep doctor (again). The other half thinks I need a psychiatrist.



Swing said...

I wonder if you forced yourself to stay up for 24 hours, so that you were so dog tired you couldn't take it anymore, if that would somehow help you fall asleep and then get back on track. that's probably a lame suggestion, but it's all I got :)

Helen said...

I'm kinda the same way. Not as bad, perhaps, or at least I don't get mad at it, but yeah. Try going to sleep at 10 when you're actually tired. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but if Matt and I go to bed early enough (which is seriously like 9 o'clock) sometimes I can actually go to sleep. And then when you wake up at 5:30 all ready for the day, you can email back and forth with me, unless I'm taking a nap.

Matt said...

I know what you mean, friend. it's even more frustrating for me because when I was in combat training, I would sit down and lean against me pack for 30 seconds and I'd be out like a light until sombody woke me up because we were moving again. When I was in MOS school, I'd do the same thing. Only 20 minutes for a nap? No problem, just pass out for 20 minutes and then wak up and move along.

But never again since then. So apparently, my body CAN sleep at the drop of a hat, but refuses to.

Here are 4 things that I've learned about sleeping:
1) Don't eat carbohydrates within 4 hours before going to bed. Eat protein.
2) Go to bed and get up at exactly the same time every day. Yes, even Sat and Sun
3) Think about something else. Tell yourself a story, think about Bible verses you remember, walk through a favorite place in your mind, but do something other than get pissed off that you're not sleeping.
4) Don't do anything in your bed that doesn't involve sleep. Don't read, study, watch TV, etc. This will train your brain that bed = sleep.

Also, sleep problems are legit. Yeah, if you had a bunion and went to the Dr, I'd never let you live it down, but sleep is one of those things that's VERY difficult to fix on your own, and it's even more difficult to live without. I'd definitely think about going to see a sleep specialist (not a shrink).

Helen said...

Oh, also, lay off the caffeine! When I was younger I would get more annoyed and wonder why in the world I wasn't sleeping, but it's cuz I drank like 3 sodas a day. Seriously though, try going without caffeine for an entire day. You'll sleep lots better. If you NEED caffeine (and by need, I mean severe headaches) then have a (by a I mean ONE) coke or cup of coffee in the morning, but absolutely no caffeine 10-12 hours before bedtime. Yes, it stays in your system for that long. Especially for me. Don't worry, you can buy caffeine-free coke with real sugar if you don't like diet stuff.

Anonymous said...

You know, this sounds to me like it could be a symptom of a food intolerance. Think about it - you can sleep through the morning after your body has fasted during the night, but after eating during the day your body has a hard time sleeping at midnight.

I have a friend who had insommnia like yours. It turned out that she has an intolerance to MSG. Once she cut the MSG out of her diet (and it was hard - MSG is in so many packaged foods, and has several names), she was able to sleep through the night like a regular person.

I would suggest that you try to cut out packaged foods for several days and see if it gets better. Intolerances have many symptoms and are usually misdiagnosed. Do some reading on it and see if you think that would help.