Tuesday 12 March 2013

The cure for insomnia is probably death

Sleep eludes me. I am the Susan Lucci of insomnia, except she finally won a Daytime Emmy after a bajillion years of being nominated. It feels like it's been a bajillion years since I had a decent night sleep and I have no hope of collecting my Slumber Emmy anytime soon, unless I suddenly fall into an unexplainable coma for a few days, which actually doesn't sound like a bad idea

Notice the death grip she has on her Emmy. Trust me, I know how she feels. If I could put sleep in a headlock to prevent it's escape, I would
I've never been a good sleeper. As a baby/toddler, I made sure my mother was a sleep-deprived zombie for about 3 years (sorry mom...but you'll be happy to know the universe has been paying me back for that ever since). As a kid and teen I had frequent nightmares and occasional bouts of sleep-walking. As an adult, my sleep semi-straightened out (meaning I probably got a somewhat decent night's Zzz maybe 3  times a week), but as soon as I got pregnant, sleep went on a permanent vacation. You know how people tell you to sleep before the baby comes, while you still can? I question if those people ever had an unborn baby who decided playing soccer with their uterus all night, every night was a fun game.

And once Speilberg was born? Forget it. Sleep became a distant, foggy memory. Mind you, this was not Speilberg's fault...his waking hours were screamy and difficult but thankfully he made up for it with long naps and sleeping through the night at 9 weeks. Unfortunately my brain decided between 0 and 2 hours sleep was the maximum I was allowed, so the memories of the first 3 years of my son's life are remembered through a hazy veil of massive sleep deprivation and partial insanity. I remember wondering if anyone has literally died from lack of sleep. Then I wondered if I could pay someone to whack me over the head with a 2-by-4, because a coma was starting to look like a heavenly idea.

By the time Speilberg was 3, I broke down and went to my doctor, mostly because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, which I wasn't sure was a result of not sleeping or the reason I was not sleeping. Turns out it was both....diagnosis: depression and insomnia, which go hand in hand and all these years later are still the bane of my existence.

I've tried every sleep-inducing method known to mankind...meditation, aromatherapy, relaxation techniques, bedtime routines, medicinal herbs, elixirs, teas...none of them work for me. I have prescription sleeping pills which work some of the time, but when my brain doesn't want to sleep (which is often), I might as well be taking sugar pills, for all the good they're doing.

I long ago reached the conclusion that it's possible to operate on little or no sleep. That my sleep debt rivals the fiscal debt of the US, and there's no hope in hell of ever catching up. And as I age, it's only going to get worse (I've calculated that  by the time I'm 70, I will no longer require any sleep whatsoever, which hopefully will be like Buddha reaching complete enlightenment, but will probably be more like permanent insanity).

I figure I'll sleep when I'm dead. Unless the afterlife consists of constant wakefulness. In which case I'm gonna be REALLY pissed


  1. That super sucks; I'm sorry. I'm sort of an insomniac... I think I'm just nocturnal, because I rarely have trouble napping (when I actually have a chance to). Benadryl helps me about 70% of the time. I'm terrified of sleeping pills. I'm sure I'd be one of those people who sleep-drove, or sleep-cheated on my huband, or sleep-murdered my kid because I was dreaming that he was a zombie.

  2. My sympathies to you; I fight insomnia most nights myself so I understand how it can be to exist on less sleep than one might like to get. I have though enjoyed my Sunday afternoon naps, that I never seem to have trouble with.


  3. Oh I really do sympathise with you on this one. I think that the last time I got a proper night's sleep, was probably the day I was born! Being an insomniac didn't bother me until Spawn was born and then I think I lost all feeling from the neck down, I was that tired. :) (written @ 2:22am)

  4. I read this post as I am sitting here next to night terror boy. he get's them frequently sleeps restlessly and so now I do too. Before he was born insomnia and I were buddies, miraculously that went away after he came along and added to the sleep deprivation. Now for the past 2 or 3 years he has been having night terrors pretty frequently, which then require sleeping together, which then keep me up, because he is restless the rest of the night. What was my point, oh yeah? I hope this doesn't mean insomnia is in his future too, no offense. And I'm sorry. I hope you get too watch some good night time TV at least :-)

  5. My kids were all terrible sleepers til they turned about 1. My middle son would only sleep for 20-40 min at a time so I am well familiar with that zombie feeling. My sleep now really varies. About half of the time it eludes me and the other half I do alright. Lots of factors: whether I'm sleeping alone, what I ate, when I worked out, what's going on in my life all seem to contribute.

  6. I feel for you. I have suffered from it on more than one occasion but ever since my son was born, I am the exact opposite! I sleep like the dead unless he wakes up!

  7. I do not sleep and exactly my thoughts.
    Many times I wish I got hurt and fall unconscious. Still has not happened.

    My only hope I think is death.