At first glance, insomnia really does seem cool. No, I’m serious. I don’t know about you, but I’m often annoyed that I need to spend a third of my life pointlessly sleeping. I’ve got things to do man.
Unfortunately insomnia really isn’t as cool as just “never getting tired.” See, here it is almost midnight and I’m so absurdly tired that I have to concentrate on every word to make sure it makes sense. Dirt puddle fluffy leg McDoogle dryer. (hehehe, see what I did there…)
I figured I’d take this opportunity to dispel a few misconceptions about what it means to have insomnia. Yes, it means you can’t sleep, but there’s more to it than that:
- Insomnia means you’re tired but can’t sleep. It doesn’t mean you’re not tired so you don’t sleep.
- While some methods of curing (or at least remedying) sleeplessness work for some people, for others they don’t. My examples will be for my case, obviously.
- Reading (again for me) doesn’t work, because I’m too tired to concentrate, so the book doesn’t soak in. It’s basically like reading strings of pointless words. That gets boring pretty quick
- Counting sheep. Please. I could barely force myself to count sheep if I actually had sheep I was responsible to keep track of.
- Over the counter drugs for sleep aid generally do make me go to sleep, but only in short, freakishly strange bouts of dreams. I get out of bed in the morning not only still tired, but as if I just lived through a season of the X-Files
- Work. Sounds good right? Can’t sleep, just do some work. The problem is that my brain is silly putty, remember? Trust me you don’t want me configuring servers OR writing for a magazine in this state. You think I’m bizarre on a good day, just imagine “loopy” Shawn. It sounds better on paper, trust me.
To add insult to injury, in order to actually function the following day I usually need to caffeinate myself. I’m sure you see the problem that likely causes and the vicious circle I find myself in.
So as midnight looms and I’ve already tried for hours to sleep — I now go into the mode that I try relaxation techniques and such. If things go like they have been, about 4:30 I’ll start debating whether trying to go to bed will be worse than just staying up. 4:30 is about my “point of no return” time. About then I consider making coffee.
Sweet dreams everyone. 🙂