|The insomnia battle was full on this week...|
Sleeping problems have been a part of my life ever since I was a child. I never needed much sleep as an infant and when I was about twelve years old, my lack of sleep turned into insomnia. It turned out to be a blessing as well as a curse. Insomnia is the love-hate relationship that I cannot get rid of.
There is a difference between not being able to sleep for a night and having insomnia. People around me often say that they have insomnia when they cannot sleep for a night… Trust me, this is not insomnia. Multiply this night by days, weeks, months, years or in my case: decades. I used to get pretty irritated whenever somebody would mention a bad night rest as insomnia. My mind always thought: ‘Don’t you know how lucky you are, it’s just ONE freaking night’. It doesn’t bother me now anymore. This is probably because I have come to terms (most of the time) that this is just a part of my life.
|Insomnia is not a one-night-thing|
Insomnia can be a blessing for a person like me. I am a busy bee. I cannot sit still or do nothing very well. Having insomnia has taught me a lot during the last two decades. I literally have more hours in a day than a ‘normal’ person. When I was a teenager, I used to look up random facts and have the strangest hobbies. For instance: I know how to make a wallet out of duct tape and I used to sort perler beads by colour in the middle of the night. I am weird, I know.
|A wallet made out of duct tape|
|Sorting perler beads|
On the other hand, insomnia often feels more like a curse. There are times that I still get frustrated by not being able to fall asleep, but these frustrating nights don’t come as often as they used to. My problem is that I have difficulties falling asleep. When I do manage to do so, I wake up pretty early. I cannot take naps. On the rare occasion that I can take a nap, my mind thinks that I have had a good night's rest and then it stays awake for another day. The strange thing about my insomnia is, is that it is not noticeable in daily life. My mind is always full on and I do not get tired in the morning or during the day.
The big downside of this all is whenever I cannot manage to get four hours of sleep (two times a week) my body aches. I literally cannot do anything. I just need to lay in my bed for my body to get the rest even if I am not able to sleep. I have learned to balance it with sleeping medication. I have got two kinds: one to help me fall a sleep easier and one to help me stay a sleep for a couple of hours. Since I am a freak of nature, I always end up waking way before I am supposed to after taking them. The effect is that I still feel a bit dozed off in the morning because the meds have not worn out yet. That is why I only take them on Friday’s and whenever I really need the ‘extra’ rest.
Every night is like a little game… The intention is to fall asleep. Even on a good night's rest, falling asleep takes forever. I usually get up around 5.30/6.00 am. The game is to fall asleep around 2.00 am. If I manage to do so, than that is a successful night. The real struggle is between 2.00 and 3.00 am. If the clock hits 3, I always make the choice to keep on trying so that I can get one or two hours in. But most of the time, I decide to pull an all-nighter. I just get up and continue my day, mainly to avoid the frustration.
Sweet dreams to all who can…