Remember the time in 2013 when I didn’t sleep for 3 weeks? Or the time in October 2017 when I didn’t sleep for a week, this happened, and then I woke up to April and Shaun doing a welfare check on me at 9am after not showing up for school? G timez.
Insomnia. It’s a war I’ve been fighting for as long as I can remember. It’s another tactic that The Monster uses to try to ruin my life.
I have figured out that if I stick to a strict sleep schedule of going to bed no later than 10:30 and sleeping in no later than 8, I can control it pretty well. Naps during the day? Out of the question. Caffeine after 4pm? No thank you. If I stray off of that schedule, it takes me a while to get back into it.
It works in a vicious cycle with anxiety. When my anxiety gets high, it keeps me up at night. At a time in my life where I’m not sure what I want to be or where I want to be, my anxiety is a little higher than usual. When I stay up a night, it fuels the anxiety, and I get anxious about going to bed for fear that I will be up all night again.
It inhibits my ability to concentrate. It makes it hard to do my job.
I have tried every trick in the book when it comes to sleeping better.
- White noise: can’t stand the sound
- Melatonin: one pill was not enough, two pills put me in a weird state between being asleep and being awake.
- Mirtazapine: turned me into a zombie and made me suicidal
- Trazodone: turned me into a zombie
- Zanaflex: made me have terrible nightmares
- Ativan: zero affect
- Ambien: made me sign up for professional development conferences in my sleep.
- Meditation guides: work like 30% of the time if I catch the insomnia monster in the first 45 minutes of going to bed
Also, the medication wasn’t super helpful at 2am when I realized I needed help going to sleep. Taking that stuff put me out for at least 9 hours. Because my insomnia is so unpredictable, managing it with medication isn’t a good strategy.
I have journals full of insomnia entires. I have coloring books full of insomnia art. I have played many a levels of Cupcake Mania and completed my fair share of logic puzzles while trying to will my brain to shut up and go to sleep.
In the last two nights I have slept for a total of 4 hours. As I write this, my brain and my body are exhausted. Let’s hope I’m not too tired to fall asleep.