My entire body is heavy.
My eyelids blink with the consistency of a frozen stream. The entire room is an object in motion with the lowest shutter speed from a camera a few decades old, rusted through the dust that collects on the outside of my pupils. I roll over in an attempt to make myself more comfortable.
3:40 A.M reads the clock on my bedside.
I sigh and roll back over, throwing my arm over my forehead with my palm facing upwards.
It’s been two weeks of this. Going on three. Why can’t I sleep? Please God let me sleep.
I’m tired but the sleep won’t find me. I remain invisible to the dust that needs to fall on my eyelids. It’s like I don’t exist. The rest of the world is asleep and here I am,
With only my thoughts.
Insomnia has plagued me since I was a teenager. I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard “just go to bed earlier”, “get off your computer before you sleep”, or “You stay up late because you want to”.
I wish those were true. I wish it were that simple.
I can go to bed at 8 o clock after an intense day of working out with my body completely exhausted and won’t be able to fall asleep. It’s not something I have control over, as much as I wish I did.
When I get into bad stretches of insomnia I begin to feel like a zombie. I become groggy, less coherent, and have an even bigger lack of motivation or desire to do things than when I’m facing depression on its own.
And honestly I like to think that I’m accustomed to running on little to no sleep.
I often brag about it.
But the truth is…
it’s not healthy.
But what is Insomnia?
Insomnia can be defined as “a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep as long as desired”. I know with me personally, I have a bit of both. But I have the most trouble falling asleep. I like to link it to the fact that I don’t remember dreams. Dreams occur during the REM state of sleep which I feel I have trouble reaching. So as I lay awake in bed at night, I sit and think about how the next moment I’ll be waking up. With no dream to bridge the gap between nightfall and dawn, I lie awake in wonder.
How, in seemingly a second, am I going to go from being conscious here in bed, to waking up in the morning?
This thought keeps me up most nights. But there are many doctors who claim that insomnia is the side effect of certain things in your life. This link includes a detailed list of not only what insomnia is, but the many effects it has and reasons people may have it. Depression and anxiety are two leading causes of insomnia, along with stress and diet choices.
It is also important to note that there are lots of different kinds of insomnia. In fact, insomnia is a broad term to cover lots of different sleepless tendencies. This link details a lot about the different kinds of insomnia and how you can treat having it.
My depression, anxiety, and insomnia are all very closely related. And like both anxiety and depression, insomnia is something that is different for everyone with no easy cure. Some medicines work for people, setting schedules work for people, changing diets work for people.
It all depends on you.
It can be extremely discouraging when you can’t sleep and I know a lot of people just accept that fact that they don’t. (I’m one of them) But it is important to know that there are options out there and it would be foolish not to keep trying new ways to get a good nights rest and stay healthy.
Comment below with your opinions or experiences with insomnia, along with what has and what hasn’t worked for you.
You are loved.