Confessions of an insomniac

Since I was tiny, I have been a terrible sleeper. I rarely make it through the night without being awake for at least a couple of hours. When I was small and my father’s alarm clock broke, he used to set me instead. I would wake up at any time I was asked, and then wake who needed to get up. I was used to being up in the night. I remember once, when I was about six, sitting on the landing in the dark. For about half an hour I sat there, listening to strange noises coming from the kitchen. In the end I woke my parents, only to find that the dog had had puppies! I remember when some friends invited us to stay over night. It was the first time I stayed awake the whole night. No matter how hard I tried, I was never going to sleep. When I sat my GCSE’s, I averaged an hour of sleep a night.

Gattou au repos – on rest
Over the years I’ve got used to it. Usually, I wake at about 3am and lie awake until about half five. It’s pretty irritating, as I tend to go back to sleep just before I need to get up! However, one thing I can be sure of is, that if I have a problem, I usually get the solution about 3 in the morning. Many a student has received an e mail with the solution to a problem at around 3.30am. There are many theories as to why we sleep and dream. I’m a firm believer in the problem-solving theory. When we go to sleep, our brain sorts through the problems that we have and finds solutions. I do think Freud has a point though, in terms of dreams. Many a dream seems to relate to things that are preying on my mind.
The good thing about being an insomniac is that interesting things happen at night. I have been awake for an explosion at a refinery. There was a massive bang and I woke my husband.
‘I think a bomb has gone off.’
‘Don’t be ridiculous.’
Ten minutes later there were sirens and the explosion was all over the news. Then there was an earthquake. Again my husband was dismissive.
‘There’s no way the house shook.’ The next morning he looked shame faced when he heard the national news.
Then there was the scream from over the fields behind the houses. I was out there investigating. I’ve even met other neighbours in the street around 3 am. A rather nasty cat stand off meant that me and the girl down the road had a bit of a chin wag in our jimjams in the early hours. So it can be quite a sociable thing!
My insomnia reached a new level in October last year. One hour a night! This lasted around three months and believe me, that was something I found incredibly hard to cope with. I never really felt that I was awake and walked around in a zombified stupor. What was really concerning was that I really couldn’t retain anything. With Christmas, came ludicrous amounts of sleep. I don’t think that I’ve ever slept for fourteen hours before. I don’t know if I preferred lack of sleep, or far too much. So I’ve changed my ‘sleep hygiene’ as it is called. I read before I go to bed. I find forensics, murder and paranormal work best. The good news is I’m back to normal. Here’s to the 3am wander!


~ by envisioningutopia on February 17, 2012.

One Response to “Confessions of an insomniac”

  1. My sleep cycle has been crap lately. I’ve been waking up at 3 am multiple nights in a row and falling back to sleep at 6:00 knowing I have to get back up at 7:45. Or I’ll fall asleep at some absurd hour of the night and wake up at 7 no matter what. Frustrating because I don’t know why I’m sleeping so poorly.

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