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to sleep

to sleep...

My old nemesis insomnia is creeping up on me again. For a while, I had gotten back into a normal rythmn. I would fall asleep before 11, and get up at 5. Lately I've been getting to sleep a lot later and waking up closer to 4. I do some laundry, take a shower and have my coffee, and when I go outside to smoke, it still looks like night, all stars and moon and not a hint of sunrise. Combine this with being plagued by bad dreams and restless sleep, and you have someone who often finds herself struggling to find some energy by mid-afternoon. This is ok on the weekends, when I can relax during the day, even take a nap. But during the week, it kills me. I fight the urge to fall asleep at my desk. I often space out while I'm driving. This can't be healthy, can it?

My first bout with insomnia came right after my divorce. I would sleep a total of two hours a night and go through my days like a zombie. This went on for over a year. Eventually, sleep came back to me and I got back to some semblance of a normal night/day pattern. I still got up early, but that's me. I've always one to wake before the sun did.

In September, right after 9-11, I started sleeping more. Of course, I was mentally exhausted and my mind had no problem shutting down for the night. Some days I wouldn't wake until 6, which screwed up our well planned out morning routine. For the first time in my life, I had to set an alarm clock so I would get up in time.

Sometime in the past two weeks, insomnia creeped in again. Up late, up early. Today was 3:45. That's ridiculous, I know. But no matter how hard I try, I can't fall back asleep again. I write, I clean, I play some games. By the time late afternoon rolls around, I am ready to go to bed. I can't, of course. And then the second wind hits at about 8 and another sleepless night rolls around again. I'm frustrated, I'm tired, I'm restless. I want to sleep normally. I want to sleep a full night and do it without dreaming.


I keyed in on the part where you said that when you did fall asleep, you were mentally tired. Perhaps this is the trick to getting to sleep?

Maybe I should have said "emotionally" exhausted. I'd rather go without sleep than feel like that again.

As an adolescent, I had big insomnia problems. I'm dreadfully afraid of it happening again, to the point where I try not to even think things like "I sleep well" because some self-destructive instinct in my subconscious might sabotage it. Anyway, that's the only advice I have: don't think about it. Easier said than done, I know.

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