Insomania

A wheel of yellow cheese on a wooden board, with one large wedge cut out and resting to the left

Sleep. An elusive pursuit for many. Myself included. I’ve learnt so much about the subject over the years, I could write a book on it. But I’m too tired for that.

I’ve never been a good sleeper. It’s only in recent years the idea ‘waking up feeling refreshed’ has entered my psyche. I really hadn’t considered it was how we were meant to feel. I don’t think I’ve EVER felt refreshed after a night’s sleep. Of course, I’m aware some people are able to wake up, immediately get up and say ‘Good Morning’ with a smile. What the hell is that? I didn’t know it was because they’d slept well. I just thought there was something wrong with them.

Why don’t I sleep well? It’s not always been for the same reason, and not always for the most common reasons. Insomniacs are often kept awake due to anxiety. Intrusive thoughts, holding them hostage, usually irrational. Though we’ve all been kept awake by very rational worries; personal, global, the fear that ‘4 Non Blondes’ may never get back together. I don’t lie awake all night worrying about stuff. I’ve got all day to do that.

My insomnia usually stems from a somewhat unusual cause;

I FORGET TO GO TO SLEEP!

Let’s just pause whilst you absorb that fact.

‘But, Lockwood, how can you forget to go to sleep? It’s one of life’s most natural processes. We spend a third of our lives asleep. It’s the time to heal and restore. It’s primordial, innate, built into every living creature’s DNA. Forgetting to sleep is like forgetting to pop your knickers on before you leave the house. It’s instinctive.’
(Well sometimes we’ve been known to put our knickers on inside-out, so this ‘instinctive’ stuff isn’t easy for some of us).

For clarification; I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I’m not a night owl, and I’m definitely not a lark! I actually get off to sleep ok. Initially. Get one good dose of shut-eye in. Until my brain says;

‘Hey, I think that’s enough sleep for now. Let’s wake up and sing George Michael songs.’

Now, I have had a George Michael song stuck in my head for eons. Since before he wrote it, feels like. It’s not even one of my favourites. I’ve tried all the tricks in the book to get rid of it, to no avail. I know all the words off by heart, which now go like this;

‘If you’re looking for fast love..…..No, George, I’m not. We all miss you very much, but can you please just fuck off now.……If that’s love in your eyes.……’

Sorry, I know it doesn’t rhyme.

So, there’s that.

Then, as I said, although I could lie awake worrying about a million and one things, real, imaginary, medical, I actually don’t on the whole. I think things through. I problem solve. I plan. I…….

FORGET TO GO BACK TO SLEEP!

It’s the most ridiculous thing. My head chunters away, and at some point, a brain cell knocks on one of the doors up there and quietly whispers; ‘You know you’re supposed to be asleep, right?’

Damn.

Yes! Sleep! Let’s do that!

How do I do that?

Next thing I know, I’m deliberating if the First World War could’ve been avoided. Or what I’d look like with eyebrows.

Some of you may suggest meditation. Unfortunately, that involves focusing on breathing. It freaks me out. The biological action of air going into my lungs? I don’t want to think about that stuff thankyouverymuch. The feeling of breathing? I don’t wish to dwell on such matters thankyouverymuch. You may at this point, be marvelling at how I’m alive. Me too, Sweetie. Me too.

If I start to get really frustrated, I know the best thing to do is get up. I have learnt to NEVER look at the time. Like I said, over the years, there’s not a tip, trick or programme I’ve missed regarding insomnia. Though I’ve yet to see any professional touch on the idiotic subject of ‘forgetting to go to sleep’.

So, I get up and have a wander. I suffer with Restless Leg Syndrome. The ONLY time I can be seen to literally jump out of bed. But harbouring madness rather than the joys of Spring. THAT is usually resolvable. A walkabout, some stretchy contortionism, or drugs. I’m very lucky in that respect, but it’s torture whilst you’re lying there hoping it will resolve itself. Even though getting up is what I end up doing, it’s very VERY reluctantly. I love my bed. I don’t love being vertical. It’s never felt quite right somehow.

The idea of getting up is to kind of ‘reset’ myself. Also, what would I do with all that cheese in my fridge if I didn’t get up in the middle of the night to eat it? CHEESE? AT BEDTIME? That’ll give you nightmares, Lockwood! Yes, but you’re forgetting, YOU HAVE TO BE ASLEEP TO HAVE NIGHTMARES! I find the cheese comforting. And my capacity for a nightmare is not based on my diet. It’s based on my diabolical subconscious.

If I get back to bed and continue to forget to sleep, I harness being awake and partake in some online Bingo. With only the night-shifters and other insomniacs to play against, the odds are better, although the payouts are lower. And it stops me wondering if any of the junk in space is going to land on my house, which then leads me to thinking up ways to prevent that ever happening. Then that’s another hour gone.

I do believe I have the ‘Good Night’s Sleep’ chunk of my DNA missing. It’s not the only gap in my genome, so I clearly skipped a day in the lab. Perhaps I over-slept! There’s a big hole where ‘Ambition’ is meant to be and a bridge right over ‘Maternal Instinct’, bypassing it altogether. I have a few links in ‘Sociability’, but the letters are back to front and upside down, rendering it virtually useless. And I’ve always suspected I was genetically modified to ‘Not Know When To Stop Eating Cheese’.

Anyhow, forgetting to sleep is REALLY tiring.
But, I don’t want to bore you with the details Baby,
I don’t even want to waste your time…….

GEORGE!

ENOUGH NOW!!

SERIOUSLY!!!

 

26 comments

  1. As a fellow sufferer, my sympathies are extended to you. At least I don’t have George Michaels stuck in my head. Just an annoying little ditty from a certain video game I foolishly began to play about two weeks ago. The stupid ditty wakes me up and I listen to some asshat singing in a falsetto that nobody real could reach, even if their underwear was too tight. The breathing exercises and a modest dose of an antidepressant (which didn’t work great for depression, but as a mild sleeping pill was awesome) make it so that most nights I’m sawing logs with the best of them. I’m not refreshed waking up either though. They tell me it’s ‘lack of proper oxygenation from my sleep apnea”. But have you seen the remedy for THAT? Makes insomnia seem welcome..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry to hear you’re a fellow sufferer, but glad you have found some solutions. I’ve had some minor success with herbal remedies so am continuing with that. A stuck song is the worst. I have a couple of tunes on standby so that if George calls in, or anything else that I could do without, as soon as I realise what’s going on, I try and get one of my standbys going in my head. Something soothing and an enjoyable listen! Here’s to a good night’s sleep. 😴

      Like

  2. This is hysterical….terrible, but hysterical! I am a life long insomniac and also love cheese and seem to have been passed over by that whole ambition thing. I tend to get up slowly and quietly, but once I am up and in the kitchen and making the tea, the music starts. For the past 5 days, I have had the Stylistics in my head and singing the same line from the same song over and over again. The dogs seem to enjoy it, but I am not so sure about Joe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is why I feel so at home amongst the tribe here. We have shared experiences and issues, making for one big creative supportive mess. And I couldn’t be happier being a part of it! I’m a very slow riser. I set my alarm and snooze for at least an hour and a half. Some might say ‘just set your alarm later and have some uninterrupted sleep’. But it doesn’t work for me. I love my snooze time. It eases me into the day. I’d still need that long wake up period! You could do worse than the Stylistics. Nothing like a blast from the past ☺️.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This whole post had me laughing myself nearly into an asthma attack.

    I, too, am sleep-challenged because my dumb brain is like, “Let’s think about stuff that doesn’t matter! ALL NIGHT!”

    Then it changes its mind and lets me fall asleep about an hour before my alarm clock goes off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy to have provided a laugh, sorry about the asthma attack 😉 Brains are stupid. It would make more sense for me to suffer my existential crisis during the night, I’m awake anyway. But no. My brain serves that up during the day when I’m supposed to be functioning in a coherent manner. But sadly, as my comments confirm, tis a problem for many. We can unite under our Insomaniacs banner, sweating the small stuff and singing songs we hate. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just met a woman who said she’s never had a good night’s sleep. I thought she was exaggerating, but maybe not?!
    Hey, not sure if this will make you feel better, but you say you forget to fall asleep? Well, I have a tendency to forget to eat. It used to cause me real issues, especially in college when all of a sudden I would come *thisclose* to passing out (no drinking involved) and then I’d think, “hmm, when did you eat last? Oh yeah, two days ago!” And then I’d go to the snack bar and scarf down everything in sight. Pretty sure people wondered if I had an eating disorder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good sleep is so vital to a healthy body and mind, but it can be such a vicious circle. Forgetting to eat is pretty serious too! I can see how during college years when ‘routine’ can be somewhat lax, skipping meals could become habit. Glad you came to no lasting harm from it. I seem to remember (? 😉 ) my own college years were dominated by food of the liquid variety ;). Thankyou for reading and commenting and hope your hubby is well on the mend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My sis suffers from this too, sometimes she cannot sleep AT ALL for days at a time. The song thing, that happens to me (or a thought i don’t want to think) and it is so irritating. I have a standby phrase that i try to override with, but sometimes “Marshmallow” just does work. Hope you start to remember to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh your poor sister. Insomnia has such a massive impact on health, mentally and physically. I hope she’s able to find a strategy or get help. The word thing is something I try too. Just repeating it over and over. Gives enough focus to stop brain weasels, but not stimulating enough to keep the brain awake. Sleep sounds are useful too, any kind of ‘white noise’, if you’ve ever tried that. But it only works if I remember I’m supposed to be asleep and should do something about that!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tis a tricky thing to deal with. Hope your sleep health is much improved. As for the stuck song, if it was one of my favourites, and if he wasn’t gay, at least I could boast I went to bed with George Michael every night! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, how I relate to this! My own insomnia has finally gone on hiatus now that the move is over and I’m sleeping in my own bed every night. Also, work is super-busy but the people are fairly drama-free so I have nothing to obsess over right now. I laughed out loud at you telling George to fuck off:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, George can really take a running jump now. I truly believe this song will be going round my head on my death bed! I’ll be having a word with him when I get on the other side! Sorry that you’ve had your own sleep issues. Your situation can’t have helped and as you say, now you’re home, hopefully insomnia will continue its holiday away from you :). Part of my problem is likely to be the opposite. My work is very quiet and on the boring side. I’m the only employee and work alone, so I rarely get to talk to anyone, plus I spend a lot of my time at home on my own (partly through preference), so my brain and body don’t get PHYSICALLY tired, which can override whatever else is going on mentally. And I know only I can do something about that!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Girl, are you me? I’m pretty much like this. Here’s my sleeping cycle:
    – go to bed at 10 pm
    – sleep until 1 am tops
    – start playing Uno online
    – ?????
    – realize it’s 5 am – damn.

    And: the only way to make me stop eating cheese once I start is to physically (and forcefully) remove it from my hands. Are you sure we’re not related? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s tough isn’t it? I usually get to sleep ok, providing my Restless Legs behave. But like you, it’s getting BACK to sleep that’s the tricky part. I once watched a show about insomniacs, and this one lady used to get up and bake cakes in the middle of the night if she couldn’t sleep! In other news; I will never stop eating cheese ☺️.
      Thankyou for dropping in and commenting, hope your sleep pattern improves.

      Like

  8. Same here. I put on one of my favorite ASMR videos, relax, and fall asleep easily enough once I find the right position in bed. As long as I don’t wake up in the middle of the night (which always happens), I’ll be fine. But the minute I wake up, I’ll cook, eat, crochet, read, write, do pretty much anything I can to get me tired enough… and then feel tired once it’s about 2 hours before I have to wake up. Also, who am I kidding, I’ll never stop eating cheese either. 😉

    Here’s hoping the same! May either of us ever know what a full night’s sleep feels like! (I’ll tell you if I ever find out)

    Liked by 1 person

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