tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Anatomy of an Insomnia Attack

After the spring/summer insomnia trifecta of horror (trouble falling asleep, frequent waking up in the middle of the night, and waking up early), my sleep patterns had sort of returned to normal. Although normal for me would probably be considered severe sleep deprivation for most people (I just read about a study suggesting that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to emotional problems. That’s not exactly rocket science.).

Last night, I was totally exhausted, so I was in bed before 10 (yes, very punk rock, I know). I fell asleep pretty quickly, but I woke up around 1:15. My main insomnia issue is that my brain doesn’t seem to have an off switch. When I wake up, if I can just keeping my brain from thinking too much, I can go back to sleep. But last night, my brain started working overtime.

1. First, I started to think about work, which is always a big mistake. I started to worry that there were things I had forgotten to do yesterday. Then I worried about all the stuff I have to do tomorrow. And I agonized over whether I’m doing well at the job. Then I thought about how tomorrow was going to be really awful if I couldn’t get some sleep.

2. From there, I moved on to existential-crisis-type thoughts. Am I doing enough with my life? Am I really achieving anything? Will I have enough money for retirement? Should I have a baby? Can I even still have a baby, what with my aging ovaries and all? What kind of mother would I be, considering that babies kind of give me the creeps?

3. I tried to distract myself from the crazy thoughts with a little harmless fantasizing about what shoes I would buy if money were no object. Unfortunately, I got into an argument with my brain about the relative merits of certain pairs of Miu Miu pumps (Brain: The navy/gray/green ones are more practical. Me: But the pink/red/tan ones are so cute.), and that defeated the whole purpose of a supposedly relaxing fantasy.

4. I had now been lying in bed awake for almost an hour and a half, so it was time to consider getting up. I pondered the idea of watching a DVD, but I didn’t want to start a movie, since that would seem like admitting that there wasn’t going to be any sleep tonight. A TV show seemed like a better idea, but I was having a lot of trouble deciding what the watch (apparently, we own a lot of TV shows on DVD). I considered Veronica Mars, but so far (admittedly, I’m only two episodes in), season 3 is really annoying me. That led to 15 minutes of pondering the downhill trajectory of VM. And wondering why why why the cancer-stricken sorority house mother would have to grow a pot FOREST in the basement when she lives on a college campus, presumably a place with abundant access to pot? And wouldn’t the penalty for being caught buying pot be a lot less harsh than that for being caught growing massive amounts of it? And what college would actually allow a bunch of 18-year-olds to participate in a super-controversial psychological experiment? This extremely productive chain of thought gave me a headache.

5. I decided to get up and read for a while. I’m not actually reading anything at the moment, so I thought maybe about re-reading an old favorite. I was in the mood for some Frances Hodgson Burnett, but I couldn’t locate my copies of The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, and I was just too tired to do a major search. I considered going with Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time, but I’ve read it so many times during bouts of insomnia that I’m afraid I’m going to start associating it with sleep deprivation.

6. So, I gave up on reading and decided to write this instead. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t blame me. Blame my stupid brain.

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  • At 11/7/07, 12:21 PM, Blogger JordanBaker said…

    I was awakened out of a sound hour and a half of sleep at one by my sister texting that she loved me. I tossed and turned the rest of the evening, trying to think of ways to retalliate.

  • At 11/7/07, 2:53 PM, Blogger Hammer said…

    For what it's worth, I enjoy reading your insomnia posts because I can completely relate. (Well, except for that whole watching Veronica Mars and reading Jane Austen thing.) If I find the cure for this malady before you do, I'll definitely let you know what it is.

  • At 11/7/07, 8:43 PM, Blogger schadenfreude said…

    HA, item #2 on this list is hiLARious. May I suggest a few more for this category? "How could I possibly save 100K for college?" and "What if I hate being a mom and want my old life back?" Are good standbys, along with hair questions, like "would I look good as a redhead?"

    And when will you break down and just get DRUGS, they do wonders with insomnia these days.

  • At 11/8/07, 1:32 AM, Blogger Lady Tiara said…

    jb: people who call or text in the middle of the next waking one up deserve a special place in hell.

    hammer: sadly, i could do a whole blog just about insomnia, but i fear it would get old fast. (and veronica mars is totally worth checking out, at least the first season.)

    schadenfreude: some other questions i ask myself: "what if i get an ugly one, and i don't like it?" "what if i never get my body back?" "will i feel a sudden compulsion to wear mom jeans?"

    it may be time for the drugs.

  • At 6/25/09, 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you are suffering from sleep problems such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, you need to consider this problem seriously and adopt specific measures at the earliest to get back your sleep. Regular exercising is one of the options to ensure sound sleep at night. Altogether, if you are unable to get adequate sleep during night, you can undertake certain initiatives to overcome your sleep problems such as fixing your sleeping as well as waking schedule and abstaining from alcohol, nicotine, tea, coffee et al before hitting the bed.

  • At 8/3/09, 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    insomia is not a desiese it is a human nature, tat occures in our nervous system in the body effectiong how we think from the brain, simply saying this life is short and attacks like insomia will continue untill we all fiz our selves

    short tip..
    avoid hating ur own family members, if ur elder or smalles or in the middle dont matter, just dont hate ur parents specially and u will notice change in ur nervious system as told to us by a man long ago lived in a cave

  • At 1/2/10, 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 1/26/11, 9:56 AM, Blogger John said…

    Great Blog I am sure will be helpful for many and solving problem of snoring for others. Keep up a good work for Sleep Apnea Cures.


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