I have had insomnia since I was a child. When I was lucky, I could snatch an afternoon nap, or four hours sleep at night. Other times, the insomnia was more severe, and I didn’t sleep at all. I was determined not to get hooked on sedatives, after seeing the damage they could do. I tried self-help books, hypnotherapy, essential oils, herbal medicine and everything in between. You name it, I have tried it. After several weeks of no sleep at all, I hit the wall. I was unable to recall the most trivial of details involved in the minutiae of life. I stumbled over sentences and couldn’t get my thoughts together.
Insomnia is a form of torture. Too tired to read or work in the middle of the night. Too tired to even watch infomercials, which is just as well, as I would be the proud owner of several tonnes of crap by now. Too tired to cry in frustration. A caffeine hit and hot shower and busy days with no time for rest. By six pm I would be exhausted. I put myself through an elaborate winding down ritual. Sadly, I wonder how many of those we read about in the media have been lost due to insomnia scrambling their cognitive processes? I can imagine them swallowing a few more tablets in the early hours, desperate to get some sleep. There have been studies done on this.
I don’t know if I have been feeling more stressed, or whether my chronic pain is exacerbating the insomnia. Whether the detritus of the day is having a party in my subconscious at night. None of it matters at the moment. I just need sleep. I had been putting it off, but relented and got some sleeping pills. I took a low dose, and within thirty minutes, I was out! I woke this morning with cognitive clarity and felt on top of things at last. I know its not a long-term solution, but its a start. I had to cancel weekend plans, as I felt like passing out every time I stood. I couldn’t answer simple questions and driving was too dangerous to contemplate. Insomnia was taking over my life. It was being drained of all colour. To my insomnia comrades, I salute you and your ability to continue with your busy life. The effort involved is extraordinary. I hope we all get some shut-eye consistently from hence forth!