Adult(ish) · Life · Mental Health

Thoughts of an Insomniac

I love my bed & I love to sleep. It’s probably my favorite thing to do actually; however, sleeping for me has been a struggle for quite some time.

I’m very particular about my sleep. I need complete silence. I need to be in my own bed. I need my own blanket. I need my own pillow. I can’t wear any clothes. The fan has to be on. & for the love of God do not touch me.

If disturbed, I have yelled at people, thrown things at people, or even hit people. I remember these events like a dream. I can’t tell if they actually happened or not. The person usually brings it up later, confirming that yes, I did hit my boyfriend when he tried to put his arm around me. Yes, I did chuck a pillow at my friend when he opened the door to use my bathroom. Yes, that memory of me sitting up hyperventilating when my friend simply opened the bedroom door did actually happen.

I’m always in this semi-conscious dream like state when I react this way.I wake up in a panic, but with no reason or recollection as to why.

I tend to have very vivid dreams. Ones where I can’t tell what’s reality. I get confused as to what actually has happened & what I just dreamt of.

Traveling is miserable. My sleep relies on routine & being in a different place is anything but. Staying at a friend’s place is out of the question. Besides the fact I need the routine of my own bedroom, I get so anxious that I’ll do something in my sleep & scare them that I can’t sleep at all.

My sleep schedule is erratic, to say the least. This post is a great example. I’m writing this at 4:14 AM. I have to be at work in about 5 hours. In college I would frequently go on runs at 3 am just to tire myself out enough that I’d pass out. My friends found it amusing, but it was actually just a coping strategy. They didn’t know I hadn’t slept in 2 days. I’ll drink alcohol to ease me into sleep, but of course I still wake up exhausted. I’ll manage with only a couple hours of sleep or sometimes stay up for days at a time. Other times I’ll be in bed 16 hours a day “sleeping,” but it’s not really sleep. It’s constantly waking up, tossing & turning, to the point I might as well just get out of bed.

I rely on caffeine to keep me upbeat & productive. Chugging multiple energy drinks followed by cups upon cups of coffee. The caffeine keeps me alert(ish) during the day, then the alcohol winds me down at night. It’s quite the cycle.

I’m fully aware alcohol & caffeine affect people’s sleep. I’ve tried stopping the caffeine & alcohol entirely, but it didn’t help. I still couldn’t stay asleep.

I’ve resisted taking medication. Ambien is equivalent to a sugar pill for me. I’ve tried doxepin, trazodone, clonazepam, alprazolam, remeron, melatonin…etc.I either stay up through it, or I have terrifying nightmares. Even so, I don’t particularly want to become dependent on a pill to make me sleep anyway.

I’ve tried meditation, yoga, turning off electronics…legitimately every idea I’ve come across on the internet. Nothing works.

So what is it that makes me not able to sleep & how am I suppose to fix it?

I hope I’ll figure it out soon.

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