I’m tired. But not the kind of tired where I can sleep. No, that would just be too darn convenient, what with church in the morning and everything. I’m the kind of tired where I lay awake in bed mulling over nothing. I can’t get comfortable no matter how hard I try. One pillow is too flat and the other too fluffy, and the streetlight penetrating my blinds is obnoxiously bright. On a good night, this bed is gloriously comfortable, but this is not a good night. Every time I successfully scratch an itch, there’s another one. I’m hot and cold at the same time (menopause at 21?). My lower back isn’t getting enough support, and my neck hurts. My stomach is rumbling.

I’m the kind of tired where my eyeballs stick to the inside of my eyelids and my throat is dry even if I get a drink. My mind is wandering in all the worst ways. I’m getting mad at people for no reason, having imaginary conversations and arguments about imaginary scenarios just to entertain myself. I’m remembering things that ticked me off three years ago. I want a fight, but I don’t know with who or why. The same couple lines of a song rattle around in my head over and over again. Tonight it’s the chorus of One After 909 by the Beatles. Could be much, much worse. I’d tell you some of the worse songs that have got stuck in my head at night, but thinking of them would get me singing them, and then it would be worse.

If I believed in ghosts, I’d be certain my mom and Tim’s house was full of them. This house has the most creaks, clicks, noises, and settling I have ever heard in a house. Sometimes I think one of them must be sleepwalking or just wandering around aimlessly. But that’s not what’s keeping me up, it’s just something to notice while I thrash about in my prison bed.

Finally I can’t take it anymore. I get up and stumble out to the kitchen. The glare of the Christmas lights hurts my eyes- I guess the streetlight wasn’t so bright after all. In the fridge I find some hard salami and string cheese. Oh yes, that will go nicely with a whole month away from the rec center. I shove three or four slices of salami in my mouth and trudge back to my room, string cheese and bottle of water in hand. The food isn’t nearly enough to satisfy me, and now my stomach is making louder and more pitiful noises. It’s freaking 1 am, stomach, this is not a mealtime!

Instead of continuing the quest for unconsciousness, I decided to blog about insomnia. I know I’ve read that you shouldn’t do anything mentally stimulating right before you go to sleep. Is this mentally stimulating? I also read that the light from computer screens is particularly bad for making you a zombie. Well, everything does it to me, so what’s the difference? Halfway into the blog, Michael calls. If I was a successful sleeper, he would have woken me up. I can’t blame him though, I went to bed unusually early tonight. I don’t typically turn in before 2 or 3 or 4…mostly because of the dread that if I do, I could have a night like this. We talk for about 8 minutes because there’s really nothing more to say. The feelings of exhaustion, restlessness, and frustration have not improved my mood, which was bad from the start. I hate these nights.

I used to take 1 Nyquil gelcap almost every night to put myself out. But I understand that sort of thing is not good. Maybe Tylenol PM would be a little better since it doesn’t have all the extra cold medicine. Alcohol makes me tired but keeps me up. Reading gives me too much to think about, and if it’s a good book I won’t stop. I’ve never understood people who fall asleep to the TV. I want absolute silence and pitch darkness. On Allen’s suggestion, I once tried “meditating” by picturing a little flame flickering in my mind. Interesting, but not sleep-inducing. I’ve tried clearing my mind…it’s a pointless circle of thinking about not thinking about anything, thinking about what I shouldn’t be thinking about, thinking about how not to think about it, getting frustrated and giving up. My mind can’t shut off on command. I’ve tried making up peaceful, pleasant little stories about meadows and streams and whatnot with the hopes of drifting off. My mom used to try that to lull me to sleep when I was a kid. I’ve had these sleep problems pretty much all my life. The stories don’t work, I make them too elaborate, and stay up imagining all the details.

My computer tells me it’s 56 degrees outside. Gosh, that’s gorgeous. Maybe I should go for a late night/early morning stroll. But I hear the wind picking up. And I’m sure with my luck there’s some molester or rapist lurking in the darkness, just hoping that tonight’s the night my insomnia lures me out at 1:20 am. Bianca is getting restless in her cage. She probably wants me to shut off the light again. Poor bunny. I guess it’s time to give this sleep thing another go.

Gah. Wish me luck.


About Nicole

Daughter of God, wife, mother, volunteer youth leader, substitute teacher, aspiring writer, rabbit owner, nature lover. These are some of my titles.
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4 Responses to Insomnia

  1. Mike says:

    poor baby, it was probably the nasty merlot that kept you up 😉 You’re mom said she thought she heard you up at 6 am and that hopefully you were just getting up to do something rather than still up, trying to go to sleep. But there is good news. Guess what I have!! That’s right, peach soda!! Aww yeah. And you are welcome to it should you find yourself in my neck of the woods.

  2. Anonymous says:

    First, are you drinking any caffeine or eating chocolate? That stuff can make some people jittery.

    How late are you sleeping everyday? If you use your alarm clock it might be easier for you to sleep at night.

    Also, are you exercising during the day? I know it might be scary to wander around aimlessly after 1 a.m., but if you exercise during the day you’ll tired by night time, and you’re aren’t you can still do sit ups or push ups to make you tired.

    You say reading books makes you think too much, and I can understand that, but have you tried reading until the pages look like fluffy pillows. A lot of times I fall asleep reading.

    Finally, why not go for a drive? it’s safe, and staring at the road can make you sleepy.

    I hope my advice helps you sleep better.

  3. Nicole says:

    I often go for drives, but I end up speeding and blasting the radio, so it doesn’t make me sleepy. If it did, I’d be a little concerned if it’s safe to drive. I work out at night when I’m in Columbia, and since I’ve been in St. Peters I’ve been going for bike rides or long hikes whenever the weather permits. I have read until my eyes can’t focus anymore, but after I close the book I lay awake thinking about it. Maybe I should read something more mundane. I generally avoid the caffeine and chocolate. Caffeine makes me bounce off the walls, so if I have any it’s really early in the day. The sleeping in thing is a problem. since it takes me so long to fall asleep, I never want to get out of bed in the morning. Since I’ve been on break, I’ve slept til anywhere from 10:30 to 2 pm. That pretty much messes up any hope of a good sleep cycle.

  4. Nicole says:

    Michael, my mom was right about me being up at 6…and 7. But I made up for it by sleeping til after 1. Thanks for the peach soda. It made my day. No wait, watching Fievel Goes West and Ringo the Refugee Raccoon, and putting together that puzzle and playing Jenga with you made my day. The peach soda was pretty freaking sweet though.

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