Things I would happily do in lieu of insomnia.

Ok well its my first insomnia night in a while now, and although attacks have been lessening, obviously they’re not completely gotten rid of. Insomnia affects a lot of people for a variety of reasons, but considering the state I’m in, I’ll just focus on what insomnia means to me.

What causes it

Previously for myself, insomnia was caused by a plethora of things and often felt completely randomized with some exceptions. Stress due to exams and so on was definitely a contributing factor in some instances, including what I would consider one of my worst nights, the day before my Ancient History exam. Thesedays I’ve managed to draw conclusions over what causes it. Usually it is a collection of these things that all seem to happen at once that most often creates insomnias lasting over a day:

– Eating anything with monosodium glutamate (612). I seem to be particularly sensitive to that crap, even if I have it in the morning (as with an incident where I had a delicious laksa at about 12 only being unable to sleep that night). The list of preservatives appears to be increasing, and many crisps carry MSG. I would take a rough estimate and say that about 60% of my insomnia attacks have had MSG involvement. This particular insomnia issue occurred after I ate a couple of chocolate bars with a different presevative in them (forgot which one) and, after not having tried either previously, I could take a stab and suggest they have had some involvement.

– Family arguments. Almost certainly psychological and not biological, family arguments are responsible for perhaps 40% of the time and are particularly potent when combined with anything else.

– Lack of exercise after several days of strong activity. This makes sense, and is probably partly responsible for last night’s fun.

– Hot evenings. Another obvious one, made difficult by being in Australia and all. A definite factor recently.

– Study. Hasn’t happened in a long time, even with the bigger uni tests, so perhaps this part is being mastered.

– Stomach upset, however trivial. Really bloody strong correlation here, it seems to not let me get rest if I’m disturbed in that way. Appears waaaay more prevelant than five or so years ago.

– Exposure to bright lights/ over activity at night time. Insomnia seems strongly linked to when I work at the petrol station, where I essentially stare at flourescent lights until midnight. I may quit my job if it means getting better sleep.

– Other? One thing I have noticed is that insomnia attacks seems to have cycles, and, somewhat irrespective of all other factors I will have a few straight nights of extremely difficult sleep which may include insomnia. This has certainly happened recently, with the previous night’s sleep only achievable through self medication of alcohol (which, scarily, did not work last night). Maybe its a cyclic thing, maybe its been hot days and upset stomachs recently, who knows.

Why is insomnia that bad?

For the record, I don’t consider insomnia when I’m not tired and I don’t sleep. That’s just not sleeping for obvious reasons. However when I am tired and I can’t sleep, a deadly cycle begins where you begin to frantically worry about not sleeping, ergo exacerbating the problem. I can’t remember how many times, even after conquering insomnia yet again, that nights afterwards were difficult simply due to the tension that I may have another insomnia problem.

It’s not just that your tired the next day either, in fact right now I barely feel ‘tired’ at all. The problem is is that consciousness itself seems to be affected. I can’t think straight, there is a certain numbness to my senses and you can forget about remembering anything. Other issues seem to be that my body forgets how to monitor core temperature, so I find myself occasionally shivering cold, or very sweaty very quickly. Even in these exhaustive states getting to sleep is still difficult. In short, it is for me personally the worst feelings I endure on a semi-regular basis.

What I would happily exchange for no insomnia

To anyone who can just nod off at the drop of a hat- count your blessings. I hope this small list of things, if I could, I would happily exchange for the possibility to have what you have- sleepful nights and good REM guaranteed. I would happily do one of these, or maybe a few if decent sleep was guaranteed:

– Wake up with a moderate hangover each morning.

– Get a full force punch, in the face or gut, in lieu of insomnia bouts for that night, and dealing with the healing processes.

– Having to pay consistently for a prescription drug such as benzodiazipine (which is used for insomnia). However all known sleeping medication makes the condition worse over time as dependency and tolerance develop.

– Have an entire hour in the middle of every single day wiped out completely.

– Five years off my life, they’ll probably only be boring nursing home years anyway.

– Limit my working hours to ceasing at 9pm.

– Donating ten hours a week for a smelly, labourious job with no pay.

– I would give up all video games, big and small, in seconds (if anyone knows me they know that’s a big thing 🙂 ).

– Become a vegetarian

– Spend 10% of my income

 

Anyway this is a small list, im sure my suffering buddy wilkox could make some more up himself 🙂

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~ by freeze43 on October 19, 2008.

3 Responses to “Things I would happily do in lieu of insomnia.”

  1. Oh, sleep thy flightful lover, when I go to bed ready to enbrace Thy peaceful sleep, why do you forsake me to that dreadful insomnia. You know that I hate him.

    The biggest problem with me is how to turn your brain of, allowing it me and it to rest and sleep.

    My your bedrooom for sleeping only. No radio, no tv on nothing that will distract from sleep.

    Sit quitely in another room and sort out the problem of the day. Don’t expand on your daily problems of the day. Dismiss those that
    you can do nothing about. Dismiss the preceived problem of tomorrow. You can only worry about these.

    When finished about in about one hour. Go to bed and sleep, there is nothing to worry about.

  2. Interesting list. 10% of your income = 10 hours of a horrible job, or a benzodiazapan prosciption, or 5 years of your life? I take it that all the options are not meant to be equal 😉
    I would pay $150 to rid myself of a bout of chronic insomnia, which works out to about $30 for each night of normal sleep.
    Anyway, I feel your pain dude.

  3. You guys are pussies. Just go to sleep – it’s not hard. Just put your head on the pillow, and you’ll be sleeping in no time. Sometimes I don’t even make it to the pillow! :p

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