Sunday Sundries: Insomnia Beckons
And I can do nought but heed its call
Hi folks! Welcome back to Sunday Sundries, where I ramble about whatever comes to mind.
Today, I’ve got insomnia on my mind. Because I. Am. TIRED!!
I’ve had insomnia since forever, it’s chronic, it never goes away. Where most people get to fall asleep in a few minutes, it can take me hours. And when I go through a particularly bad patch, like I am right now, it’s kinda like my brain and body just cannot get it together enough to shut down. Oh, one might, eventually, but getting them both down together is basically whack-a-mole.
So I’m seeing the sun coming up again, because it’s that time of year. I hate that. Winter may suck but at least when I’m awake at 5am it’s not getting light! Although, the last place we lived, I’d be woken by the pre-dawn chorus every single day. Followed by the dawn chorus. Right through my earplugs and into my brain. So at least I don’t have that anymore.
During this phase, which usually happens when I’m cycling between hypomania and depression (both ways), I just can’t get my body and brain to sleep properly. I’ve tried everything, and nothing does it.
Sleeping pills—both prescribed and not. The herbal stuff does nothing, and the prescription stuff just makes me dopey.
Hot drinks—doesn’t help also they make me have to run to the toilet a bunch.
Meditation—not easy, with whack-a-mole going on but still doesn’t help when I can manage it.
CBD—it can take some of the edge off the whack-a-mole and the mood issues, so I do use it when I can afford to, it’s just not enough to let me sleep.
Basically, you name it and I have tried it. Getting to sleep is such a pain.
Eventually, usually, I get too damned exhausted to stay awake, sleep a whole bunch for a night or two, then start all over again. I know it’s bad when I’ve gone to sleep with my phone not plugged in, or my pillows not correctly placed, or that one time where I slept sitting up (not a thing I can do by choice).
And then there’s the wake-ups! Sometimes my struggle to sleep is because I stop breathing and either I’m dragged back from the edge of sleep by it, or it happens mid-sleep and can wake me up (I’m waiting on a sleep clinic appointment for that, cos it sounds like sleep apnea. Cuddles took a recording of it a while ago and I’m literally just stopping breathing for up to 20 seconds at a time).
The other issue is my asthma. Right now we’re in high pollen count season, so it’s worse than usual, and Cuddles has had to wake me a few times to take my reliever inhaler—I start with my struggling-to-breathe cough, and it takes me a while to wake up and do that of my own accord, so she helps. Then I have to take it, get up and move around for a minute so it starts working (generally a toilet trip does this), and then try to get more sleep. And that’s about a 50/50 bet.
Other times I’ll wake up in pain, and then I rarely get back to sleep because by the time I can ease it, I’m awake. But also half asleep. So I just have to stumble along and hope I can manage a nap in a couple of hours.
I might also wake up from bad dreams, or just for who the fuck knows what reason! The former is again about 50/50 on getting back to sleep. The latter, again generally I can’t for at least a couple of hours.
So many days I have wasted on just being too tired to do anything.
So here I am today, and the only thing I can think about is how bloody tired I am! So I thought I’d write to you about it, because why not? I know I’m not alone with the annoying sleep stuff.
I have to sleep with earplugs in, with a sleep mask on, with my pillows arranged specifically, and without anything touching me. My poor Cuddles, who would happily sleep every night all tangled up, understands this and knows it’s not at all about her. I’ve improved a little though. She likes to pet my head/beard/back/chest/whatever she can reach, and that helps her to sleep. It’s also soothing to me, so it’s something I can enjoy and use to at least relax a little. But more than that, and I cannot sleep at all. I call it my sleep bubble.
There was absolutely no real point to any of this post. Even less than usual, that is. I’m just super tired, so that’s what’s on my mind!
Thanks for reading. Go ahead and share your sleep problems in the comments if you like, we can offer support and commiserations together. Please no advice-giving unless asked for, but also, do tell what works for you!
See you next time, and don’t forget to please subscribe and share and like and comment—they all help. I really do appreciate every one of you who comes to read, thank you!