You consistently see the articles. “Have insomnia? Here’s how NOT to have insomnia.” Then there’s this convenient little list of things you can do to attempt a better night’s sleep.
They never work for me.
In fact, what works for me is being an insomniac. I know, that sounds counter-productive, but OH SO TRUE.
Right now, I suffer from insomnia. One of the worst kinds, as a matter of fact. I’m sick. Not in the head (although I am sure that’s debatable, depending on who you speak with), but physically. And because I keep coughing at night (even with the use of a generic brand cough suppressant that I am always told NOT to take because it’s not healthy to use suppressants) I can’t sleep. At all. Well, maybe a few hours, tops. But really, that makes you feel as though you haven’t slept at all.
Now, when I go through a few days of no sleep, my body does what I affectionately refer to as the “crash and burn” approach. My husband gets home. I’m a zombie. I hand over the baby. I walk slowly to the bedroom, and collapse onto the bed. I pass out. I fall into a coma-esque trance. The next morning I feel as though I’ve slept a million hours, which could really be more like 6-7. But I still feel like a million bucks!
Hence, being an insomniac works.
How to be an insomniac (this takes YEARS of practice and skill, folks. Don’t try this at home and expect to be able to stay awake all night on your first attempt.)
1. As mentioned above, being sick is a surefire way to not get sleep. Want a natural high? Go without sleep for a few days. You feel as though you are in a bubble. One time, I went for weeks without much sleep, and I started seeing things. True story.
2. Skip the milk; drink caffeinated beverages before bedtime. Discover all that’s missing in the wee hours of the morning.
3. Have a baby (or two, or three). Definite sleep suckers.
4. Watch a rousing movie, or read an exciting book before bed. This is a common method of mine. Right now, I’m in the middle of Stephen King’s 11/22/63.
5. Toss and turn all night. Don’t get up. Just keep tossing and turning. It’s fun, and you might be getting a little bit of a work out in there.
6. Have your clock turned to face you- let it be a constant reminder of what time it is. “3:09am…. 3:10am….. 3:11am……”
7. Cuddle up to someone who snores loudly.
8. Take sleep aides. Seriously. The last time I took an Ambien, I was up for days!
9. Develop hypnagogic hallucinations. Just as you are dozing off to sleep, your eyes magically open, and whatever is going on in that brain of yours is somehow projected out onto the “real world” for you to see. Insomnia is a big cause of this phenomena. So, you’ll have a lovely cycle that’s all your own.
10. Go over everything that needs to be done for the next day, and everything you didn’t finish the day before. Making lists and trying to deal with tasks will give you sleepless nights, for sure!
When you go without sleep for a really long time, you start to notice how sleep is overrated…. until you actually get some. See you tonight, night owls!