November 3, 2012

Sometimes... Oh screw the sometimes. Insomnia is never needed or wanted.

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.” -Clifton Fadiman

Up until recently there have been 2 stages in my life regarding sleep. In my teens, I was a champion sleeper. If there were a competition I would have been the most decorated competitor. Sleep for 24 solid hours? Sure sign me up. Who needed to deal with the outside world? Didn't matter when or where I fell asleep. I had that shit down. I was a heavy sleeper. My room could have been in the middle of a tornado and I wouldn't have stirred. Moreover, it worked for me. The dreams bred some of my best story ideas. When I wasn't sleeping, I was incredibly productive.

In the 20s, I moved into the not sleeping for days zone. I just didn't need sleep. 3 day party and at friends house? I was down for it. I also wasn't the least bit affected by lack of sleep. Sure, I may have gotten the giggles a lot. Or, if it was last stretch I was slow with my wit. But overall, I just was perfectly fine without it. When I did sleep, I became the lightest sleeper. The wind blowing outside my window would wake me. Still, where I didn't need the sleep, I was still incredibly productive. It saved me so many times when I was running late on knitting gifts.

Now, it's shifted again. I've become a bastard mix of the two. Which you would think would be a good thing. Not so much. I've seemed to pick the worst traits of both.

I've become a heavy sleeper again. It's not really something I enjoy anymore. Sometimes it's nice to hear your apartment manager knocking on your door when you have an inspection. Because, you know, old ex-marine walking in your bedroom to check the smoke alarm while you are … well let's just say I don't do pjs that much anymore. Just a tank and incredibly short shorts... I think that is the definition of awkward. Especially when it's 1pm. We won't even get into the maintenance man (who I made the mistake of asking out for a drink at one point). Beyond that, I sleep through text messages and half of my phone calls. Some of which, I really should respond to immediately.

On the flip side, I've stuck with the ability to stay awake for days. Except... my body, brain, and emotions can't handle it anymore. I need the sleep now to function. Gone are the days of productivity with no sleep. I just can't do it. I'm so exhausted during my no sleep cycle that I end up staring blankly. It is a herculean task to write. The knitting, even during a simple pattern, is impossible. So I spend days and days at a time doing absolutely nothing.

Currently, I'm edging towards Day 4 with no sleep. I managed to sleep an hour one night and then a half hour last night. So I'm not completely and totally without sleep this time. I'm slightly grateful for them. Except it's just made the tiredness worse. I've tried all the tips and tricks. No caffeine hours before bed, my bedroom is purely for sleeping, and I've meditated. I've tried sleeping in complete silence, music, and soundscapes. Exercising, warm baths, cold baths, offering anything to any god that will listen. The only thing I haven't tried is warm milk. You nasty people can keep your tainted milk. I'll deal with the sleep hysteria if that's my only option.

I actually walked to the pharmacy at 7am to buy sleeping pills this morning. Yes, I was that desperate. I'm sure that was a lovely picture to the poor woman working the counter. I know I had wild frizzy hair, dead eyes, and couldn't manage words above a mumble. Ms. Autumn, the picture of mental health. That said, it's 2 hours later; I'm hoping with the walk and the two pills I just downed that I will be able to sleep.