Insomnia, the Blogger's Friend

Friday, December 21, 2007
I'm prone to insomnia. It started in 2001, when I quit smoking, and while it was chronic for the first year, it's now considered "transient" because it comes and goes.

Insomnia is either the inability to fall asleep or the inability to stay asleep. For the most part, I suffer from the second type. I'll wake up, usually between 1:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., and lay there for anywhere between 1 and 3 hours before falling back asleep. It doesn't affect my daily life, unless it happens 4 or 5 days in a row - then I start getting cranky during the day.

Mostly it's just really boring. Because my Smart Man doesn't have insomnia, I try not to get too restless, and I've found that getting up and reading usually prolongs the process. So I just lay there and let my mind wander.

However, I've found that my insomnia now has a new use. While I'm laying there, not sleeping, I've been composing blog entries in my mind, or coming up with new topics to discuss. The new What the Fuck is Wrong With These People? feature is a result of a bad night, as well as several other ideas. Usually if I can work an idea out in my mind, I can fall asleep again in fairly short order.

I'm not sure if this new strategy will prolong my sleeplessness or shorten it, but at least I have something to show for it now. I'm such an optimist.

26 comments:

Shawn Powers said...

I periodically suffer from it too. Oddly, a small part of me enjoys the insomnia. I like the quiet time, and although the next day sucks like a black hole -- I like that time when the world sleeps. :)

Best part of your post? Quitting smoking in 2001. Congratulations. Seriously.

Janiece Murphy said...

Thanks, Shawn. It was extremely tough, but I'm glad I made the effort. I may blog about the experience some time.

Steve Buchheit said...

Congrats on the quitting smoking as well. I've had this insomnia problem for the past five years. Ever since I broke my leg and had various contraptions on it, I fully wake up to turn over. I'm now at the point that I'm only awake for a minute or two, but it's still damn annoying. I wish I could relearn the trick of just sleeping or only coming half-awake to roll over. Add to that being north of forty and having the normal waking in the middle of the night problems, it really sucks. About the only time I sleep through the whole night is when I'm exhausted (as in the, "maybe I need to go to the hospital" kind of exhausted).

When I was a younger man I could keep going for 72+ hours on just some extra caffeine, sleep for a day, and be right as rain. Now I find if I don't have at least 7 hours to try to sleep, I don't bounce back from that too well. Margle. Sucks getting old. And now I have baggy eyes, I never had them. Never. Now it looks like I'm packing for vacation almost every single day.

Janiece Murphy said...

Steve, when I have a week where I have insomnia 4 or 5 days in a row, I have bags under the circles under the lines under my eyes.

Getting older's a bitch.

Nathan said...

Janiece,

If insomnia gets the creative juices flowing, we expect it to inspire something more than, "Insomnia...I haz it!", next time.

::grin::

We're all counting on you!

Janiece Murphy said...

Hey Nathan? Remember how I'm trying to purge unnecessary guilt from my life?

Yeah...piss off.

But I mean that in the nicest possible way. Really.

Hehe.

Nathan said...

Well, Janiece,

I wasn't expecting any kind of guilt reaction. More of a "who is this dickhead and who let him into my blog" sorta thing.

::runs away again::

Janiece Murphy said...

Nathan, don't make me give you the Hairy Eyeball. I'm warning you.

Tom said...

Janiece, beware of the "imaginary post" phenomenon. I posted about it last year (http://snave.org/evalut/index.php/2006/12/26/imaginary_posts). Insomnia-induced mental posting may lead you there.
Tom, or Snave on Whateveresque

Janiece Murphy said...

Welcome, Tom (Snave). We refer to the "Whateveresque" as the "e," here and at Stonekettle Station, mostly because we're lazy gits.

It's funny you should mention the "the invisible post," because the other night I had a fabulous idea for a post, and then couldn't remember shit about it in the morning. The fact that I couldn't remember probably implies that it wasn't as fabulous as I had thought, but I'm sticking with the "Fabulous Lost Work" story.

Cindi in CO said...

Due to my asthma, and my stubborn refusal to give up my babies, I suffer from chronic insomnia. Can't stay asleep. I usually move out to the couch so that the husband doesn't suffer with me, and I can occasionally fall back asleep there. During particularly bad bouts I average about 4 hours a night. Yuk.

Janiece Murphy said...

Cindi, yeah, that whole "being unable to breathe" thing really interferes with daily activities. I'm just saying.

Speaking of your babies, where are those pictures?

Nathan said...

Tom,

That's hysterical. I don't know if you read the thread on the 'e' about how people keep their blogs going. I posted there the reasons it wouldn't be a good idea for me to have a blog.

I woke up couple of nights later sweating over how I was going to get fired because of something I had posted on my blog and didn't get my breathing calmed down until I was awake enough to remember I don't have a blog.

Anne C. said...

Just think, Janiece, of all that wasted time before you had a blog! ;)

Becca said...

I am going through a major bout of insomnia right now. It stinks, but I know that these days happen, and somehow, manage, not to do bodily harm to my husband in my fits of utter tiredness. He just tells me close my eyes and rest when I can and he keeps all sharp objects out of my reach!

Shawn Powers said...

As I get older, I too find it hard to "enjoy" the insomnia bouts. I used to pull all-nighters at work rather often, but now I can barely live through such experiences, much less thrive.

Yeah, getting old stinks. But I wouldn't want to be young again. Do not want.

Janiece Murphy said...

Becca, clearly your husband is a Smart Man.

Janiece Murphy said...

Shawn, I don't want to be young and stupid again either. It would be nice to be young and experienced, however.

Signonthedottedline said...

Hey everyone! I live RIGH AT THE TJ BORDER!!!
If you need any ....uh ....assistance for those eleepless nights, give me a holler! And I'm not talking really strong opiate-make-you-drool-with-brain-damage-for-the-rest-of-your-life stuff, bit I, too, have the can't stay asleeps and have a nice mild muscle relaxer that does teh trick. Of course I have to have a sleepless night so I can use them the next night as there is no telling when this malfeasance will strike. But it sure is nice and no grogginess the next day! YAY better living through chemistry!

Janiece Murphy said...

DISCLAIMER: Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men is not responsible for any cross-border drug trafficing as a result of this blog entry. Thank you.

MWT said...

I write whole volumes of Fabulous Lost Works during my 20-minute drives to and from work. Usually by the time I'm actually in front of a computer and have time, I've completely forgotten all the genius phrasing of everything I wanted to say, and the parts I remember all sound really dumb, and so then I don't write it at all...

MWT said...

Incidentally Tom:

Every time I tear off on some toilet paper nowadays, the phrase "banner segment!" leaps through my mind.

(I knew you really wanted to know that.)

Janiece Murphy said...

MWT, clearly that's our next publishing coup - The Fabulous Lost Works by MWT and Janiece, coming to a bookstore near you.

Otherwise known as a blank journal...

Nathan said...

MWT, Janiece,

Just Ewwwwww Dammit.

Jim Wright said...

Joining in late here. Been busy today.

I guess as usual I'm in the minority - I do not suffer from insomnia in anyway shape or form. Staying awake after 10 PM? yeah, that's another issue. Like Steve mentioned, I get up at least twice a night to pee, and I almost always get up around 6 AM. I'm an extremely light sleeper, anything will wake me up, but I never have trouble going back to sleep.

Best sleep I ever got? Riding into Iraq on top of the RHIB boat motor housing. They'd drop us 20 miles out and we'd have an hour ride in. Best hour ever. Nothing like waking up to the sound of the 60cal going off.

Janiece Murphy said...

Jim, you are a very strange man.