Sleeping is probably one of my favorite things to do in the entire world, so it’s a pretty cruel deal from the hand of fate that I should be a total miserable insomniac. I’ve been having trouble sleeping through the night for almost a year now, and my recent unemployment and subsequent feelings of unease aren’t helping.
Anxiety is a bitch, man. No matter how tired you are it will do its best to keep you up. I get in bed around 11:00, lay awake until around 12:30, maybe get an hour or so of sleep before I’m up again for an hour, then down for twenty minutes, then up again. My body has finally adjusted to not getting up at 6:00 AM to get ready for work, but it doesn’t really matter, because when 6:00 AM rolls around I’m usually up tossing and turning anyway.
The problem is I can’t turn my brain off, so lying in bed for hours at a time is basically a free pass for my mind to go batshit crazy and start constructing all these disaster scenarios about how fucked up my life is surely going to turn out. In the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, molehills become mountains with astonishing ease. I’ll lie awake stressing about shit that could not matter less in the grand scheme of things, but at 3:00 AM can you tell my brain that? Of course not.
I’ve tried valerian root and melatonin, sleepytime tea and cutting out caffeine after 3:00 PM, trying not to stare at my computer for an hour before going to bed, even counting sheep, but nothing works so far. Getting up and going for late-night walks in my neighborhood is not especially safe, and with the cost of gas right now my old method of 3:00 AM joyrides down Pacific Coast Highway has been out for a while. My psychiatrist said my prescription for Abilify might help me sleep, and it did at first, but losing my job has knocked any lingering effectiveness right out of that pill.
You guys…it’s wearing on me. I’m not a night person. I’m not particularly productive in the dark. I like to spend the hours between midnight and seven completely knocked out. But currently I’m probably clocking in about three hours of solid sleep a night and frankly I’m starting to lose my mind. Have you guys ever dealt with long term insomnia like this? Any tips to help me sleep? I feel like the walking dead.