Calling All Insomniacs...

What do all you other creatures of the night do when sleep is but a fond childhood dream?

I have a really wonky schedule. When I can’t sleep, I stay up watching old movies and drinking beer.

Melatonin and/or booze.

I have an annoying habit of waking up around 4 am. I usually toss and turn for half an hour or so, then maybe I’ll lie in bed and play some Boggle or do crossword puzzles on the iPhone. If I still don’t feel like I can go back to sleep, I get up and read the SDMB. If I STILL don’t feel like I can sleep, I’ll sometimes indulge in a little visual stimulation, followed by a round of manual release.

By that time a couple of hours have passed and I’m either feeling like I can sleep or the sun is coming up. If neither of those are true, I’ll stream some Netflix or read. Repeat until either of the previous two conditions is true.

It’s when I do most of my work. I generally get to sleep around dawn.

Lay in bed and cry in to my pillow in frustration.

Lay in bed quietly and relax. Try not to stress about not being unable to go to sleep. Accept the fact that eight hours of quiet rest, while not as good as eight hours of actual sleep, is still better than eight hours of tossing, turning and stressing out.

Play solitaire till dawn (on the computer, so I have a full deck these days ;)), surf the web, read the Dope, read, work, go for walks, eat, wash clothes, shop.

Basically anything I would do during the day that’s not so loud it would wake my husband.

Practice bass scales with headphones on , or paint.

Childhood dream? I remember laying awake when I was very, very young watching red glowing numbers tick away in the wee morning hours.

Now, I take this stuff, which knocks me out consistently in about 20 minutes.

Do what I’m doing now. Or I get up and tidy my sock drawer. Anything but lie there, tossing and turning.

Warm milk and honey with a little something to eat - every time I put something in my stomach, it sets off some kind of “lie flat and take a nap” alarm…Looking through that alarmingly high stack of newspaper clippings, coupons, articles, recipes, brochures, etc. that seem important, at the time, to save and look at later. (look through catalogs, pick out cute outfits, imagine where I would be wearing them if I lived in a better world. That classic white linen suit with the adorable nautical print navy silk blouse? Reception at the yacht club!)…If I’m desperate to get back to sleep soon because I have a busy day ahead, I can always pick up one of my overdue library books in an attempt to finish it off so I can take it back. Three pages in, and I’m out like a light, guaranteed…Brush the long-haired cat, who’s shedding his winter coat, since he’s awake, too…Write long opinionated letters to the editor or whatever, when I see I’ve typed out several words with my fingers on the wrong keys, sleep can’t be far behind.


Ambien is a godsend.

Since you’ve given up playing with a deck of 51, have you also given up smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo as well?

melatonin makes my insomnia far worse for some reason. If I take it I will be up for 40 hours straight.

However 5-htp works some (but not all) of the time. Something in the chain of 5-htp – serotonin – melatonin seems to work better for me than melatonin alone. Ambien and beta blockers have helped me with insomnia too.

Usually I watch netflix streaming when I have bad insomnia.

I have given up trying to fight it, but its frustrating having to keep silent because of the sleepers in the house. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could sleep the next day when I am tired. At least I get to read all I want without being interrupted.

Usually surf the net. If I really need to get back to sleep I listen to David Whyte’s Poetry Of Self Compassion. His voice will drop me off faster than any drug.

I eat dairy products. I have a nice glass of warm butter milk right now. If that doesn’t work, I’ll eat some cheese and bread.

And if that doesn’t work, I’ll sit here reading Great Debates.

I have 385 flowers on the wall.