May 12

I suffer from insomnia. Not all the time. I’m luckier than most! I can go through nice long periods of sleeping wonderfully and then all of a sudden, not at all. Or very poorly! The problem only started a couple of years ago and I can’t say why for certain. If I had to guess it’s that seeing as I have poor health (which has deteriorated) and slight OCD which I spoke about in a different post which has made me lose a lot of my ability to cope with the everyday stuff, I’m not able to cope with not sleeping as well. Especially when I need sleep to feel well.

When something else crops up, it’s the end of the world. That kind of thinking only makes my insomnia worse. This bout, the worse it’s ever been, started over a week ago. I didn’t fall asleep until about 5am after hurting my toe and the pain keeping me up all night. And after having 1 shitty night I then began to panic and worry the insomnia was coming back. And no doubt my panicking and worrying made it come back. Because now when it starts getting dark I begin to stress and panic about going to bed and being up all night. I’ll convince myself I’ll be up all night and then I am. When I turn the lights off and lie down to sleep my heart is pounding in my chest. I can literally hear it. And unsurprisingly, I’m then awake all night! For the last 9 days I have slept a mixture of 4 hours, 2 hours and even 0 hours a night. On one of the nights where I didn’t sleep at all I spent the whole day with stinging eyes, a banging head and was so exhausted I couldn’t stop yawning and feeling desperate to sleep. All this combined would make you think I’d have a good night following from that. Nope. The next night I finally fell asleep at around 8am and woke up at 10am. In 48 hours I’d had 2 hours sleep.

It’s gone on so long now, I’m starting to go mad. My poor boyfriend’s sleep is affected as I’m waking him up every night at around 5.30am with my sobbing because I just want to sleep but no matter what I do I can’t drop off and my mind is racing with absolute bollocks. I am even starting to lose the will to live!

And I don’t know what to do. I’ve cut out coffee and tea. I don’t eat after 9pm. I don’t stay in bed after 30 minutes of lying there awake, instead I go in the lounge and read or watch TV. Nothing is working. I can’t even try sleep restriction because I’m already fucking doing it! They say if you have to be up at 8am and you’re only getting 4 hours sleep you shouldn’t go to bed until 4am. And after a while of having such little sleep you’ll be dropping off really fast! Well after getting out of bed 30 minutes after being awake I don’t go back to bed until I’m tired. If I do that, I don’t feel like I’m going to drop off until around 7am. I sleep for 2 hours a night. This has gone on for a week but my body isn’t feeling desperate for sleep like it should! It’s almost like it’s gone ‘Oh well! 2 hours a sleep is all I’m going to give you no matter what!’

So now what?

As I said, I’m certain it’s all me to blame. I’m panicking about not sleeping and am working myself up into a state every night so of course I then can’t sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. But it’s not a cycle that’s easy to break. When you’re averaging just 2.2 hours a night for a whole week and you’re up all night no matter how tired you are, you can’t see the end in sight. At which point it’s pretty hard to then convince yourself that it’s all going to turn out fine and you’re going to sleep tonight like a baby! Instead I’m thinking that I don’t sleep when I haven’t slept 36 hours so why start now.

At the moment I’m trying a hypnosis CD on coping with stress, will be eating bananas before bed (they have something in them to help you sleep) and we will be trying some temporary over-the-counter sleeping tablets to get me started.

Anyway, this article is all a bit serious and in writing this I was trying to find some sort of funny side which I have failed at miserably!

But I will say after my soul-destroying ongoing agonizing experience, I truly feel bad for those who have chronic insomnia and live like this every day of every month of every year :-/ I don’t think I could do it!

If anyone has any helpful tips for me, leave them in the comments section. They’d be much appreciated! :-)