Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Insomnia

Insomnia

Mind is the Matter

I'm currently wrestling with a bout of insomnia. This happens to me every once in a while, usually when I've got a lot of stuff in my head. My version of insomnia isn't the popular notion, where a person is up all night and never gets to sleep. Mine is luckily a more courteous version, where I have no trouble falling asleep, but once I wake up — I'm up. I believe much of this is rooted in my tendencies toward uni-tasking. The moment I wake up, my mind slyly folds up the "sleep" task, puts it on the shelf, and slips a new task on the table of consciousness while I was off peeing, or getting a drink of water, or some other common middle-of-the-night distraction. Then I get back in bed and say, "Alright... let's get back to some of that excellent sleeping!" But Brain says, "Sleep? Look on the table, buddy — I just laid out the [ fill in the blank with Kevin's latest project  ]!"

So I get up. I used to ignore what my mind was saying, and try and get back to sleep anyways. But all that lead to was laying in bed for the next 4-5 hours, wide awake, thinking — If I just lay here, I'll eventually fall asleep. In the meantime, Brain is getting pretty fucking pissed that I'm delaying whatever new task he laid out — so he punishes me by letting me fall asleep about 10 minutes before I have to wake up. Then I spend the rest of the day thick and grouchy; while Brain acts all smug because he knows that I don't have the balls to put a stick up my nose and poke him, even though I wanna teach him a lesson.

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There are currently 43 comments.

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Anders

God forbid you look at THE TIME when trying to go back to sleep...and I think I hate it more when I WAKE UP ten minutes before I have to :P

bearskinrug

Yeah - the first thing I do when I get up is look at the time - if it's before 3:00 AM, I know I'm in trouble...

As for waking up 10 minutes early - I haven't had that feeling since my school days :)

Anders

lucky bastard...lucky, talented bastard :)

RJ Hampden

You know what will punish the brain AND help you to sleep? Marijuana. Of course, you'll pretty much be stabbing your productivity with a stick.

bearskinrug

I'm willing to try anything... who makes this "Marijuana?" Pfizer? GlaxoSmithKline? I hope it's not Schering-Plough. I'll ask that policeman there...

John Nick

Kevin, you're cruel!

How dare you intone the words, "The moment I wake up," and NOT continue with the rest of the song, "I Say A Little Prayer For YOOOOUU!"

Even though you're crueller than Hamish the Plaid I'll offer you this remedy: try one of those sleeping mask/blindfold-thingys they hand out on transatlantic flights.

For as stupid as it sounds, those have cured me of exactly the insomnia you describe.

'Cos I'd wake up, my eyes would adjust, my brain would say, "Ooh, I'm SEEING things," and it would all be over.

The water or the trip to the bathroom weren't my reason for waking up -- I'd just do it 'cos I was awake.

Besides -- Mojo would get into ALL sorts of mischief if he saw that you were blindfolded.

bearskinrug

Wait - do I want him to get into mischief? I can't afford to have the house burn down a THIRD time!

Rachael

I have those nights of lying awake in a panic thinking about all the stuff that I have to do or finish or pay for or stifle my urge to pinch M's lips shut to stop his snoring. That's why I bought OTC sleeping pills. Several doses and you're dreaming about pinching M's lips shut... and no grogginess in the mornings!

wayne

i don't like to sleep. wish i didn't have to. but when i tell people this, they usually look at me like i just said i don't like puppies, or something else held to be universally good. very rarely have i encountered a kindred spirit whose love of their own consciousness makes them yearn for some medical breakthrough that would let people stay awake all the time with no ill effects. anyone else sleep to live instead of live to sleep?

Chris

I have trouble with the 'popular version' of insomnia. Unfortunately for me, it seems my most productive and creative times are late, LATE at night. Too many nights I work and lose track of the time, leaving the computer at 4 in the morning to crash into my bed and be worth shit for work the next day. I tried forcing myself to bed around 11 or 12, but my body is like...ummm what the fuck...i'm not tired. I am all too familiar with sitting in bed for hours saying to yourself 'eventually you'll fall asleep'. What I've found helpful is reading before bed (in particular something boring or something that does not interest you). I usually get a page and half into 'World War II: A Military History' before i pass out.

niff

Oh Kevin! i deleted my darn post!
what I was saying was:
WHO CARES?
just kidding, what i was really saying was:
You work for YOURSELF! just stay up until you can't take it anymore. Luckily we humans are programmed so we eventually WILL fall asleep. Heck, coach McGerk only make it 7 days. SO, the longest you'll go is a week. no worries!

joyce

Thank you thank you. This was so funny I had to pick myself up off the floor (oops, sorry about laughing at your pain!). I need that-home with a lousy cold and a sick kid.

bearskinrug

Wayne - I think I'm on your side Wayne... I complain about not sleeping, but then, I don't really WANT to sleep all the time...

Chris - Yeah - a history book will do it! I find that early Rome is the most effective. :)

Joyce - I'm glad I can help; and don't feel too bad, even the best of us get sick :)

sutter

i rarely have a problem wih insomnia. i have a clean conscience.

i'm with you, Wayne.sleep is a waste of time. you have to get ready to sleep - which in and of itself is an annoying ritual. then, you have to wake up! you stink, your breath tastes like feet, youre naked, you're hungry... etc. sleep is just a huge hassle!

bearskinrug

Listen, Sutter... I think you'd enjoy sleep more if you used an actual bed, instead of a park bench.

murten

I too sleep to live, I wish I don't have to sleep and I always put it off aslong as possible. I feel your pain when you say that people look wierd and stuff when you say these things. So sad.

McMullen

See, I think you have it all wrong. What your brain is really saying is that "hey let's stay up for a while so that you can nod off at work and get paid for it!"

I believe the Spanish call it a "siesta." It also helps if you remember to pack a pillow and/or have a crawl space under your desk where no one see you at a quick glance. It's all about priorities.. do work at night so you can sleep and get paid for it during the day.

Biggest Apple

I soooo feel your pain. I've suffered from insomnia since my early teens. It is truly torture.

Jolo

Just wondering... have you tried not sleeping for at least 2 days?

Kris

The best way to fall asleep is to try staying awake. Let your eyes open while thinking "I don't want to sleep, I don't want to sleep".
At least this worked for me.

I guess the opposite should work too :)

R4to

Ah Ah Ah (Evil genious laughter)... I have the perfect drug to eliminate once and for all, the insomnia problem.
Ask my wife something about economics or accounting.
ZZZZAAAAAAAPPPP!
Instant sleep out of the box.

PS- Reading any article related to accounting makes even an hibernating bear go even deeper.

bearskinrug

McMullen - The problem with a siesta is that it constitutes a nap. And I hate the groggy/hot/stupid feeling of a nap that lasted just a little too long.

Apple - The kind where you can't fall asleep, or my watered-down version? What do you usually do about it?

Jolo - Hmm... I could play a LOT of GTA in two days... hmmmmm

Kris - You know what? That might not be a bad thing to try...

R4TO - Sounds like a plan...

[ fade in; phone ringing: ]

Mrs. R4TO: Hello?
Me: Hi! This is Kevin. Tell me about accounting!
Mrs. R4TO: [ hangs up phone, walks over to computer, pulls internet connection from wall. Walks over to plush armchair. ] What the hell were you thinking, honey!!!?
R4TO: Sorry baby...

[ fade to black ]


Biggest Apple

The kind where you're exhausted to the point of tears so you go to bed only to discover that your brain has decided to kick into overtime.
Sadly, I have no cure though I am now looking into a pharmaceutical solution for the first time in my life.

bearskinrug

Ahah! I see...

Tell you what, if I read your post before, I would have felt like a pansy posting about my insomnia! I should count my blessings...

Richard

I have two different problems when it comes to sleeping, first is, i hate it... like really hate it, and I think I hate sleeping because I know that in the morning, Iíll have to pull my butt out of bed, when Iím happy just lying there.

But what I hate is when you can't sleep and you do something to pass the time (read a book, playing games) and 5 hours later... you fall asleep and lose your page, in your book, or fall asleep on the keyboard.

Biggest Apple

Got to say Richard it sounds to me like what you really hate is waking up. Can't say I blame you.

McMullen

Another thought would be the anvil over the door method. Now granted, you'll end up in a coma, but it's a sure fire way to cure that insomnia and get you the sleep you're forcing yourself to deserve.

bearskinrug

Richard - If I fall asleep while reading, I'll usually wake up with my finger wedged where I left off — often, I've lost circulation.

McMullen - I'm not going to fall for your sleazy anvil sales techniques, buddy! You blacksmiths are SO untrustworthy...

Biggest Apple

Besides everyone knows that sleep doesn't follow an anvil on the ol' coconut. If an anvil falls on your head all you get is a proliferation of small yellow birds flying in a rapid clockwise fashion whilst the sound of a cuckoo-clock chimes in the background.

bearskinrug

No - you're thinking of a SAFE. An anvil makes an anvil-shaped indentation in your head, which only comes out after vigorous head shaking.

Fernando Dunn II

For some reason, I used to wake up at exactly 3:13 every night. I probably still do, but I don't check the time to see. When I wake up around that time, I sometimes am energized and sit up for a while trying to go to sleep. I usually end up saying "forget it" and hop on to some internet project. Then, I'll finally crash again at 4:45, just 45 minutes before my usual wake time. Its a recipe for such a depressing day.

Kevin, what time do you usually go to sleep anyway? I think in my case, my diet and sleep schedule played a large part in my sleep.

McMullen

Cheap anvils... only 4 easy payments of $29.95.. and if you act now you'll get Mrs. R4to's 123 guide to economics and account. Act now while supplies last!

bearskinrug

Fernando - Yeah, that pretty much describes how it happens to me. I'll go to sleep usually sometime between 10:00 and 11:00...

McMullen - :) Sounds like a good deal!

Eric

I'm going to side with Richard on this one. I hate the feeling of going to bed late knowing I'm going to wake up early and feel horrible all day, even if it's a fun day like going to Disneyland or Casual Friday.

Eric

Oh, and a little detective work reveals that one year ago yesterday I helped inspire the drawing of a bald fat kid. I miss those days at my old job. Nothing to do, just sitting and surfing the web for hours and hours. I wonder how they replaced me. But that's a bit off topic isn't it? Okay, I rarely get insomnia. What's more likely is that I fall asleep in odd places. You know the story about the kid who fell asleep in class and everybody got up and left but him? Yeah, that was a good story.

Biggest Apple

I thought A.S.H. (anvil shaped head) only occured when someone used a hammer on your toe, making you sream and then they shove an anvil in your mouth.

bearskinrug

Hm.. you may be right. We'll have to do an experiment.

Henrik

You guys are great! I'm enjoying your posts very much (yeah I'm a few months behind but I just noticed this little shiny gem in the vast land called Internet).

Kayl

It's 4:35am, and i have a great day at the lake planned. Except, If i wanna follow through with that, i have to wake up at 9:00.. this font is sweet... Yea, I have like THE most annoying insomnia in the world. My body has this thing, where it MUST be up for at least 15 hours before it lets me sleep. I'm only 19.. Hopefully it goes away soon.. It's been like this since about grade 9, Falling asleep.. is impossible, until my body wants to. Reading doesnt work.. Nothing works. I tried nytol a couple times, it DEFINATELY works. but i dont like taking drugs. I think i might go to a doc and talk to him. any help email kdac00*@gmail.com (*those are zeros)

Rabia

I suffer from what i call inherited and non-inherited forms of insomnia; inherited being the one where im dead tired and dying to sleep but my my brain wont let me cause its come up with something 'important' to discuss (apparently this form is passed down through the women on my moms side of the family, it was either this or diabetes, im not sure whether i got off easy), and the other being where i cant sleep but there is nothing in my head (zombie-ish)

bearskinrug

Haha - from talking to my father and brother they both seem to have the same kind of insomnia as me. So I shall call mine inherited!

Dave

Mr. Blindy helps manage my sleep. He's a torchiere lamp with about 400 bazillion gajillion-watt CEFL (compactly evil fluorescent light bulbs) strategically aimed for my eyes on a timer. For two hours every morning, Mr. Blindy and his compactly evil minions try to hurl their hateful little photons into my eyes.

Sheets are useless for protection. Even the comforter cannot stand up to such a violent attack.

Since it knows that Mr. Blindy will force me out of bed, my body is much better about letting me go to sleep and stay that way.

bearskinrug

Sounds like Mr. Blindy needs to have a date with Mr. BBgun sometime...

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