A to Z Challenge: I is for Insomnia #atozchallenge

I haven't slept in years.  I'm kidding.  I haven't slept through the night in years, though, that is true.  I think if I ever slept eight hours straight, I would ask someone to call a doctor... that there must be something wrong with me!

There are two kinds of insomnia (well, maybe there are more, I know about two):  There's the kind where a person can't fall asleep; and there's the kind that I have -- I can fall asleep, no problem at all, but I can't stay asleep.

In my particular situation (I can't stay asleep), the factors are many, from too many pets, a snoring spouse, working a different shift than just about everyone else on the planet, being an extremely light sleeper my whole life, and manic thought processes.  The middle of the night is the worst time in the world for thoughts.  You either think you are solving all of the problems in the entire world, but you can't get started because, well, it's 3:30 a.m.; or, you are convinced that everything is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad... and getting worse.  Seriously, the middle of the night thought processes are some of the worst thoughts I've ever had in my life.  It's never ended up "good", let's just put it that way.

This problem afflicts me even when I'm traveling, staying in a hotel, at a friend's home, at our vacation home, wherever.  So, it's not a feature of my home environment, my spouse, or my pets.  I've often thought it a circadian rhythm problem, but if that's the case, why does it happen when I travel across time zones?  That makes things more puzzling, still.  As I said, I've been a light sleeper ever since I can remember.  It's just me.  A dog hair hits the floor and I'm awake!

I have hardly battled the problem of being unable to fall asleep, so I can't really write intelligently about that.  I'll paste some links below that might be helpful.  They always say avoid caffeine late in the day, and don't exercise near bedtime.  Other than that, I don't know too much about it off the top of my head.

What to do about insomnia?  Some people swear by the hormone melatonin.  I can't take melatonin, it gives me horrendous nightmares.  Sure, I actually stay asleep, but it is so not worth it.  I'd rather be awake than stuck in some freaky dream.  I don't know what that's about, and I do not want to visit that place in my brain again!

Some insomniacs say get up and do something productive.  Other ideas include reading, doing an activity that you have proven is boring to you, taking a bath, taking sleep aids, moving to a different room, asking your partner for a massage, talking to a friend in another time zone who is still awake.  My "boring" activity?  Video solitaire on my iPad, or (sadly they've all been cancelled) watching soap operas!  Both things, even though I adore them, put me immediately into droopy-eye mode.

Certain well-known bipolar artists, musicians and writers have been known to produce their best work during bouts of insomnia.  I'm not certain I'd recommend this, but it is an interesting phenomenon.

Here are some links on both kinds of insomnia, and recommended treatments:





  1. Fortunately this doesn't happen to me too often, but I'm like you when it does. If I need to get sleepy I do the computer solitaire til I'm groggy. I can't sleep much more than 5 hours per night usually.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting :) Yea, I sleep about 5 hours a night, total. That's between multiple awakenings, if you add up all my sleep "hours" (minutes?!) I sometimes can sleep through 5 straight hours, but it's rare around here. I don't know why the iPad solitaire makes me so groggy! LOL It's fun!

  2. I'm suffering from insomnia too and pretty much always wake up around 3 am if not 2 to 3 times a night. My acupuncturist thinks this is due to a kidney / liver / spleen deficiency. Here are some interesting articles to peruse for info:


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