Sleepless in East London
Man, insomnia sucks. It sucks big, giant donkey balls. Every now and then I go through weeks-long bouts of it. I’m currently in the belly of that beast and your whole world becomes about sleep; wishing you could get it, trying to get it, figuring out when in the day you can get it. You’re like a crazed junkie, sleep is your drug and your supplier is fresh out of the good stuff. I’m currently in the Ed-Norton-at-the-beginning-of-Fight-Club level of zombie-ness. It’s painful, friends. I am quite literally, exhausted. So how can I drift back off into the land of nod?
The worst part of insomnia is that crazy cycle you get into of not being able to sleep, then panicking about not being able to sleep, which in turn, prevents you from getting to sleep. You spend the night basically just driving yourself insane.
When I tell people I’m going through a sleepless period, their first suggestion is sleeping pills. I’m the type of girl who won’t even take Asprin if I have a headache, so the thought of taking something to get me to sleep is a bridge too far. Yeah, sure, I may have a slight fear that taking one of those pills will result in me never waking up. Hey, I never said it was rational. Either way, I’d prefer for my body to just do what it’s supposed to do without the aid of some chemicals.
I’ve tried counting sheep. I’ve counted so many of those buggers I’ve developed an actual hatred of real, live sheep. They’re bastards. Then I find myself getting annoyed when I lose count, which is the entire point *covers head with pillow*
I’ll admit, I am completely guilty of working on my laptop til I fall asleep with it right next to me (that sleep is always short lived). Everyone says don’t have electronics in the bedroom and to ‘power down’ a couple of hours before you go to bed. I’m real happy for those people who have that kinda time in their day, but I don’t. A few nights ago, I tried it out. I turned my laptop off and went about the business of getting to sleep. I lay in bed staring at the ceiling for four hours. I got up at 3am. I could take no more.
These periods of insomnia are brought on by stress for me and my life is particularly stressful at the moment, so this is a somewhat expected, insanely annoying side effect. A couple of weeks ago, in an attempt to get myself calm, I ventured to the London Buddhist Centre for a free meditation session. I’ve been wanting to go for a while as I’ve always been interested in meditation, but had no clue how to start. These guided sessions, as it turned out, are great. One whole hour of complete relaxation. I’m not saying I mastered meditation in one session, but I’m definitely going back for more and the techniques I did learn (focusing on the breath) have helped me during 4am non-sleeping potential freak outs.
So maybe if I get down with this meditation thing more regularly, it may help me drift off to sleep more naturally, on account of me being less stressed and more calm. Here’s hoping anyway.
Have you ever suffered with insomnia? What did you do to overcome it?