I am not an actual insomniac. A bit of a plot twist, ain’t it? Well, maybe not if you’re one of the three people who only knows me from this mostly inactive blog alone but if you’ve heard me rant on Instagram or Facebook before about never being able to sleep, this may come as news to you. I haven’t been diagnosed with insomnia at any point in my life but I did almost certainly have a case of sleep deprivation as many nights in 2017 would pass where I would never get more than two hours of sleep for whatever reason. But as of recently, I’ve found that not only have I been relatively well rested but that I might even be getting too much rest… let me explain.
On the 25th of May, 2017, there was an attempted break in at my place. It was just one guy, a tall man dressed in black, who tried to get in through my bedroom, the only bedroom downstairs in the house. I woke to the sound of him trying to pick the lock, saw and understood the severity of the situation, triggered the alarm from inside and watched as he went running. There was a temporary panic in the house as my dad was out of town and no one knew exactly if the man had left or if he was still somewhere in the yard but eventually the security company arrived and confirmed that we were safe. Naturally, we fortified the house to ensure no further break in attempts would occur. That would have been that, problem solved, but I found that for many days after I was unable to sleep. Here’s the thing; I have what I like to call ‘situational paranoia’ meaning at random times, I can feel as though anything can go wrong at any moment. It also plays in with my irrational fear of death and how sometimes I may be too afraid to cross the street as I don’t trust drivers on the road, even if the lanes are clear. The paranoia came into play at night now as I felt the need to stay awake and keep my eyes on the curtains to see if I noticed the silhouette of another potential burglar so I could react in time instead of being caught unaware and murdered in my sleep. During the day, I would be aware of how irrational it was but at night, it made perfect sense.
Even after the paranoia died down several months later, the inability to sleep persisted. It was one thing to be kept up because I was afraid that every creaking sound was the devil himself trying to end my life but it got to the point where it would be 10:30 at night, I’d fall asleep, randomly wake up at 1am, and, for the life of me, could never fall back asleep. You’d think it would be worse on school nights where I needed to be well rested to get through the day but being half asleep at school was never something I cared too much about. It was the weekends, my time for writing and being productive, when I really suffered. From midnight to 5am, I would be wide awake and then all of a sudden, just as the sun would begin to rise, I’d fall unconscious and sleep until 10, completely chowing into my daily schedule. For most of 2017, my body clock was a mess, coffee was more common in me than blood, and my nights were spent sitting awake looking at my phone as I would be too tired to work but not tired enough to sleep.
But that was only in 2017. Around the time when final exams finished and I was finally free of high-school, I started sleeping through the nights again and waking up at 7:30 like a normal human being. I theorized that maybe all the sleep deprivation came a subconscious attempt to deal with my conscious ignoring of homework assignments, a feeling similar to stress but not nearly as stressful. It was my mind telling my body, “Listen, I’ve bought you time to finish those assignments,” and my body responding with, “Mind, I chose not to do those sodding assignments for a reason. Just let me be!” I still don’t know if my theory is true or not as, once again, I haven’t done enough research on my condition to know how it works but it quickly began to escalate beyond what I thought it was. Soon it didn’t feel like the stress was over and so I was getting the right amount of sleep again. It began to feel as though my body was making up for all the sleep that it lost in past.
I’ve started sleeping in until 9am! And I’m still only falling asleep at maybe 10 or 11 o’clock at night. I mean I wanted to get a decent amount of sleep but I always thought seven should be my maximum and five my minimum. Now I’m even starting to make it to ten hours of sleep plus a bonus hour of just sitting in bed at the beginning of the day. For some people, this is normal… in fact, I’m sure this is normal for most people on vacation. But for me, this is outright sinful! I’m a busy man ((not really))! I don’t have time to waste being unconscious. I should be awake, writing books, designing campaigns, consuming media, and doing all sorts of semi-important stuff. There was a point in my life (2015 and 2016) when my body clock was superb. I’d sleep from 11pm to 5am consistently, waking up naturally in the early morning each day. It was great in the colder seasons as I could watch the sun rise from my desk by the window as I sipped my morning cappuccino and started to work on whatever it was I was working on. Now instead of sleeping only six hours, I’m unconscious for ten and still feeling exhausted when I wake up. I think I might even prefer my insomnia over this.
There were times when I could power through the night and manage to work on assignments or scripts or little essays I wrote for myself during my insomniac days and those nights always felt like they were better spent that ones where I’d simply get well rested. Obviously, it wasn’t healthy but I’m not here to care about my health. I’m here to be productive! This likely relates once again to my fear of death. Sometimes I feel like I have so little time to be alive that I need to make optimal use of the days I have. Thus, spending more than a quarter of my day sleeping always feels like an absolute waste of my time. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to sleep. I’ve never been the type of person to romanticize falling asleep like my peers or to love my bed more than I care for its function. Sleep, in my opinion, is an inconvenience. It breaks a streak, takes away from the time I could be spending living, and ultimately feels like it achieves nothing…
Yes, I know I should be glad that I’m finally getting some sleep for a change but there’s something sad about waking up and seeing the sun already risen and hearing everyone in the house already up and moving. It’s like I’m late to the new day and I prefer to be the first to arrive. I miss the days when I couldn’t sleep. Despite the dependency I had developed on coffee and how it stemmed primarily from a fear of home invasion, it was preferable. At least I could watch the sunrise every morning… IDK, maybe I’m just being dumb.