What Not To Say To Someone With Insomnia

What Not To Say To Someone With Insomnia

As someone with a prominent sleep disorder (I’m sure you have heard of insomnia), I often feel like sleep disorders are trivialized. Whenever I share my experience, I’m quickly told that everyone has such ‘disorders’. I agree that, ‘not being able to sleep’ is common among people, and can happen often to everyone. But that doesn’t mean everyone has the disorder. Sometimes I feel like making a list of things not to say to someone with insomnia, and hand it to everyone before I feel my experience with it. So, I decided to write about it anyway. 

Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t say to someone with insomnia along with proper reasonings: 

But I saw you sleeping – I don’t think you have insomnia. 

*Breaking news* 

People with insomnia do in fact sleep. We are humans after all. It’s not like people with insomnia can’t sleep – they have trouble falling asleep. Please remember that. And don’t accuse someone with insomnia to be lying just because you saw them sleeping. Be glad that they are sleeping because it must be really difficult for them to do it. It doesn’t matter what you ‘think’, they have a real disorder that they are dealing with – be supportive, not accusative! 


Why don’t you just try to sleep? 

Wow. Quality advice! Thank you. I never thought of this. Just try sleeping. Yeah, I guess that will help. 

Let me just tell you, we have tried sleeping and we are trying. The point is, despite trying, we aren’t able to get a proper sleep. You don’t stop being bald by trying to grow hair. They must’ve tried. Don’t you think? 

My advice – stop saying it! 

You look so tired today – have you not slept? 

Yup. I spent hours trying to hide the fact that I didn’t sleep. But you still figured it out. Bingo! You’ve won a prize money of a gazillion dollars! Use it to stay far away from me and my tired face. 

First of all, I know I look tired. I am tired. But why would you do say something like that? Yes, I had trouble sleeping – and you probably know it. But you still decided to remind me. Why don’t you try something new – DON’T SAY IT! 

Try it everyday to avoid being a douchebag! 


If you sleep in the afternoon, you obviously won’t be able to sleep at night. 

*Slow claps*,  what a declaration! 

First of all, this is not a correct fact. I know so many people who sleep in the afternoon, and sleep fine at night too. First of all, you have no right to tell me when I should sleep and when I shouldn’t. And secondly, you don’t have the right to question my disorder. So, suck it up, and mind your own business if you can’t be supportive and empathetic. 

You must have so much time to get work done. 

I’ve been told this so many times that I’ve actually felt horrible about myself just because I couldn’t work or got stuff done during my sleepless nights. And it’s normal. You can’t expect someone who worked all day and is now having trouble sleeping to work more amid the frustration. So, it’s not me who should be feeling horrible about myself. I’m not trying to pull an all-nighter. I’m trying to pull a miracle where I get a good night’s sleep! 

Just five for now. But there are many more than just these. Instead of being so critical and cynical about insomnia, why don’t you try being compassionate, empathetic and supportive of it. You’ll be helping someone and that’s much better than being inconsiderate, according to me. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *