Monster under my bed and the monster in my head – My diary of Insomnia
I am exhausted. I should probably sleep.
*goes to bed*
I’ve been trying to sleep since forever. God, why is it so difficult for me?
*starts becoming restless*
I am so frustrated!
*looks at the time*
I only have six hours left to sleep.
*starts pondering upon life*
Nothing ever goes as I plan.
Everyone hates me!
While this might sound like a really funny plot line for a sit-com, where the character is a overthinking maniac, this is a depiction of a problem that a mass population face! Insomnia is a common sleep problem faced by all age groups – but mostly adults. Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling and/or staying asleep. The condition can be short-term (acute) or can last a long time (chronic).
I was diagnosed with insomnia when I was 12 years old. It all began when I started getting bullied at school. The idea of having to face my bullies masquerading as my friends/classmates gave me extreme anxiety and stress. As I developed Generalized Anxiety Disorder, insomnia came as a package deal. I would not sleep for days! I would spend my time overthinking and panicking. My insomnia would keep me awake, and when I did sleep, I was intensely talking and walking in my sleep, while also waking up nervously and in the state of panic. The solution my doctor gave – sleeping pills!
While the pills helped me sleep, it also made me drowsy to the point I could function normally. I would feel flaky and fall asleep in class, could not pay attention and was always low on energy. For my own benefit, I decided not to take the pills. Thus, I was back on the train to Insomnia Ville.
This went on for years. Whenever I had problem sleeping, I would start writing. The one positive side of my problem was that I had extra time to explore my creative side. Since I was constantly overthinking, my creativity was exploding! I started writing stories, writing about my experience and forming characters. Since most of my emotions came out in the form of storytelling and writing, I started feeling better excessively. And breaking news – I started adapting to a better sleep pattern!
Even though I kept struggling with insomnia for many years after that, I somehow found a way to channel it towards my own growth – that did not always help my sleep, but that definitely helped me deal with my emotions and find a peace of mind.
As I grew up, my insomnia became a little less regular. It seemed like it would be with me forever – but it visited me a lot less, like my school friends (and my bullies). As I stepped into adulthood, it found a reason to stay with me, in various forms, kind of like a toxic relationship. What I have learnt is, my sleep is entirely in control of me – and I should not be so harsh on myself for not being able to sleep. Now, I give myself the space to be okay with not always having a good sleep pattern, while also working on being more disciplined with it.
Like I said, it is all in your hands (and in your mind). And, the bullies in your school or the monsters under your bed, they are not worth disturbing your sleep over.