Ever since I was in high school, sleeping has always been a nightly struggle for me, regardless of how tired I am the whole day. Fast forward 15 years later, I am now an employee who comes and goes the 7am/8am to 4pm/5pm work routine every single day. All that day’s work, plus the immense and patience-testing traffic in the roads of Manila to and fro work could have contributed and push me to lay in bed and get the well-deserved sleep after a long day every single week, right? Unfortunately, no.
I always say my body clock is so messed up I can’t even understand it myself. This post may probably be a cliche list of the most common struggles an insomniac suffer from trying to get some snooze and a well-deserved rest of the body and the mind, but I, being an insomniac myself, would want to share you my nightly struggle :
- I can’t stop thinking. This mind of mine tends to think of all sorts of stuff “to kill time”– from creating a menu for my office baon to listing down my to-do things for the following day, figuring out answers to the whys and the hows of life, et cetera, et cetera. My mind just seemed to not know how to calm down.
- I am lucky to fall asleep easily, but f*ck getting awakened in the wee hours of the morning for no reason at all! I gotta hate that most of the time that I am able to snooze easily in the evening, I will be awakened between 1am and 3am, inexplicably, without any external interruption of creepy noises, cat messing up the trash can, opened windows then suddenly heavy rain falls; nada. From there I would have a hard time going back to sleep.
- I can’t focus on my work, easily irritable and get annoyed quickly by the most mundane things. Call it a mood swing or me having a bad start of a day, but I would definitely attribute those to me lacking sleep.
- Noise is the worst enemy when trying to sleep at night. Not that I am surrounded by karaoke-ing neighbors or unnecessary evening noises but the simple spinning of the electric fan oscillator, the tick-tocking of the clock and even me moving around my bed seem to activate my auditory skills while I am conditioning my mind to snooze amidst the darkness of my room.
- Tumblin’ and rolling in the bed is the laziest exercise. The mind is busy thinking, all lights turned off yet here I am doing acrobats until I tire myself to get me some Zzzzzzs. I bet you understand <wink>.
- Consumption of sweets and heavy meal after 5pm is a no-no. The food we consume means additional energy for the body, which means we need to be active to burn this and use the energy it got converted into. However, since the goal is to fall asleep, I avoid consuming chocolates, junk snacks, and eating so much in the evening. Sweets wake my brain up, rice meals make me feel bloated and heavy and looking for something to do to digest the food I took in.
- Setting the alarm and checking how much time I still have before “waking up” the following morning. Configuring my phone to alarm by 4:30am, try to sleep by 7pm, only to be twisting and turning in my bed trying to fall asleep until 1am or until a few minutes before the alarm goes off.
- I spend the whole day yawning and craving for a soft bed after work but ends up wide awake when it’s time to really snooze. Imagine not having slept at all and to go to work and try to function like a normal, well-slept human being for 8 hours. Rushing to log out from work and travel way back home to jump in the bed and make up for that sleep deprivation the night before, and you end up all energetic even before all the lights went out as though you are ready for the next morning’s shift. Ugh.
A whole day is a fight to get a great sleep at night and a productive great day the next day. And that is a daily struggle of an insomniac.
I have tried a lot of ways to make me fall asleep easier at night and cure my insomnia. Even my colleagues and friends tried to suggest things I can do and products I can use to sedate myself and help me fall asleep. Some worked but I got immune to some which made it eventually ineffective.
Do you suffer from insomnia, too? What steps did you take to ease or cure your struggle to sleep?