inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness.
I suffer from insomnia. For the past couple of years, I can barely sleep the whole night and If I sleep anything, I usually wake up at around 3h30am or 4h30 am and i cant get back to sleep anymore.I can easily go without any sleep for about 6 days
The reason behind my sleepless nights? My restless mind
My insomnia episodes started when I worked night shifts for about 2 months, 7 years ago. Since then my sleep pattern has never been the same. I miss the days where I could just sleep on command within 3 minutes and stay asleep for about 10hours.
Coincidence or not, during those night shifts our break time used to be between 3h30 and 4h30am, the same time that I wake up right now. Maybe I’m hungry also… 😅
I, unfortunately, overthink too much also. Think about everything and anything. Think about what I’ve done that day, what I need to do the next day, the dirty laundry that I need to do, the tasks at work that I need to tackle. The mistakes that I’ve done in the past. What I’m doing with my life in the present In my fear of the future. The lack of people around me in the same wavelength and interests. The lack of inspiration around me and where to get it and find it. My fears and insecurities, people that have been in my life and are not anymore.
I don’t suffer from anxiety, I don’t have depression and my life is quite good. I simply think too much of all the philosophical and psychological ways of existing as a woman ( especially a black Portuguese woman) in this modern world
I think… because thinking obsessively makes me process the past and plan the future ahead. I know that the mistakes of the past are the victories of the present. That everything happens in our life for a reason, and that people are in our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime. My brain knows that, but my mind is still unstoppable, I still wonder sleepless at night.
During my insomnia episodes, I can write/ think of a novel the size of The Idiot from Dostoyevsky. Every night I imagine scenarios that never happen or will happen, with conversations that never existed. I imagine if I was quicker on my feet, Whittier I would have answered differently and that would have brought me better relationships, better friendships, better jobs.
Sometimes I take the opportunity to write, read or study a bit.This is when I know that I will not sleep at all for a while
I think about ways that I said this…but I would have like to have said that instead….
I know that there is no point to think in the past. What’s in the past in the past. I know also that my reactions are always slow and that I answered to the best of my abilities at that time.
I also understand that I took certain decisions because I thought that it was the best decision for me at that particular moment in time. I believe that thinking the way I think, imagining scenarios are also a way of being creative, maybe the writer in me likes to invent discussions that never existed. Is a way to process what good or bad it happened to me during the day and its a way to learn from my mistakes and become a better woman
The video below explains the science and psychological reason of why people have insomnia
I found ways between 2016 and 2017 of dealing with insomnia, I understood after watching the video that one of the reasons why I’m having so many bad episodes of sleepless nights was because I did not have enough time to think during the day about all my worries and stresses and process all that information properly
I’ve been doing meditation and using different apps to help disconnect from the stresses of my day to day and the social media.
My favorites are
Calm app ( free with some premium paid features)
This is a very cool app because you can set a scene before you go to bed and imagine that you are on a beach, near a fireplace or just listening to the rain. Has also breathing exercises and sleep stories to cozy you up straight to sleep
Recently I found also Headspace (free with some premium feature)
this app focuses more on meditation techniques and breathing techniques to put your mind at ease not only during the day, to help fall asleep easier and to calm down after a stressful day.
These apps have helped me hugely. I still have serious insomnia episodes where i just cant sleep for days ( i have been once full 8 days with no sleep at all), hugely when something major happens in my life, but now i know how to better control it, why I’m having them and what to do to go back to normal
I have also been cutting massively on coffee, exercising more, eating better, not eating anything too sugary before bed, and I don’t drink alcohol or smoke…you know the usual
What are the techniques that you use for your insomnia?