This post was contributed by Charlotte Underwood. She was kind enough to write about her experiences with insomnia. After you finish reading her post, head over to her website by clicking here, and please also visit her on Twitter, at @CUnderwoodUK.
One glimpse into insomnia
There was a point in my life where I found that insomnia was romanticised. As a youth, it seems like the “in” thing is to be able to pull an all-nighter. I admit I was ignorant to insomnia because I didn’t really understand it. All I knew was that my father suffered from it. I often found him asleep in the most random places and at random times. Undoubtedly where his body had eventually caved from exhaustion.
What I didn’t know was that I was also suffering from insomnia, though it was just masked as a fear. I have always been scared of the dark because, for the most part of my life, I would hallucinate and see things that others did not. Because of this, I would barely sleep and could never fully rest. Paired with a tiny bladder, my mind was just not getting the chance to recover from each day.
What started as a fear became so chronic that I became an insomniac, which I have now been for the most part of a decade. I do love to sleep, and I am a person who needs plenty of sleep to get through each day. I tend to be more tired than most people and I can become so irritable. However, when you are trying to sleep with one eye open and sleep only brings lucid night terrors, it can be hard to fight back.
Ten years is such a long time to not be able to recall a good nights sleep. I would just mask it with energy drinks, coffee and junk food because, honestly, I didn’t realize that insomnia was even a bad thing. I had no idea the knock on effects and damage it could do to me, like it did my father.
Getting insomnia under control
At 22, I am proud to say that my insomnia has left me for the first time, after over a year on a new medication to help me sleep. Being able to have a routine and get rest has been so vital in my recovery, and it has allowed me to understand myself more. My mind is so much more clear now.
When people joke about people who are not sleeping or are moody due to this, I feel like they are ignoring that a person might actually be suffering from a chronic condition, which to me, insomnia is. After all, we need to sleep to survive. We can’t live without it. Not for long, anyway.
If someone needs some space before they finish their coffee or if they need a nap, let them embrace it. Top up their coffee or grab them a pillow, because you have no idea when the last time it was that they got a full 8 hours of sleep. It really is a luxury to some of us.
To fellow insomniacs, I recommend figuring out what soothes you, like certain music, a podcast, or even an audio book. Make sure your bed is suited to your every dream desire. Don’t be afraid to air your concerns if your partner is stopping you from sleeping. Compromise is key.
The most important thing, though, is that insomnia can be stopped in its track and there are so many ways to do that!
I’m so glad that Charlotte wanted to share this with us. I’m currently having issues with insomnia and, sometimes, I have to take sleeping pills to get to sleep. Especially if it’s a weekday and I have work the next day.
Do you have any problems with insomnia? What are ways that you’ve been successful in dealing with it?