Thursday, August 25, 2016


I'm having the worst insomnia, y'all.

I've always had trouble sleeping -- I'm talking since infancy. One of my earliest memories is being four years old (we had just moved into our new house, out of the trailer) and wandering around in the dark in the middle of the night after everyone else was asleep. This wasn't just once, either. I did this all the time.

Later, I came to learn that I might well suffer from something called delayed sleep phrase disorder -- that is, my circadian rhythm is out of phase with the planet, more or less. When I was younger, I just suffered with it, getting to sleep (usually) at two or three a.m. and waking (when I had to, which was when I was in school or when I started working) three or four hours later.

University schedules sometimes let me arrange to start my day later, which helped a little.

(My younger brother (the one who is dead now) also suffered from similar insomnia. He used whiskey to self-medicate, which I can't really advise.)

In my early thirties, I discovered melatonin, which helped more than anything else. I've been taking five to ten mgs of melatonin every night for over 20 years now. It worked for a very long time, but lately not so much.

I remember this feeling from when I was a kid, and a young adult -- this miserable exhaustion, the ache in my skull and bones, the absolutely bleak depression and certainty that nothing will ever be all right again. (DSPD is linked to depression, my sources tell me.  Oh, ya think?)

I suppose I should go see my physician. Though, given this is Arkansas, I know what she'll tell me. "Get more exercise." "Drink warm milk!" "Try going to bed earlier."

Oh, thanks. Why didn't I think of that?


Bardiac said...

I used to have bad insomnia. Then I figured out that listening to books on tape helps me fall asleep better.

But sometimes, I still have bad insomnia, and it puts me in a bad mood! Ugh!

I hope you find a useful solution for yourself!

Anonymous said...

I've developed insomnia over the last year or so.

For me, the melatonin works really well. If I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning and feel wide awake, I'll take a 3mg tablet. This seems to allow my to get back to sleep. I've taken the 10mg slow release tablet for jet-lag related insomnia, and it too seems to work. I still wake in the middle of the night, but am able to get back to sleep with melatonin, whereas without it I'm up for hours.

I've also cut caffeine out after 2 in the afternoon. If I have coffee or tea later than this my sleep is reliably disrupted. I drink lots of coffee in the morning.

JaneB said...

I used to be nicely in sync with the planet. Then in the course of a couple of years I was diagnosed with depression and had post viral fatigue syndrome, and whether it's the medication or a consequence or what, I am now about four hours adrift. It's HORRIBLE and I EMPATHISE HUGELY.