Sleepless And Unsettled (and far from Seattle) (slightly NSFW)

So I posted over on How To Get Up From An All Time Low that I have had a grand total of one night’s sleep since Sunday, and that I have been given a rather unhelpful set of things to “try” that I have long since given up on. As an aside, I refuse to waste money on herbal sleeping tablets when I know they don’t work on me.
I know the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results, but hey, I’m a crazy person, otherwise I would be asleep at 3:40am right now (update; as I’m about to click “publish,” it’s now 4:19am.  Guess what?  Well I’m not typing this in my sleep).
So these are all the things I’ve tried since Sunday to get myself to drop off, with a report on how successful they were:

1. Camomile tea. It did nothing. It never does anything. I still drink it cos it’s tastylicious though.

2. Eating before 9pm so I’m not digesting. This has never worked either (spoiler alert: none of the things here worked).

3. Going to bed early, even if you’re not tired, and setting an alarm for early, so you get a “routine” going. This has never worked either, unless I’m working and my continued employment depends on me turning up somewhere at a specified time, in which case it has generally not been too bad. I used to think this was the key to getting up, but now I think it’s totally dependent on my mood hypomania/depression.

4. Avoiding computer screens for 2 hours before bed. If this worked, surely it wouldn’t take me over 4 hours to get to sleep in the past few weeks before my brain lost it’s standby button again, because when you lie in bed for over 4 hours trying to sleep, and people tell you useless shit like “do x y and z in the 2 hours before bed” you think, “well if that worked, surely the first 2 of the many hours spent in a silent dark room lying down with my eyes closed would get me to nod off.” I had this insomnia problem on and off for 15 years before all these portable devices were even invented, in a house where for the first 5 years we lived with no TV, where I wasn’t allowed sugar until I was about 11. I think this is useless advice.

5. Get a bedtime routine going. I have an obsessive compulsion (not the disorder, there’s a difference between having one or two foibles and having real OCD and I don’t think I have OCD) about my going to bed/waking up routine. I go upstairs, use the loo, brush my teeth, put my retainer in, wash my face, dry it thoroughly, apply my eyelash serum, then I go to bed with my eyes half closed to allow my eyelash serum to dry (I’ve just switched from RapidLash to RevitaLash to see which is better), and then I lie down and wait for it to dry, then I drink some sips of water and go to sleep. Every. Single. Night. I’ve even done it all tonight and then I got up again because I’m so bored lying in bed so many days in a row when I’m not tired.

6. Try getting back up if you aren’t falling asleep after half an hour, and do something productive until you feel sleepy. Hmm… yeah, well I last felt sleepy on Monday night, I slept for 6 hours, and I haven’t felt remotely sleepy since. I’m concerned that my brain might run out of brain cells or something, I heard that happens when you don’t get enough sleep and it’s a worry.

7. Bedtime story. My husband has read my favourite bedtime story (for realsies) to me every single night since I stopped sleeping properly. It didn’t work but when you’re this sleepless you’ll try anything to stop you turning into an angsty teenage vampire. I hear this happens if you don’t sleep for long enough.

8. Relaxing scents such as lavender. My bed could not be softer and snugglier. I just get so taken with how warm and cosy it is, that I stay awake savouring it. Every single thing in the universe is a sensory stimulant at the moment – too comfy, too uncomfy, too warm, too cold, everything is input and I can’t switch it off and I’ve got too many things to think.

9. Mindfulness techniques of consciously telling yourself to stop thinking and go to sleep when you catch yourself thinking about things. Mmm yeah I get bored after enough times of repeating myself. My brain’s not listening to logic or reason.

10. Meditation or astral projection: I am too distractable to sustain it for long enough and break concentration then my mind just wanders.

11. 5HTP capsules. This is an amino acid supplement that basically promotes serotonin so you calm and sleep. It helped the first time I took it but you need enough time to sleep afterwards so you don’t feel groggy and I never think of it until I’m due to get up in two or three hours’ time.

12. Listening to soft music. I just got so filled with joy and happy that I was bouncing around in bed in time to the music and squiggling around under the blanket and I had to turn it off as I was causing a disturbance.

13. (NSFW) Sex. Again, just seems to wake me up at the moment and make me feel energized and bouncy.

14. Avoiding tea and coffee in the two hours before bed.  I don’t drink coffee.  And the caffeine in tea is an optical isomer that doesn’t actually work as a stimulant (its the placebo effect) and yet I still avoided tea before bed, and guess what???  I’m still awake.  I know, it was a surprise ending, you were expecting it to work, but the clues were there in the rest of the article for the discerning reader to pick up on (this is a joke.  It should have been really obvious as I’m awake and writing this post).

15. Staying up all night, driving 3 hours to Wales, climbing it’s highest mountain and back down, then driving home.  This got me sleeping for a few hours after I’d been up for 36 hours.  Then I woke up again.  I always wake up again.

Conclusion:
I want to go outside and dance around until I find a place that sells ice cream donuts then choreograph them into a musical about snacks. I can hear the potential sound track (Mr Blue Sky by some band or other, followed by Happy Together by the Turtles) when I think about this. I should probably stay indoors because I think that’s the crazy train a-calling and I’m trying to grow my eyelashes.  Yay insight.

Marjory was on the top of the pyramid until someone came and ate her... Her echoing screams torment the other donuts, as they sing to distract their human predators from their final destination... someone's stomach.
Marjory was on the top of the pyramid until someone came and ate her… Her echoing screams torment the other donuts, as they sing to distract their human predators from their final destination… someone’s stomach.

Maybe eating a ton of sugar will help?  It’s about as useful as a suggestion as anything else…

Does anyone know when hypomania flips over into actual mania?  Because I must be close by now.  I was SURE I’d get to sleep tonight, I feel so normal…

I need something to do to take my mind off my predicament…

I feel like one of the characters from Pelleas et Melisande…

Update at 4:30am:   Just as an FYI… I’m thinking of downing a quantity of dry Martini and seeing where that gets me.  I’ve had literally no alcohol at all for about 5 months so it shouldn’t take much to get me to non-awake.  It should wear off before I need to be up again at 7, right?  Why didn’t I think of this before??

Update at 3:00pm: Well I drank about 1/2 pint of martini and three shots of gin, and I was out of it for nearly 12 hours, and I definitely remember dreaming, so I’m going to say that was a successful experiment and alcohol is the solution to the sleep problem.  Apparently my system doesn’t have enough alcohol in it.  I hope this isn’t leading me anywhere bad, alcohol has never behaved like that to me before, usually it just makes me ill, and I even woke up feeling totally fine and spry this afternoon, so I can reset the “date last slept” chalkboard.

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Author: MsAdventure

I am a twentysomething travel, photography and beauty blogger who occasionally writes about other topics. Within travel, I tend to write mostly about Europe because all the other travel bloggers seem to write about South East Asia. As a writer, I have written articles that are published in Offbeat Bride and on Buzzfeed, and as a photographer, I have taken photographs that are published in local and national news outlets in the UK. I have a blog at www.delightandinspire.com

9 thoughts on “Sleepless And Unsettled (and far from Seattle) (slightly NSFW)”

  1. I wish I had good advice for you that you haven’t heard, and that really works… But I don’t. The only thing is have you tried melotonin? Not sure how it’s spelled. I’ve never tried it but I’ve heard it helps for sleep. 😵

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t tried it but I have tried going out in the sun which stimulates melanin production which apparently also increases the amount of melatonin in the system, and I’d quite like to get my hands on some actually but I don’t know where to get it that’s a reputable supplier to the UK market. But I have heard good things about it (totally forgot about melatonin this whole week – you may be onto something here, thanks for your suggestion).

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    2. *edit to my above reply: I meant to say that I’ve found going out in the sun during the day really really helpful but it’s been cloudy recently and I haven’t had time to go to the sunbeds, so melatonin capsules would be very welcome. 🙂

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    1. No but I thought I’d try them all again at least once because if I get sectioned I can never ever work as a science teacher ever again (even though the home office is vowing to improve this generally). And I kinda want to. So anything that gets me to sleep and stops them sectioning me is worth a go even if it’s stupid or sensible. But only as a last resort.

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      1. Although I had an idea on Monday that could allow me to continue earning money teaching science without ever setting foot in a classroom again but I want to get my new camera and make it happen before I talk about it in depth, in case someone else gets there first. I think I’m possibly the only qualified science teacher with experience of teaching at a range of schools who has the time to make it happen but I don’t want to find out after the fact… This probably either makes no sense or its as transparent as a tank top to an infrared camera. I’m not sure… This is what I HATE about this state I’m in, it stops me getting things done…

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