A Cup Of Tea In The Middle Of The Night

I’m still awake.

It’s a quarter to one in the morning on the third night of a random bout of insomnia. I’m currently drinking tea, listening to music and…writing this. Insomnia is an odd thing, the way the body stays awake despite the minds desperate need for sleep.

I was more desperate last night, I think I’m acclimating again. That or I’m aware that I don’t have to get up for work tomorrow. I have to get up, but I don’t have work. I take a little comfort in that. Today at work I got shouted at and immediately burst into tears, not professional but very telling of my state of mind.

I don’t know if I feel better now but I’m still awake so I’m guessing the sleeping tablets don’t work any more.

Shame really, they didn’t give me nightmares or weird dreams.

I have a long history with insomnia, from the age of twelve or thirteen I stopped sleeping; getting roughly an hour or two a night. Maybe a little more. Some nights, especially when at my dad’s house, I never slept at all at night but for a few hours in the morning. I never told anyone, I tried explaining to my dad once when he insisted I get out of bed before eleven in the morning. He just told me to go to bed earlier.

I knew that would just mean more time to lie awake in bed thinking and listening to my sister talk to herself and snore.

I started sleeping again, all night when I was about nineteen. Not sure why. For a while I was convinced it was the safety I felt during that time, and as that eroded so did my ability to sleep. I still think that may be the case. I was scared a lot as a teenager.

Now, years and years later things are very different I am very different.

Most of the fear is gone, worry remains, anxiety, but that bone splintering fear I felt back that has mostly gone (not entirely, I will admit). My insomnia seems to fall into a very specific routine: for two or three days before my period, I struggle to get to sleep, use sleeping tablets for a few days, and then my period starts and I start sleeping again. I sleep well these days, sleep through anything, snoring, cats, roosters…fairground rides outside my window. I sleep anywhere. Bed, sofa, lawn, train station platform at four am.

So this bout of insomnia is a little different. We’re passed the PMS and through that great first week of the cycle where you’re the furthest away from another period, so it’s not that. Nothing is on my mind more than it ever is – you’d think with a baby on the way my anxiety would make itself known a little more but I’m fine. No serious feelings of depression. No serious feelings of anything. Good or bad.

I’m stable.

So this bout of insomnia is a little out of the ordinary.

Yesterday I was desperate. I’d already not slept well the night before (it was gone one am again), and I knew how much work I had to do today (I cancelled an appointment at the hospital with the physiotherapist so I could work this morning instead), and when you work in a pharmacy everything requires concentration, accuracy and everything is important.

I started the day with a can of diet caffeine and seriously considered one of those horrible looking energy drinks but that last time I had one was with whiskey in it when I was 19 and the less said about that the better

I have tried all my usual tricks. Starting again (getting up, having a brew, a read and going back to bed). Music (on headphones),  reading fanfiction (back on an MCU kick) and a couple of other things. I tried a whole sleeping tablet (I’ve been taking half) but nothing, still awake, just thinking, listening to music and wondering what the hell I should try next. I know all the tricks, all the advice, I know everything.

It doesn’t change the fact that I can’t sleep.

But I’m okay with that, at least right now I am. Tomorrow night might be different as I have to work Saturday morning, we’ll see.

Right now though? Maybe I do try again, although, trying so hard is usually counterproductive. The only thing I haven’t tried is falling asleep to something on the television that I’ve seen a million times. But it’s hard to watch a crappy film in bed next to your sleeping heavily pregnant wife.

At least she’s asleep.

And the cats. Mustn’t forget the cats.

Sleep well. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.



10 Replies to “A Cup Of Tea In The Middle Of The Night

  1. Watching things I’ve watched many times helps me too, because I don’t stay awake wondering what will happen but it also slows my brain down. I hope you get some rest! #KCACOLS

  2. I find falling asleep very hard, I find sleeping in very easy though. I think my body clock was not made for this ‘normal world’, but I can’t say I have ever had insomnia, it sounds so difficult. Take good care of yourself and hope it improves #kcacols

  3. Oh I feel for you here. I suffer from bouts of insomnia and it is the most frustrating thing ever and well meaning people tell you to try warm-milk! I have never understood that and it never works for me. I hope you get to the bottom of what is causing yours at the moment. Fingers crossed you manage to get some sleep tonight Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  4. Insomnia is awful. I’ve suffered since I can remember, and with two small children ensuring that I don’t sleep even when I can I walk around in a constant state of ‘wtf’. I hope the tablets help you to get a few restful nights x #KCACOLS

  5. I get this now and again. Weirdly I’ve found ambient sounds help. I still wake up several times a night though, and I never sleep deeply enough to feel refreshed. Xx #KCACOLS

  6. I completely get this, I have been going through depression on and off for 4 years and I don’t think I have slept properly in all that time. I hope you find something to help you.

  7. I feel your pain, I’ve suffered on and off since I was about 16. I find it frustrating that I can’t pinpoint a particular cause/trigger… It just seems to come and go…. Being pregnant with a toddler certainly doesn’t help! Good luck!! #KCACOLS

  8. I’ve never suffered with insomnia but my kids are both terrible sleepers so I’ve had six years of broken nights. Sleep deprivation is awful. Hope you get over this bout soon #kcacols

  9. It’s very rare I get to sleep before 4 or 5am. I used to try everything too and all that happened was I’d toss and turn and get stressed out. Now I just go with the flow and spend the extra hours blogging and writing. It’s got to the point where I’m so used to it, I’d miss all the extra time I have if I went back to a normal routine
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

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