Insomnia or I Wish to Hell I Could Sleep…

Yup, I’ve got it and I’ve had it most of my life. My mother said it was because I was born a night owl, whatever the hell that means – apparently it’s genetic or something. But unlike the fact of being ‘trained’ out of being left handed as child (lest I grow up to be a maniacal killer or something) there wasn’t any Dr. Spock on this.

When I was kid, I used to just daydream at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I’d imagine myself in all kinds of mystical and magical places. From William Tell’s dinner table to the Taj Mahal. I led a rather exciting life in my imagination as you can probably guess. And just as I began to her the chirpy little birds begin to wake is when I would finally drop off. Only to be shocked awake by Ma yelling for us to wake up. Breakfast was waiting, school was waiting, life was waiting. Me, I was nodding.

I also used to try reading under the blanket with a flashlight. That didn’t work out too well because I could never really get the right angle on the flashlight and we had those weird blankets that had that kind of open weave so the light was just broadcasted in a kind of prism pattern on the wall and could easily be seen at the bottom of my door. Then Dad would be grumbling about how kids ought to be asleep. Other times I’d sit in my window and watch the moon, as though it would do something like a little Fred Astaire number or perhaps a song. Ever wake up with you face on a cold window sill on a winter morning? Nope, not a pretty sight.

As a last ditch effort I would sneak out to the livingroom with my lame blanket, jack up the thermometer and sleep on the floor next to the heater vent. Something about intense heat could always make me nod off. As a teen I slept my way all the way through American History and Civics – who knew I’d grow up to be a rabble rouser and a political junkie???

Over the years I’ve more or less come to grips with the fact that I just don’t sleep all that much or all that well. Which for a while worked. Still I could never give up the ghost of finding some solution to it. I started running in order to help my sleep dysfunction – it did help and was really great for my thunder thighs and big ass – but then a car accident messed that up. Don’t you love it when a driver on crack doesn’t see you and forces you and your old Buick through a red light? Mighty exciting. Well then, talk about not being able to sleep – yeah that took couple years to get back to sleep after that but I must say the xrays of my reverse vector neck were quite pretty.

Eventually I kind of found a system of getting some sleep. A certain combination of vitamins, cutting back on caffiene, drinking more water, exercise and watching really boring television seemed to work pretty well. Some nights I could manage to get as much as seven hours.

Then there were those good years when all of sudden I could actually sleep for no reason at all. Those were fine but when they started and when they ended I couldn’t tell you. This year hasn’t been good for sleep. Too much excitement. Too many changes and this and that. But especially these last few weeks. It’s a good excitement and I’m happy about it but is it right that happiness should keep you up nights? That just seems unfair if you ask me.

Anyway, feel free to leave any tips, tricks or remedies you may know of – I’m desperate, and will try just about anything. Meanwhile, I’ll try crawling back into bed and see if I can just pass out from exhaustion.


25 thoughts on “Insomnia or I Wish to Hell I Could Sleep…

  1. Hi WC,

    The best thing in the world is to run a big fan on high in the room. It doesn’t even have to be pointed at you, but the air circulation and the noise cancellation work wonders. I’ve been doing that for over a year now, and, where once I woke up a dozen times a night trying to figure out what that noise was, I frequently remain unconscious until the sun comes up. My next goal is to convince my wife that blackout curtains are in style.

    the Grit

    Hey Grit,
    You know, I use that fan trick and it does help. Blackout curtains sound like another good tip – I wonder…. πŸ˜‰


  2. I’ve always had a tough time sleeping. The only time I slept well was this summer when my doctor let me take 20mgs of valium before I went to bed. Being from an addictive family I decided I shouldn’t do that for long so I weaned myself off. Now I’m back to falling asleep for two hours then being a wake for two hours then falling asleep for two hours then being awake for two hours….

    I wish I had some ideas for you. I know there are herbs but they’ve never helped me. My doctor gave me a sample of Lunesta and I read about it online and I won’t be taking that. The side effects are creepy.

    I’ve been trying to read before I go to bed to get to sleep but I always wake up two hours later.

    I’ll be checking here to see if people have some good ideas.

    Well Joanie honey, looks like we may have the same dang problem – maybe we should just schedule phone calls for the those late night intervals. πŸ˜‰


  3. I used to put myself with fascinating stories with myself as a rescued princess, etc.
    and I hate those times after you start a new job and all you do is think work, all night long, work work work all day and all night. Drives me crazy.

    I wish for you pleasant sweet sleepful dreams when you need them. πŸ™‚

    Well thanks C and I’m hoping the sleep fairie grants that wish – for both of us. And oh yeah the new work thing – enough to drive a person to drink, eh? πŸ˜‰


  4. Anonymum is absolutely right. Anytime I want sex, my wife falls fast asleep before I get in bed.

    LOL – oh Jeez Ham, you poor man. πŸ˜†


  5. Ok Annie you know me the raving insomniac himself
    I may sleep an hour or two in a night and that’s being on benzoes prescribed by my Dr. No sleep still for me. I heard tell of one of theose natural cures something to do with a a jar of cut up onions not sure what kind but google it. Keep them in a ball jar on the nigth stand and take a smell before nodding off they say it works..If nothing else it may keep the werewolves away…oops that’s a rope of garlic πŸ˜‰

    Hey Ger,
    Well that may work but I”m pretty sure that I won’t be able to live with a jar of onions by my bedside. And I can’t see myself sleeping in the kitchen either. Maybe another smell???? πŸ˜‰


  6. Using sweet onions to treat insomnia is practiced since ancient times.
    You can try the remedy you mentioned or even place a slice of onion under your pillow before sleeping at night to treat insomnia.

    For more information on home remedies for insomnia you can also read this page –

    Hey Ger,
    Thanks for digging up the link but I’ve got to say I won’t be going the onion route. Though maybe someone out there will give it a whirl and report back? πŸ˜‰


  7. I suffer from insomnia myself. I just try to keep busy until I can sleep. I live by the philosophy, ‘I’ll sleep when I get old.’

    Yeah, that’s a good philosophy but I’ve been on the no sleep track for a while too long. I’m just forcing myself at this point and it seems to be working… sort of.. πŸ™‚


  8. I’m with Moe. A good shaggin’ and I’m out like a light! lmao

    LOL Bettina,
    It must be the Aussie method. πŸ˜† What the heck is in the water down there?


  9. Insomnia was one of my (many) weird and seemingly unrelated symptoms before I was finally diagnosed with food allergies.

    Today I avoid gluten and dairy, and I’m usually out within 10 minutes of putting my head down. I can always tell when I’ve cheated a bit with the food rules, too, because the night after I’ll be staring at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep.

    Hey Lindsay and welcome to my little dive. You know, it has occurred to me that it might have to do with allergies – although I eat very little processed food and generally avoid starches so I don’t think it’s a gluten issue. I do eat dairy but not a lot of it – still I think there may be some allergy issues there. Thanks for your thoughts.


  10. Sorry, I don’t have a case of Me Too here!

    Fortunately for me, sleeping has never been an issue. I’ve heard some standard remedies as things like – turn your bedroom as a place only for sleep (ie, no working there, no reading, no writing, no tv watching.. it’s a sleep place only) and the association is supposed to help at some point.

    Also, consistency in bedtime – always go at the same time – have the same routine at the same time – even on weekends.

    I don’t know if these work or not.

    Personally, I always fill my days with challenging things mentally and physically and then when it comes to bedtime, I’m zonked and fall peacefully asleep.

    Good luck! πŸ™‚


    Hey D,
    I’m glad to hear that you don’t share this problem. It really bites. Yes, I’ve read all these tips and sure they help a little but not quite all the way. Oh well, maybe someday I’ll just sleep, eh? πŸ˜‰


  11. Daisy bedroom as the only place to sleep ? Guess no more sleeping on the job. Or have to have sex in the kitchen then instead Annie πŸ˜‰

    Whoa my friend, what are you putting in that hot chocolate of yours? πŸ˜‰


  12. Ummm yeah…sucks and I have no answers. I’ve tried it all.

    Otay in that case maybe we can get a rousing game of gin rummy going. I call shotgun. πŸ˜†


  13. I go through insomnia stages and have since I was a teenager. Last week was a bad week for sleep, but apparently I am catching up on it. I slept for 11 hours on Saturday night and last night I went to bed at 10.30 and I don’t think I even moved until I woke up at 6 when the alarm went off.

    And I’m with Bettina and Moe – sex!!!!!! Not sure what’s in the water but we could get it tested if you like πŸ™‚ I think that its more likely to be the endorphins that do it though. Is there endorphins in onions??????

    One thing that works for me is Polaramine (dexchlorpheniramine maleate) which is an antihistamine and enough to get me to sleep and not addictive. My Doctor suggested it years ago and it works. I had some last night so hence the good sleep.

    Lavender is supposed to work too – have you tried having a bath reasonably hot with a bit of lavender oil in it, and maybe a lavender bag under your pillow or something.

    Hey Gem,
    I have no idea if there are endorphins in onions but they aren’t coming into my bedroom and that’s a fact. Yep, tried the lavender and nope, doesn’t really make a difference. Also tried the antihistamine trick and all I got was groggy the next day 😦 I guess I’ll have to keep on looking, unless you want to send me some Aussie water or something and please don’t put vegemite in it, eh? πŸ˜‰


  14. Gerry – I didn’t remember if the article said you shouldn’t have sex in the bedroom or not.. but it seemed so absurd, so that’s why I did not make reference to it at all. Instead, I mentioned the no work, no reading, no TV, etc…

    But hey, Annie can go have sex in the kitchen for all I care.. might be a good excuse to get out of the bedroom once in a while. πŸ˜‰

    And does Annie have anything to say about this? πŸ˜†


  15. Hi Darling are you up. I am. Its four thirty, I’ve been up since ten to three.

    I quiet like my insomnia, I have to like it or I’d go insane. I’m thankful that I can write on my computer in the early hours. I quess if your busy insomina is not a problem.

    One good thing about insomnia for me is my siesta. I love the afternnon nap, its more than a nap actually its another bedtime for me. Its my best sleep.

    I quess insomnia wouldn’t be insomnia if you had a lover next to you, insomina would just become desire.

    So come on everyone, lets all be productive with our insomnia. Oh ! I quess your better off not hving a job if you got insomnia, how cool is that.You don’t have to feel quilty for not working, you’ve got insomnia instead. Hehe!! I’m laughing here. I think I’m going crazy. I need more coffee, that might help me drift back off eh!

    I never have trouble dropping off to sleep, its the staying asleep for me. My mind doesn’t want to stay asleep. Its to busy, and I always need coffee and fags.

    A post mistress would be a good job for me. Ha ! In fact I think I am a post mistress. I post a post a day and I sometimes wear leather.


    Ps. You could always snort some lavendar. Hehe!

    Gee Di,
    You make insomnia sound like fun. Maybe you should write a book entitled, “How to Enjoy Your Sleeplessness” it would probably a best seller. You are the proverbial optimist, always finding the bright side of things.



  16. Yes… I think its fair that happiness keeps you up all night.

    What a lovely thing to keep you up, aww!! staying up being all happy.

    Happinness all the way dear Annie

    Well you do have a point there, darlin’ πŸ™‚


  17. i’ve had many years of trouble sleeping, until i got this job. it kicks my ass pretty hardcore that i’m wanting to go to bed at 8. even if i nap in the afternoon, i’m ready for bed.
    I have NEVER been that way.

    so my answer, a good ass-kicking job.

    Also, a good orgasm whilst you’re lying there helps, too.

    Okay Red, so just so I have this straight…are you supposed to have the orgasm while you’re unconscious…??? πŸ˜†


  18. oh, and i hope you get some rest soon, annie . . maybe not sleep, but at least rest.

    LOL Red, yes… rest is paramount, I agree. πŸ˜‰


  19. House sex IS the first stage of marriage after all. Isn’t that what all those other rooms are for???? And the pool????? :))

    Dang you Aussie girls have sex on the brain. Must be why Evyl is such a popular boy in your circles. LOL.


  20. A nurse once suggested I take one or two Benadryls (diphenhydramine), an antihistamine, as mentioned above. The 4-hour formula shouldn’t leave you hung over. (The drowsiness is a side effect NOT found with all antihistamines.) Most OTC sleep meds rely on an antihistamine ingredient. Avoid decongestants, especially Sudafed (the original formula containing pseudoephedrine). It’s a stimulant for lots of people. Be aware of the ingredients in combination drugs.

    You mentioned you avoid caffeine. Lots of things have caffeine in them — chocolate, lots of sodas, etc. But you probably knew that. Also avoid alcohol and smoking.

    I’ve relied on fans, humidifiers, etc., to provide a soothing, masking drone in the room. But I’ve often used, and currently use, a little sound machine. It has a thunderstorm program on it that I really love.

    It may be just me and my bad habits, but I can’t get to sleep if I’m hungry. I used to keep a bottle of Tums by the bed so I could quiet a midnight growl without getting out of bed (and supplement my calcium at the same time!)

    If I’m still awake after being in bed for 20 minutes or so, I get up and watch a little TV or get on the computer for a bit — anything to distract the mind that’s screaming, “I’ve been in bed all this time and I’m still awake! Waaaagh!!!”

    Don’t exercise within a few hours of going to bed. It pumps up your metabolism and circulation. (Sex, however, appears to be an exception to this rule).

    I’ve heard some people get to sleep by thinking just the opposite. “I’m going to lie here, and even close my eyes, but no matter what, I’m going to STAY AWAKE all night.”

    I had a colleague once who fell asleep by thinking of a number and then visualizing it in every font she could think of. Graphic designers can do those things …

    Darkness is a given. So is a really comfortable bed. I don’t care how barren the rest of your home may be, a comfortable, good quality bed is an absolute must!

    Sorry to have rambled on for so long … 😦

    No worries, 30 – all good advice. Unfortunately I’ve tried it all and it doesn’t seem to have any lasting effect. Not on me anyway. Maybe the Aussies girls are onto something… πŸ˜‰


  21. White noise and a shot of bourbon. That is what works for me. πŸ˜€ (Okay, okay, maybe it’s two or three shots, but who’s counting?)

    LOL – maybe two or three shots, eh? Woo hoo, pass the bourbon. πŸ˜‰


  22. No, have not had this problem for 9 years or so. Use to have insomnia due to all the racing thoughts, anxiety, etc. but the meds I take really evened that out.

    I go the other way which is also unhealthy- I sleep a lot and feel ‘effn tired too- probably get too much but I swear, sometimes I hear my bed calling me. Some days, I just want to lay down and never get up again. So, I kinda have the opposite problem….

    Also, working nights kinda makes my situation different from most. You could get a job working nights? Stay up, you could get your creative juices flowing and get paid at the same time… and then sleep during the day? Ya never know, it might just be the ticket.

    Hey Bella!
    Wow never occurred to me that someone would have the opposite problem. I’ve tried working graveyard but I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. Maybe I’ll find some balance between the two though, eh? Could happen. πŸ˜‰


  23. I’m one of those permanent night owls too. I agree with the people who suggested having a fan for “white noise” and keeping the room super cold. It helps, though it doesn’t always cure the problem. Last week, I couldn’t fall asleep one night until after 3 am (and I had a class at 8 am.) 😦

    Yikes Dube,
    Hope you did okay in class – and yeah the fan and the cold room works best for me, though it doesn’t always work. πŸ˜‰


  24. Oh I know exactly how you feel… i dont sleep at night at all anymore.. =(
    It is a nightmare and i dont know what to do bout it anymore.. sleeping pills dont work.. and its making my life a living hell!!!!!!!
    Hope we get better soooon!!
    x Take care

    Hi Courtney and welcome to my little dive. Yup, insomnia does suck wet mops big time, doesn’t it? Recently, I’ve started getting more sleep but I think it’s only because I physically exhaust myself before going to bed. That may be key. Good luck.


  25. There is this natural stuff you can buy at Target or Wal-Mart or wherever by the vitamins its like 3 bucks for like a hundred 10 mg melatonin pills I think its better than ambien and it’s all natural there really aren’t any side effects.

    Hi Russell,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I have used melatonin in the past, however, it does make me feel pretty groggy the next day. In my case, limited use of it can work quite well.


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