At the time of writing, I have been wide awake for almost 33 hours. You see, I suffer from bouts of insomnia. For no reason at all, I simply stop sleeping. It’s not that I wake up during the night, have trouble falling asleep or get up before my alarm — I remain totally conscious all through the night.
Below is a timeline of my night (Note: times are approximate).
11:45 pm — Get home from a late dinner with the local swing dancers. I’m exhausted.
12:00 am — My teeth are brushed, I’m safely tucked in bed and the yawns are unstoppable. It’s a great feeling.
12:30 am — I can’t get comfortable, no matter how I lay. Even laying on my trusty left side doesn’t do the trick.
12:50 am — I’m not good enough at math to count sheep, so I pull up Netflix and put on a boring documentary.
2:00 am — After having learned waaaay too much about Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, I’m still not sleepy, despite having been tuckered out not two hours ago.
2:30 am — I try reorienting my sleeping position to so that my feet are at the headboard and my head is at the footboard in the hopes that a novel sleeping arrangement will lull me off to dreamland.
3:30 am — I move to the couch.
3:45 am — The streetlight outside is blindingly bright. I move back to the bed.
4:15 am — I start talking to myself. My “you can do it” pep talk about the importance of getting 8 hours of sleep a night is pretty good, but not good enough.
4:35 am — I start talking to inanimate objects. Bedside table, if you’re reading, I’m sorry about what I said. You’re not tacky.
5:00 am — Light is streaming in through the windows, birds are singing and some wiseguy a few houses over thinks that now is the perfect time break out the old circular saw.
5:05 am — I hide under the sheets.
5:25 am — I get up to close the window, then go back to my linen cave.
5:35 am — I force myself to keep my eyes closed and pretend it’s still dark.
5:37 am — Geometry strikes. I do the math on heating costs of a new apartment I looked at the day before. The results do not look good.
5:45 am — I set my alarm for an hour later, thinking that the stress of waking up soon is keeping me up.
5:55 am Removing the stress doesn’t help.
6:00 am — My neighbor switches from the circular saw to the hammer; sunlight light streams in under my bedroom door.
6:15 am — I hit myself with the pillow. Repeatedly.
6:30 am — Psychologists call this part of my night “acceptance.” I turn off my alarm, knowing I won’t need it. I decide to go to work three hours early.
7:00 am — No one at the Y is used to seeing me in the building before eight, leading to a string of bemused stares, double-takes and people remarking, “Well, you’re here early.”
Fast forward to now. It’s nearly half past four and I’m typing as my mind dribbles out my ear and floats off into the clouds like puffs of smoke. I tried napping and I tried herbal tea. Now, all I can do is wait for the sleep to come. I don’t need sympathy; all I want is some shut-eye, but at this point, I might as well tough it out until my regular bedtime.
And here ends my fascinating blog entry about the horrors of the waking world. What I would give for it all to be just a bad dream, but that’s a terrible way to end a story. Don’t you think?
— 30 —
When he’s not busy being sleep deprived, Jonny tweets under the name @jonnyeberle (clever, right?) and talks about himself in the third person. Please feel free to comment, but please don’t gloat about your amazing powers of infinite slumber.