I have insomnia.It is perfectly clear to me that waking up every hour during the night is not what one is supposed to be doing during the night sleep hours but I can’t stop myself from doing this. I exercise, eat right, and drink plenty of water. I meditate, take walks, look at the moon, appreciate nature, but I still can’t sleep.I don’t understand why the medical profession reports constantly on the need for sleep. Obviously we all know about this need. Most of us who don’t sleep enough would like to but can’t. It drives us crazy.

William Shakespeare said it best.” Ah sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care”.

If you don’t sleep properly you live in a constant state of stress and anxiety. If it is morning you dream about actually sleeping that night. You say to yourself, “Tonight I will take an Ambien and sleep” Then you justify this decision. You make rules about how many times a week you can take Ambien to sleep. Is it two or three times or only one time? My rule is one time as I know the night after I take the Ambien I will not be able to sleep at all.

I don’t know why I can’t sleep but it began when I was about 46. Before that time I was the best sleeper in the world. I slept through everything and loved to sleep. I slept through births, deaths, divorces and disasters.I headed to my cozy bed and curled right up and went to sleep. When the sleep problem hit I couldn’t believe the universe was taking away the one thing I really needed in life.

Since that time I have tried to rationalize my sleep problems into one deep meditation on life. When I wake up and see the flashes of anxiety in my mind, I try to unpack it and put away all those fleeting and anxious thoughts but I can’t. For some reason when the darkness comes so does the anxiety. I remember being a kid and worrying about whether or not I would remember to breathe if I fell asleep as it seemed to require so much effort while awake. I know, I know…this is a sign of anxiety but this was the 50’s and everyone was supposed to be living a Donna Reid life. Anxiety was certainly not something kids were supposed to be feeling.

I hope someday they  invent something that will allow all of us insomniacs to sleep. I hope they do it soon. Sleep is the way we escape our worlds and dream of magic and reality disguised as magic. Without it we feel as if everything about the day lasts too long. Meals, movies, meetings, moments…everything takes a lifetime and all we think about is the night ahead of us and whether or not we will escape into our dream world for a few hours.

I wish all you other insomniacs out there sweet dreams and a solid six hours!

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