Insomnia: Unpopular Philosophy

Insomnia may be more common than you think. Did you know an estimated 30 percent of people deal with insomnia? Although I couldn’t find clear cut numbers, I know that number is much higher in the chronic illness community, for a variety of reasons: ranging from pain to stress, to a body that has less of desire to behave.

When thinking back through my adulthood, I remember having it as early as 20. College used to keep me up at night, going over mnemonics in my head, studying my mind’s eye knowledge. Interestingly, did you know insomnia can be genetic? My grandmother had it and my son has it too. Thankfully for me it’s waxed and waned throughout the years, that is until MECFS.

Scientist have found 7 genes associated with insomnia.

~Researchers from Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam in the Netherlands

Insomnia now, or for the past six years, has become a part of my life. I brush my teeth, I comb my hair, I have insomnia. When I first fell ill, I was freaking out about it. I felt all this pressure to return to my normal sleep pattern and would shame myself for not having done so. And then I read a small blurb in a self-compassion book that basically said do not make the time you are awake so anxiety ridden that that anxiety itself is keeping you up. It went on to say, instead be peaceful, enjoy the quiet, enjoy the stillness of the night. You will sleep again. A light bulb went off for me. Here I was unnecessarily beating myself up over an illness I cannot control, and its desire to mess with my circadian rhythm. So, I made some changes, but they aren’t popular ones.

Over the years I’ve read a variety of opinions on how to tackle insomnia. All I can say is what works for one person just may not work for another. I tried sleeping pills, I tried regularly scheduling sleep times, I tried so many things, and this has been the most effective. I simply just allow myself to be awake, peacefully, quietly. I enjoy knowing that everyone else is resting. For about a half hour I meditate, I go over my blessings, I think about all the pins on Pinterest I’ve saved and create a mental dream home 😉 and if after all of that I’m still awake, I just go on my phone, play games, read, whatever it takes for my eyes to feel tired again. Then I set my phone down (on the floor) in airplane mode and drift back off. If you’re shaking your head no, no, no you can’t go on your phone…let me explain why I do this. If after a half hour I don’t fall back to sleep I start to stress out, I get bored, and then I get tossy turny. And nobody likes to feel tossy turny. Also, I usually have painsomnia. Lying in bed in pain, thinking about the pain, well…it’s not my cup of tea. And lastly am able to sleep-in so it may take 12 hours for me to get seven hours of sleep, but it is what it is. Do what’s best for you, folks. You know your body better than anyone, trust yourselves.

 Painsomnia is a patient-generated term for the vicious cycle of pain and sleep deprivation or fatigue related to a chronic condition or its treatment.

That’s about it out of me today. It’s been an emotional day. I found out that my driver’s license will be suspended as it was up for renewal and I’m not physically, or mentally, able to drive anymore, so instead of just switching it over to an ID, CA DMV is suspending it and then making me come back in to get an ID. I don’t have the extra energy to sit at the DMV, but considering there is a pandemic I wouldn’t do it regardless. I was really upset about it until I remembered I have a passport card, and that’ll work just fine for me. Seems though…that CA DMV needs some updating as far as working with accessibility and disabled people. I’ve never had more than a speeding ticket and they are suspending my license. Ridiculous. Ah well. I don’t drive and haven’t been able to for six years. Just kind of a sad day because pre-illness going for a drive on a beautiful day used to be one of my favorite things to do, so it’s yet another goodbye.

A few more doodles and hoping today is a peaceful one for you. 🌼

15 thoughts on “Insomnia: Unpopular Philosophy

  1. faithfamilyweaving

    Thank you so much for sharing such an informative post. I haven’t been able to drive for thirteen years and went over to a state ID card. I had to go to the DMV, since we changed states. Every trip with chronic illness and pain is so difficult. So I totally relate. I also love the doodles. Blessings, Mary ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary 🌸 I’m sorry you can relate. At some point I’ll need to get an ID but I’m going to see how the passport card goes. I need to figure out how homebound people get state IDs. The only place I show it is at the Dr anyway. Hoping today is kind to you 🤍

      Like

  2. You’re right, it isn’t popular, but it’s almost exactly what I do too.
    Sometimes I still feel guilty about it, I feel I should be able to figure out a way to get myself on a regular sleep schedule. It’s so difficult when I have to get to an appointment early, and you should see a scheduler when I say 10am is too early!! Hahaha!!
    Right now it’s 12:15am and there’s no sleep in sight.
    Yawn….well, maybe. 🤞🤞🤞🤣💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, what will work for one person won’t be a good for another person Mishka. We need to know our own bodies & what works for us & what doesn’t.
    Glad you do get some hours sleep though 😀
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

    Like

  4. These beautiful, happy paintings are so at odds with the content. Insomnia is something I’ve known the pain of all too well, ditto painsomnia. You’re right, we have to trust that we know our bodies and work out what’s right for us. Actually, when I learned to go with the flow a little more and not get caught up with how I “should” get 7-8hrs sleep, how I “should” go to bed early and wake up early and not take naps, it became easier to get a little shut eye at different times whenever I was actually able to. But the driving licence issue, that’s something that would get to me big time. I’m so sorry they don’t renew it. Is this something you agree with, that you’re not able to drive? If not, I hope you can appeal. I don’t really understand the different letters you’ve listed there for the type of licence you would have switched it over to, but if you think the decision is wrong then I hope there’s a path you can take to appeal. I can only imagine how it feels to have another thing taken away, another option removed from the table because of your health. Be gentle with yourself because that’s an upsetting thing to have happen. Sending my love, Mishka xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caz 💖 I cannot drive anymore. I haven’t been able for six years but instead of switching my drivers license over to an identification card (ID) they are suspending my license and making me come in and reapply for an ID. It’s ludicrous. I cannot spend hours there, I’m just not able so now I’ll have no ID, aside from a passport card. It’s literally unbelievable. I only need an ID for doctors appointments but still.

      My art type can best be referred to as ‘escapism’. 😁I’ve been really unwell, more so than usual, recently and I find my happiness in drawing happy characters. Whatever works right? 😊

      Glad you too found more sleep. A bit here and there is better than being super stressed and still not getting any.

      Hoping your weekend is a peaceful one🌸 and thank you for stopping in and sharing your compassion with me. I greatly appreciate it 💖 Take good care

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping in and for the compassion. I’ve read the SS administration and the DMV are somehow linked and I have to wonder if the very in-depth doctor’s form they are insisting upon or they won’t help me is linked. Frustrating but mostly cruel to make a person, who is already struggling, struggle even more. Inhumane really. Hoping you and yours have had a nice weekend 🌸

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Donovan Carper

        Good luck to u and thanks! Not sure re ur conditions. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have recommended plant based vegan diets to tame many chronic illnesses. Depending on ur struggles I may want to check that out! Google physicians committee etc

        Liked by 1 person

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