Two woman lying against pillows talk on the phone to each other

You Know You Have Insomnia When...

Living with insomnia, for me, means that I am constantly exhausted. I am often drowsy. Sometimes I am overtired. And as a bonus, I can also be all 3 simultaneously.

There are seasons in which I feel like I can coast, functioning on no sleep or little sleep or really poor sleep. And then there are seasons in which insomnia bulldozes me to the ground and I have to tend to myself with intention and dedication until I can function again.

Insomnia humor

Recently, I was talking to a friend who also lives with insomnia.

Jokingly, I said, “You know you have insomnia when the Starbucks baristas know you by name AND order.” We giggled, and I rolled my eyes, and then she said – you really should put together one of these lists.

So, in case this provides you a laugh or a little bit of joy, here you go.

You know you are living with insomnia when....

  1. You have seen most of the infomercials on TV in the middle of the night. You've seen all of the ads on Instagram, and TikTok made you buy it. (I mean, who can blame you, right? You're awake, and bored, or frustrated, and here are these things just waiting for you to purchase them!)
  2. In that same vein, most of your Amazon and Target (substitute Walmart, Etsy, eBay, Best Buy, Home Depot, you get the message) purchases are made between 10 PM and 6 AM. Sometimes packages arrive that surprise you a bit because maybe, just maybe, you don't actually remember ordering said items.
  3. You connect best with your friends in different time zones, especially those abroad who happen to be experiencing daylight while you are awake in the darkness. If you don't have friends across the world, join an insomnia group online and connect with others who live with insomnia!
  4. You know what channels play Law and Order around the clock (I used to refer to Benson and Stabler as my BFFs during a particularly rough insomnia season), where the original music videos are actually hiding during the night, and wherever else you can find your favorite TV shows while everyone else is asleep.
  5. You own more pajamas or lounge clothes than going out clothes because when you can't sleep, you realize that what you are wearing isn't nearly as comfortable as you'd like it to be, and maybe that's why you're still awake.
  6. You've tried nearly every brand of sheets, pillows, blankets, sleep masks, diffusers, and blackout curtains, and none of them are the magic answer to your insomnia.
  7. You have a discarded pile of books next to your bedside that you always think you'll read during the night but never end up doing so.
  8. Sometimes, you feel drunk even when you have had no alcohol because you're so sleep deprived that you're running on adrenaline only.

Humor to cope

I say all this to say that living with insomnia takes patience, grace, and sometimes, a big dose of humor to cope. Can you relate?

I'd love to hear what other things you'd add to my list. Please feel free to drop your suggestions below!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Does anyone else in your family have insomnia?