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Insomnia: What I Am Doing When I Am Not Sleeping

If you have insomnia, you get it. While we might say we are lying awake in bed at night and staring at the ceiling, that is not exactly true most of the time. There might be times when I am indeed doing just that, but more often than not, I am doing something else.

So, what do I do when I am trying desperately to sleep but cannot? There is a list. Perhaps it matches your list, or we share some similar nighttime pastimes.

Staring at anything other than the ceiling

I have spent more than enough time studying the ceiling. I have even spent way too much time staring at the walls. Give me anything else to stare at. Sometimes I watch television, and sometimes I play games on my phone or surf the web finding answers to the most ridiculous questions you can imagine.

I tried reading books, but having even a dim light on keeps me awake. I also require glasses now, so that causes another issue. Reading on my phone or tablet can make me sleepy, but the feeling tends to go away as soon as I put it down.

Finding the right distraction to put me to sleep

One of my favorite things to watch at night is something I do not have to actually watch. If my eyes are getting heavy, I will stay awake if I focus on trying to sleep. A distraction is needed, but getting interested in a movie or show will just keep me awake. Standup comedy specials do not require me to stare at the television.

I have several favorite comedians that I play while I drift off to sleep. It works for me. I tend to play the same half-dozen comedy specials over and over because I do not have to stress over missing something. Falling asleep mid-show is not a problem because I already know all the jokes.

A midnight snack? Maybe.

Sometimes I do eat in the middle of the night even though I know I should not. I often eat things that I definitely should avoid, but since I am already missing sleep, I am cranky and do not care. Bring on the chocolate.

Of course, I am not drinking coffee at midnight. I do not drink coffee ever. I do not drink energy drinks or anything with caffeine aside from sweet tea. For those of you who do not live in the southern United States, sweet tea is the champagne of the south and required drinking for everyone old enough to drink from a cup. I do not make the rules. I just follow them and keep on drinking sweet tea.

Brainstorming and coming up with great ideas for projects

I usually come up with the best ideas while I am trying to sleep. Sometimes the best plot ideas come to me just as I am about to enter dreamland. The excitement of filling in plot holes or coming up with an idea for the next great novel brings me great joy.

Unfortunately, the meat of the idea is gone by morning, and I am left with just the bones of it. It makes little sense without all the details I forgot.

Why, yes, I could write it all down, but then I would never go to sleep. I lose my best ideas trying to get enough sleep to function. Does it really matter? Without enough sleep to function, I would never be able to write anyway.

What do you do while you are not sleeping?

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