Struggling With Judgement: Insomnia Is Not Laziness
People do not understand my sleep schedule. Admittedly, it is rather odd. People assume I sleep all the time, but that is not the case. I am in bed for more hours than most people, but I do not get much sleep.
If I am able to stay in bed, I can manage to get around six hours of sleep on a good night. I do not mean I get six hours of uninterrupted sleep. I mean six hours total. This sounds like a normal amount of sleep for many, but I spend about 13 hours in bed to get six hours of sleep.
Sounds crazy, right?
Spending sleepless hours in bed
I go to bed at 10 p.m. almost every night. I usually go to sleep around 3 or 4 a.m. Yes, I lie in bed for five or six hours before I fall asleep. I find that time is necessary to wind down so I can fall asleep. People assume I am sleeping during that time, but I am wide awake and waiting for the time to come when I am able to sleep.
Instead of dozing off after a little while, I lie there wide awake with a thousand things running through my mind. This goes on for hours. Even though I am tired, I cannot go to sleep. Others are confused by this. They do not understand why I go to bed at 10 p.m. and don’t get up at 6 a.m. They assume I am lazy and sleep all the time. I wish that was the case. I wish I was actually sleeping even half of the time I am in bed.
Staying in bed all morning
Since I normally do not fall asleep until 3 or 4 a.m., I am in bed until 11 a.m. During that seven to eight hours, I wake up no less than three times and usually lie awake for half an hour to an hour. Sometimes it takes even longer to go back to sleep. On weekends, I often stay in bed until noon to try to get a little extra sleep. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does not.
Being in bed until around noon every day leads people to believe I am lazy, but I am generally functioning on less sleep than most people. There are nights where I get three hours of sleep despite being in bed for 13 hours. People do not understand how I am in bed all night and half the day. They do not understand insomnia, and they assume it is laziness.
The frustration of being called lazy
It is extremely frustrating when people say I am lazy. I am not lazy. Staying in bed for so many hours is necessary. I will not fall asleep faster if I get up earlier. I cannot go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. My body seems to be stuck on this odd schedule, and nothing has changed that. When I am forced to get up earlier, I am exhausted. It means I am functioning on very little sleep and it greatly affects my productivity.
Many of the people who call me lazy could not function on the amount of sleep I get. It takes a great deal of time for me to get the small amount of sleep I do get. Then it takes a great deal of effort to function on the days when I cannot get six hours of sleep. I am not lazy. I have insomnia, and I am working really hard to get enough sleep to do what I need to do each day.
Please try to be a little more understanding about this sleep disorder. It is hurtful when people make assumptions. We are not lazy, and we are doing the best we can to muddle through each day.
Do you have any other health conditions besides insomnia?