I’ve always envied the kinds of people who can fall asleep instantly. The ability to treat sleep like an on/off switch instead of a (reluctant) dimmer switch seems like such a luxury.
My battle with sleep is a tale as old as time. It’s always felt like an unruly pet that’s insistent on doing the opposite of what you want purely for the sake of opposing you. It’s a duel, between the realm of intention and the ancient kingdom of circadia. If I want to fall asleep, I’m chronically awake. If I want to wake up, I’m an immovable, eternal entity.
It’s frustrating when your body fights against you on such a fundamental level. The pain of not being able to fall asleep, the guilt of sleeping in past noon, the unpredictability of making it to an early morning (or sometimes even early afternoon, when things are particularly out of whack) meeting, compound to contribute to a general miasma of disfunction, of ‘if I’m broken on this most essential level, what hope have I of being whole at a more complex one?’
The acute feeling of lying in bed, clearly signalling your intention to your brain that you’re all done for the day and finished all your jobs and would like to go home now, only to get another solid three hours of overtime thinking done (off the clock as well; this kind of thinking is largely unproductive, which I believe is the defintion of rumination) is familiar territory to the chronic insomniac.
I’m still working on an answer.
I’ve tried cognitive exercises, either addressing the individual voices that are speaking or otherwise asking them to come back tomorrow when I have more time. I’ve tried physiological exercises, be them respiratory or pharmaceutical (I’m talking genuine sleeping tablets here that’s not a euphemism). So far, nothing’s been especially effective.
I’m holding out for it getting easier purely by virtue of handling the sources of the sleeplessness during waking life. Part of the purpose of the psychological journey is to do just this, untangling the roots of the rumination in a way that’s not so specific to my own life as to be totally irrelevant to anyone else’s. What’d really help would be if every so often, I didn’t get the solution to a problem during these otherwise overwhelmingly useless overthinking sessions, a nuance my brain will happily point out to me in justification of it’s tendency to keep me awake, seemingly blissfully unaware of the old adage of the stopped clock.
All this to say, if your sleeping life is giving you trouble, you’re not alone.
Have a bloody good night’s sleep tonight.
Just as a completely unrelated tangent, does anybody else get truly annoyed when spellcheck decides to flag a word you know you’ve spelt right for no reason? I think the only thing that annoys me more is when I’m close enough to the word (I type like a lot faster than I’m able to so most words start their life on the page as a basic approximation) but spellcheck can’t tell what I meant to say. Not so smart then, are you?
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About the curator - Matt Jenko
Hi my name is Matt, but my friends call me Matt. I’m on the wrong side of 29 (damn I hate it every time I have to update that number), definitely feeling my age, but never felt happier and more content than I do at this point in my life. I’ve been through some rocky patches (who hasn’t) and lived to tell the tale, and boy do I gots some stories.
When I’m not giving opinions absolutely nobody asked for, I’m doing a worldbuilding with my passion project, vivaellipsis. If you like offbeat nonsense delivered through immersive escapism, then go and get involved. Or don’t, I’m not telling you what to do. I’m not yer boss.
I’m a simple man with simple interests. I like Yorkshire tea, the sound of rain on the window, and a bloody good story.
9 August 2021
What today’s insight has granted me is the knowledge that if you don’t check in on yourself, you’ll lose touch with yourself. You’ll become unfamiliar with each other, and it feels very strange. I honestly think this is what it means to feel out of sorts.
27 May 2021
The cinematic score to your psychological journey with Matt Jenko. Featuring artists like: Bonobo • Yotto • Emancipator • CamelPhat • ODESZA • Carpenter Brut • Tinlicker • Four Tet • Jacques Greene • Tchami • RÜFÜS DU SOL