Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Insomnia: An Analysis (Also Solway Firth Space Man)

Well, I guess this will be a bit different. Do you see that picture up there? Do you know what that is? That's the Solway Firth Space Man picture. It's an interesting picture that was taken of a young girl, and in the background there appears to be a space man. I'm going to diagram where the space man is, just in case you're blind and can't see him or something. And if you're blind, why are you on the internet? Seriously, stop reading my blog and go get a cane or a woofdog or something because you can't read the internet and it's making me feel weird because I'm being weirdly antagonistic about this, and you won't be able to feel up my diagram of the Solway Firth Space Man.
Well, there he is. That... well, it certainly looks to me to be something kind of odd. I guess it could be a space man... or some kind of inflatable blow up doll. What makes this even stranger is that the boy's father, who took the picture, claimed that there were no space men behind the boy. So, yeah... pretty odd, wouldn't you say?

I'm not one for conspiracy theories or believing some weird and crazy crud about stuff that has much easier explanations, but I love this kind of stuff. it's so fascinating to find something that either could be a legitimate mystery or one of the weirdest, most random hoaxes of all time. I mean, I love stories like this. There are a lot of them, certainly. Hell, I might even talk about some, although my sources may not be the most accurate, which I apologize about in advance if I do more of these. This one I did some pretty simple research on and kind of know the story from memory because I liked it so much.

Hell, I just wanted to use the picture for my preface to my insomnia rant, but I guess that's as good a place to write about as any. I guess I'm going to get a little personal with you readers. I'm going to tell about something personal to me and hopefully one or two of you might understand what the hell I'm talking about.

I suffer from insomnia. Now, insomnia is usually a symptom of something else, sometimes depression, boredom, stress, or being overworked, but I tend to find that my insomnia is not a symptom at all. I have been to doctors about this, and most have told me very simply that I don't require as much sleep as others do. My brain is wired differently. Okay. It's rational. I'm a biology major. I know my medical science decently well. Everybody's brain is wired differently even if most of the chemicals are the same... but... how could mine get messed up this badly? I mean, yeah, there are some people out there who I've heard research about, saying that they sleep an hour a night or some incredibly low number like that, and are the HAPPIEST PEOPLE in the world. Now, let me tell you something... lack of sleep does not make you happy. I'm rarely tired, but actually happy that I can't sleep? No. Yes, I might get more done. I might accomplish more than your average person who sleeps six to eight hours a night, but the lack of company and the loneliness certainly makes up for any time that I gain by not sleeping.

And I call doctors out here. Sleeping pills are terrible things that should only be used under the worst cases where a person can't sleep and needs to be able to sleep. I like doctors. I believe in doctors, but sleep is a strange thing. It is not well understood in the same way that most areas of the brain, although possibly mapped, are not quite understood either. Sleep is a bit of an enigma and no real argument has come forth by why sleep is even needed. Besides for rest but that argument is almost tautological wouldn't you say?

I guess my point here is that I'm the only person I know who sleeps rarely and suffers so chronically from the little to no sleep I receive almost every night. I don't have people I can go and start hanging out with and talking to who are also not sleeping. I can't spend time talking with my girlfriend or best friend who love their sleep. I'm mostly alone, sometimes writing, sometimes reading, sometimes doing nothing at all but watching a movie, playing a video game, or just simply trying to sleep. But the sleep won't come.

I sleep, on average somewhere between two to five hours a night. That's a running average and sometimes it's much less. For the last month I've been sleeping on average about an hour or two a day, if that. Pair that with fairly horrid nightmares because REM sleep comes that much easier on little to no sleep, it causes a fairly unenjoyable experience in general. Now, don't get me wrong, maybe there are some very screwed up people out there who take joy in the fact that they can be alone all night and day and sleep half as much, or a third as much as other people and still function and everything... maybe they even find comfort in the fact that they are so awesome about this stuff! But they're wrong. Sleep is something that is needed for the body to retain information, for the mind to find a functional way to shut itself down for a while, and for some many other needed processes. And yet, insomnia remains.

Most of the people I know who have suffered from it, tend to gain weight because they don't do anything and they eat a ton. Depression will do that to you. I work out when I can't sleep and don't tend to eat more than I would otherwise, which can be good or bad depending on exactly what I mean by that. I do try to do things, and, yes, I do like having a bit more time in my day to get things done, but am I happy I cannot find the same joy in sleep that others can? Am I happy that the loneliness only seems to get worse as I get older? Am I happy that while a person only thinks they're tired, I've touched the face of exhaustion by sleeping less than anybody I've ever known, maybe even most of the people I've ever heard of? I can't say that it makes me proud, or happy, or anything but tired in the end.

Insomnia, is some ways, is a curse, even while others would say that it is a gift. Try it some day and see how you feel. Three days without sleep and start counting. Five days. Seven. Ten. It breaks you down, makes you lose. Two hours a night and you're always tired. One and you can barely function. Five and you simply want more that you cannot find.

So, that's what I think about insomnia. I've had it my entire life, even as a freaking baby. I never slept, never really needed to, but always wanted to. It's tough, dealing with all of that, and I can sympathize with anybody who has the same issues. I'm writing this at 5:40AM after literally not sleeping for almost three days straight. So, if I seem bitter or simply done with the insomnia, you know why.

Sleep well, I guess, good readers, because if you can, take that as a gift, and if you can't, hopefully you can find a way.


  1. Smoke a joint, in all seriousness. Try it once and if no good mark it off the list but try it.

    1. This comment got put in my spam folder for... uh... I guess obvious reasons? Never thought to check it until today...

      While I value your advice (and have honestly heard the same advice before from some of my friends) I rarely do anything with drugs and would like to avoid them if I can (which I can and have up to this point). I have nothing against people who enjoy a good joint or a bunch of alcohol, but I tend to avoid these things. Just kind of a personal thing, I guess. Although, yes, it probably would help with the insomnia. Still not going to do it, but thanks for the advice anyway!