Diary of a self-confessed insomniac


By Tinky Ningombam

Morning after morning, I am woken out of my bed with an alarm clock that would ring a couple of hours too early. While during the nights before, everything in the world would conspire against my sleeping. A message that would need to read, a movie that I would have to watch, a chapter in the book that would suddenly start getting interesting, a phone call that would ring at the oddest hour. Subsequently, I would start getting more fresh and energetic as the night progresses, sometimes even walking up and down my apartment, eating midnight snacks, surfing the internet or watching movie marathons.

There are a lot of people who sleep for less time than normal folks but for someone who wants to hit a healthy 6 hours of sound sleep, becoming a certified insomniac is not going to be hard. I have been sleeping for almost about 4-5 hours every night for the past couple of months.  And every night, the clock face would scare me with the number of hours that I would be left with, before I have to get up for work.  And trust me, anxiety does not help.

As I would lie in bed, the thoughts would start flooding in. Many a great arguments have been fought in my head alone of all things under the sun. All my senses would start becoming more lucid, the doors would just start creaking louder, a tap would start leaking, the wind will start moving things, the clocks would start their synchronized ticking, a light would start flickering in the corner. Switch all this off and lock myself out and I would start thinking about nightmares and ghosts.

Finally, with force when I finally do fall into slumber, the dreams would start. Different dreams: good, bad, scary: of people, of animals, of space, of black and white narratives, of movies and fantasy. This has been my gift and my curse I feel that ever since I was a child, I cannot recall a single night when I haven’t had dreams. I have had dreams of all shapes and kinds: dreams of flying, dreams of the past, dreams within dreams, dreams in a foreign language, dreams of murders, and dreams of ghosts, dreams of dreaming… you name it and I have probably dreamt it.

And in between yet another strange dream sequence, I will find myself awake to the sound of the alarm to face another long day. And so it shall go on till a Sunday finally comes and I try to fool myself by muting my alarm but will always failed miserably because my body clock is too smart for its own good, it will push me awake at the same time, every time… at 6.30 in the morning on the dot without fail and I will try to go back through the same old process of going back to sleep for just as a few more hours before I become helpless to even keep trying.

There have been only a handful of instances where I have recalled myself having a sound sleep. One of it was in the back seat of a car driving back on the road to Delhi after having slept for about 4 hours the day before. Another one was when I ate a sedative for my flu.

Older people are not alien to the concept of Sleep Disorders but as my friends also have similar tales (maybe of a milder kind), it is also becoming increasingly common for more and more young ones too. Causes vary from eating habits to lifestyle habits or clinical problems… we have read enough to even diagnose ourselves by now. And there are  solutions however much we are inclined of not trying it.

In the midst of all these, some people think they stay up all night and then call themselves insomniacs because they sound cooler. People who sleep late are considered to have a “FUN” life rather than people who sleep early ergo insomniacs are kind of the cool thing. Insomnia is not having erratic sleeping patterns; it is sadly a medical condition that is very taxing to the health and well being of a person. But trust me; not having a sound sleep for days is not COOL.

I, on the other hand, as we speak, am trying to work out every day to tire myself out so that I can sleep earlier than usual.  And in case that backfires, there’s always the music CDs that people create to make you fall asleep faster… and if all this fails, I can always go back to studying for exams – that always used to worked wonders making me sleepy before time!

(The author thinks it’s unfair to see people waking up at dawn while she struggles to sleep overnight and especially the fact that the people who snore the most are always the first to fall asleep).


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