Sunday, October 4, 2009

3:53 a.m.

I have insomnia. It is not a matter of whether I would like to sleep because, given the choice, I would rather get a solid eight hours of sleep a night rather than be awake all night.

I have somewhere in the range of three hundred television channels. At night, when the rest of my house and neighbours are sleeping, I am most likely sitting awake watching a paid program. You see, the programmers must not be insomniacs because if they were, there would be way more actual shows on in the middle of the night rather than having ninety percent of the channels showing a paid program. There is not even a good rotation of the paid programming; most of them are the same dozen advertisements over and over again, night after night. Tonight I find myself watching a paid program for the Magic Bullet. In four hours I can watch the same extended commercial about thirty times on a dozen channels. Yes, I will freely admit that I own a Magic Bullet, and yes, it does make great smoothies.

I have this doctor that has a unique prescription for getting rid of my insomnia: go for a walk and drink a cup of tea. Yes, go for a walk and drink a cup of tea. Now personally, I am all for exercise and hydration, but neither is very good at aiding in my quest for sleep.

With insomnia, you have a lot of time on your hands. And with this time, you really have only two choices: spend hours tossing and turning in bed trying to fall asleep or use the time being proactive and doing something during the night hours. I prefer the latter option.

Although I do not recommend staying awake at night, there are some benefits to being awake at all hours of the night. I can complete a lot of readings for school and get assignments done in complete silence. This is both an effective and good use of time. I can also go to Wal-Mart anytime thanks to it being open twenty-four hours. If you have not tried it, I highly recommend going shopping at three in the morning. There is something amazing about shopping in a completely relaxed atmosphere with three other shoppers in the store.

It is all about perspective though, isn’t it? I can spend hours upon hours every night fighting with myself to fall asleep, or I can accept my lack of being able to fall asleep for what it is and turn my situation it into something productive that I can work with. This is true of all things though, isn’t it? You can fight and resent what you have, or you can accept and build upon what you have and turn negatives into positives. This includes the quirk of not being able to sleep a lot of the time. Circumstances are never perfect and a lot of the time they are not desirable, but you choose to do what you want with what you are given.

Really then, there are only two kinds of people. To use a complete cliché, you can only be a glass half full kind of person, or a glass half empty kind of person. You may say that getting less than four hours of sleep a night is unfair, I say, I have four hours more to do anything. I have a colour-coded closet, an alphabetized collection of dvds, and I’ve even made a dent in my quest to make all of the different recipes from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes recipe book (a book that I picked up during one of my middle of the night trips to Wal-Mart).

So yes, I have insomnia. I do not sleep a lot each night and I can either see that as being completely horrible, or I can turn my lack of sleep around into something positive: one situation where I can choose to be an optimist rather than a pessimist. Not a lot of the time, but sometimes we get to make choices and need to ask ourselves what side of the line we want to fall on. Even in deciding what we are going to do in the middle of the night when we cannot sleep.

And yes, because I’m sure you are wondering, it is currently 3:53 a.m.

What can I say? I’m a glass half full kind of girl . . . a glass half full kind of girl who may find herself knitting a scarf tonight.


  1. I particularly enjoyed the last line. It made me giggle :P

    Like you, I too, endure the pain and pleasure of insomnia. It's great isn't it? And other days it makes you want to bang your head against the wall. I like the way you describe it, especially with the Wal-mart reference, but then you kind of slip into a rant about it. BUT! you recovered with the pessimism/optimism comparison. I like it!

  2. Hey, I enjoyed reading your story about your insomnia. Sometimes as well I can find myself doing some of those very things. I don’t think that the connection you made with the “glass half full” was very clear. Perhaps there is a different bigger picture you could have connected it to. Good job.

  3. Interesting read! I admire your ability to remain informative whilst being humorous. You have an ability with dry humour, a sort of sarcastic undertone-- I really appreciate that. It proves rewarding to those who dig in, savour the references, enjoy the the little things.

    I knew very little about life with Insomnia. Now I know a good deal more, and I had a good time whilst learning-- there's a great deal to be said for a post that can pull that off!

    As for something to be critical on, it's just that issue of wider connection. It's pretty tough to peg the "so what" in your piece. That'd probably be the one issue. Though I enjoyed myself regardless!

    Keep it up! Looking forward to next week!