Different Styles of Insomnia

I don’t actively remember ever sleeping well. When I was a baby, sure, even through my teens maybe. But as of my 20s, sleep has often been a problem, one that has taken various forms.

There’s the inability to fall asleep at a normal rate. Within about 20 minutes of placing my head on the pillow, I should be surrendering to the Sandman. But no, for whatever reason, I am awake -almost wide awake- with an odd restlessness plaguing my mind. It’s almost as if something is happening, somewhere, something I should be bearing witness to but instead I’m in bed, uselessly. I’m waiting. Waiting to get up, waiting to fall asleep, waiting for my mind to let go of the alternate reality it has chosen to drift off to without my consent, leaving me with only the feeling one gets when they’ve realized they’re late to a meeting and have decided to simply not go at all. A lingering sense of angst remains for the duration of what would have been the meeting, as one guiltily carries on with other things. Then it’s 2 PM and the meeting would have been over if it had ever happened so the mind slowly rests knowing that, at this point, there’s nothing it can do.

There’s the inability to sleep without waking up multiple time for no obvious reason. I’m in and then out, in and back out. Of sleep. Up, then down. Up and back down. I don’t know why. I’m not stressed, I’m not hungry, I don’t need to pee. Yet here I am, at 11.30 PM, 1.15 AM, 3.46 AM, eyes slowly open for no obvious reason whatsoever.

And then there’s the worst of them all: the inability to sleep without dreaming, vividly and torturously.

These are my collection of nightmares.

© Leila Chammas, October 25, 2016

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