I’ve got insomnia.
Why else would I be writing at 3:30 in the morning?
I’m sure I’m not alone tonight. There must be untold drowsy millions who go to bed but not to sleep. It’s the worst.
Being currently miserable, I looked up what’s keeping me awake. Turns out there are several options.
Stress is a common cause of insomnia. I don’t feel particularly stressed- but maybe I am. We often don’t notice how stressed we are until our bodies tell us. Not being able to sleep is one way we learn we’re taking on too much. But I don’t feel stressed. A little anxious about some things, but then we all are- and I’m not ruminating on them when I’m trying to sleep.
People who travel or have work schedules with odd shifts tend to get insomnia- but that’s not me. This essay excluded, I keep my own schedule as a writer. I don’t work late or weird hours. When inspiration strikes late at night I just jot down the gist of the idea and take care of it later. My hours aren’t keeping me up.
Not having regular sleep habits is another common culprit. But I’m usually in bed by 12 and up at 7:30. I take a nap each afternoon- but it’s never interrupted my nighttime sleep. I used to feel lazy about taking a nap everyday, but my doctor told me not to mess with my circadian rhythms. I should nap if I can. My body seems to need it. I like this doctor.
Eating late is sometimes cited as a cause of insomnia. I might have some popcorn or pretzels while I’m watching the Walking Dead, but not just before bed. Maybe I could do better here- but I’ve eaten the same evening snacks before and slept fine. I’m skeptical about the eating thing.
What is it then?
I’m not in pain. I’m not hyperactive. What medications I take make me drowsy- not alert. So what the heck is keeping me up?
Sometime, hopefully very soon, I’ll figure it out.
You know what? I’ll sleep on it.