I don’t suffer with insomnia very often but when I do, oh boy, do I. Hence the title ‘Early Morning Navel Gazing’. Tonight has been a marvelous example. I went to bed at 9pm after a very long day (that involved 300 miles of driving) and a large meal (which probably has a lot to do with the not sleeping thing), and found myself staring at the ceiling of my bedroom at 1am. Here I am at 6am and the sand man has still not paid me a visit. I doubt that he will now, since I am sat in my well lit office, writing this blog.
The problem with insomnia is that you can’t really DO very much with all that free time that has suddenly become available to you. Generally there is someone else to consider (in this case, my husband, who has more than enough trouble sleeping himself), so you can’t just switch the lights on and start doing the hoovering. Reading has it’s limitations too since you are usually tired, and so your eyes hurt.
So instead I thought I’d Google ‘insomnia’ and see what I could come up with. Wikipedia, as usual, has a great definition. I didn’t realize that there were actually three types of insomnia, Transient, Acute and Chronic.
Apparently 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia annually and 3.3 million Canadians. I am not sure about the rest of the world. Would North Americans suffer more, less or the same as Europeans, I wonder? Insomnia gets worse with age (brilliant, what the hell doesn’t?) and 40% of women suffer at some point, but only 30% of men
I also found some tips to cure it. Amongst the usual advice like ‘don’t eat large meals within 2 hours of going to bed’ and ‘do some physical exercise’, there were some more unusual pointers. For example, ‘thinking of animals in their wrong colours’. Blue cats, red elephants and green cows, that sort of thing. Or, how about ‘not thinking’. If I could master that I would, indeed, be a happier person.
I think the most interesting thing I found was a blog called ‘Insomnia’ written by a guy called Mark Kraft. His blog is a really good place to get a concise, informed and alternative view of US politics, and I am doing him a bit of a disservice here by bringing attention to something which is probably not as important, but Mark’s chosen lifestyle is something called ‘polyamourous’. I had never heard of this before, but, as the name suggests, it’s where you have a consenting, committed, relationship with more than one person. The journals of his two girlfriends are also on the web, which is interesting because one will refer to the fact that Mark went off to spend the day with the other. This has nothing to do with not being able to sleep obviously, but I thought it was an interesting diversion, and certainly easier than ‘not thinking’.