*checks time on their wristwatch *
5 pm – ‘I can’t believe I am already so tired. I wish I could just fall asleep, but I have so much work to do.’
7 pm – ‘Ahhh finally! All the work is done. Now I will go home and sleep like a log. All I want to do is rest my head somewhere.’
8 pm – * reaches home * ‘Now I will have some dinner and go straight to bed.’
10 pm – * turns off the WiFi, puts the phone on charge, gets all comfortable in bed and tries to sleep*
12 am – ‘I can’t believe I am still awake. My eyes are so sleepy and I am beyond tired.’
* wakes up till 4 am, does not sleep and goes to work the next day *
The word ‘insomnia’ is very common these days – everyone has heard it and everyone knows what it means. However, it has become one of those psychological terms that are widely misunderstood and are used in a very haphazard-manner. I keep seeing posts wherein people claim to have insomnia just because they couldn’t fall asleep one day or they pull an all-nigher. People have this assumption that the ability to not fall asleep is a blessing. Also, people think that the people with insomnia or ‘insomniacs’ to be precise can control their sleep patterns and control themselves from falling asleep. This is just plain wrong. So here I am to debunk all the stupid myths that people have about insomnia as per my experience and tell everyone what insomnia actually feels like!
I have suffered from insomnia ever since I was in 6th grade. It started because for the first time I had faced bullying in school and some of my very close friends stopped talking to me. Initially, I could not fall asleep because I used to overthink and worry about the next day. I also started having social anxiety because of the same reason. Gradually, not falling asleep became a very normal thing for me. I would not sleep for days and still be doing all my work just fine. However, there are also days when I feel super sleepy and fall asleep before even having dinner. This brings me to the first myth.
1. People with insomnia never sleep early.
No. The sleep pattern fluctuates. Some days, you can go without sleep for 5 days while some days you will sleep for 10 hours. Don’t ever tease someone with insomnia if they sleep early, you don’t know what they go through. You don’t know.
2. Its an advantage since you can get your work done at night.
Let me tell you that this is 200% incorrect. It is not an advantage. You are not sleeping but at the same time, all your energy is getting drained and you are super tired but you just can’t sleep. You can’t open up some documents and start working, your body does not allow you. So it is not at all an advantage. If you think it is, I would gladly transfer my insomnia to you.
3. Sleeplessness causes laziness.
Not necessarily. In my case, if I go without sleep for more than two days, I become very hyperactive. I start overworking and get more stressed. Sometimes, I become unaware of the surroundings as I am only focused on my stress and my work. The hyperactivity helps in finishing off the work but later you start feeling exhausted more than ever.
4. The sleeplessness is because of internet use.
Oh, shut up! This is the lamest myth. The people who post statuses with ‘#insomnia’ at 11 pm are the ones who can’t fall asleep because of internet use. Not us. We actually won’t be able to fall asleep even if you played the most boring movie in the world if it was such a day. So yeah the internet has nothing to do with it.
5. You will fall asleep if you try to sleep.
So what do you think? I have not tried to sleep for all these years? I try. Every single night, I pray to just fall asleep but then I lie awake till 4 in the morning. It is not just that easy. Don’t tell us to just try sleeping. Maybe you should try waking up all night.
Yes, having insomnia is hard but the worst part is, people blaming you for having it. We have no control over insomnia, we can’t control our sleep and sometimes we just sleep. Living with heavy eyes, having to go on with the day with no sleep whatsoever and exhaustion is already every tough, we don’t need you telling us to just sleep. Thank you very much.