“The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.” – Leonard Cohen
Like billions of people around the world, no doubt, I suffer from insomnia. I have for as long as I can recall, at least since my early days of high school. Who knows what caused it back then, hormones, growing pains, staying up late finishing homework, last minute study from exams.
I really don’t have the influences of those things in my life anymore, most of my insomnia is, unfortunately, derived from pain. The injuries from that car crash many, many years ago have come back to haunt me, and like the threat of recurring nightmares even the thought of laying down to catch some ZZzz’s is enough to prevent me from doing so.
It is difficult to sleep when you cannot get comfortable. It is also difficult to sleep that you know you will wake up in more pain. There have been mornings that just before I have woken up I have had horrific nightmares of being decapitated or having my arms amputated or severely burned. When I have woken from these nightmares the pain in my neck, shoulders and arms has been excruciating.
Strangely some of the best nights sleep I now get are when I intentionally sleep in a recliner, straight on my back without rolling onto either side as I usually do.
Of course insomnia has numerous side effects beyond just lacking sleep; it can cause heart issues including high blood pressure, it can lower your sex drive (doesn’t really matter considering I have been single and celibate for quite a number of years now), it can cause you to age quicker than you would if you got good nights of sleep, it can affect not only your cognitive abilities but also your memory and intelligence, can cause weight gain and of course it can trigger depression.
That all being said, time to take a painkiller in the hope that I may get some sleep tonight, much to do tomorrow that I need to be awake and reasonably well rested for. Good night.