Monday, April 11, 2011

Insomiacs Unite!

I am an insomniac. I was an insomniac as a child. If I start sleeping 8 hours a night for more than two nights in a row, I call the doctor because something is wrong with me.

Like all insomniacs, I've tried everything. Well, not Ambien. I don't think sleepdriving the wrong way down the highway and then peeing on the median is better than insomnia. But all that other stuff- create a bedtime routine, don't drink caffeine after noon, exercise so many hours before bed, blahblahblah- I've tried it. Didn't do a damn thing.

So, like all insomniacs, I'll read any article I can find on treating insomnia. I have the tiniest little bit of hope that someone somewhere will find something that allows me to sleep. So when I saw Not Sleeping Well? Tactics to Try, I was all "yes! I am not sleeping well. Please, help me!"

Oh, feng shui. If I just put my mirror on the proper wall, all my troubles will be over! Yay! *headdesk*

According to the ancient Chinese system of feng shui, a dream sanctuary is one in which there is a harmonious flow of nourishing and sensual energy. It lures you in while evoking a peaceful-feeling tone of joyous well-being. In a dream sanctuary you feel nurtured, replenished and safe enough to let your guard down all the way, whether for a cat nap, a full-night's sleep or for passion beneath the sheets.

Um, okay. What sort of energy? Magnetism? Electricity? Scientific minds want to know. Oh, unmeasurable energy, you say? I have a lovely, invisible bridge right behind me I'd like to sell you. $5,000, it's a bargain!

• To promote balance, have bedside nightstands (tables) on each side of the bed.

Nightstands will make me sleep? Oh, okay, only if they're symmetrical. That's been my problem all along! I'm cured!

• For a sense of calm and order, keep bedroom doors closed at night as well as the doors to an adjoining bathroom, closets and drawers.

What, and give the boogeyman a place to hide?

• A warm, sensual environment is created by having dim lighting in the bedroom.

And sleeping is promoted by darkness, but whatever.

• Candles are a wonderful source of lighting; however, be sure to buy candles with no toxins.

Candles . . . while I'm sleeping? That seems a bit dangerous.

• If possible use a dimmer switch to adjust the glow accordingly.

A dimmer switch is the solution to my lifelong insomnia? C'mon now.

Use soothing colors to achieve a good feng shui balance in your bedroom. Many feng shui experts suggest that you use "skin colors" to achieve a feeling of peace and calm. (These colors range from pale white to rich chocolate brown ... whichever feels most soothing to you.)

Paint your rooms colours that you like? Well, clearly only ancient Chinese mystics could have come up with that advice. Also, "feng shui expert"? Hi, I'm in expert in imaginary things unprovable by science . . . no, I don't have a PhD in theology, why do you ask?

According to scientist, Boris Stuck, from University Hospital Mannheim in Germany, the quality of air in your bedroom is very important.

Shit. Breathing is important? Who knew?

• For a secure feeling as you sleep make sure your bed has a good mattress, with solid headboard and high quality sheets from natural fibers that feel soft, fuzzy, or silky to your skin.

So, sleeping on a bed of sandpaper might affect my sleep? Good thing the "experts" were there to set me straight.

• For maximum comfort, adjust the temperature in the room (with additional blankets if it tends to be chilly or a fan if it tends to be cool) to make sure the air is just right for you.

No fucking way. That never would have occurred to me! I can adjust the temperature, use blankets or a fan to make myself comfortable? Feng shui, you have saved me!

• To quench your thirst in the middle of the night, make sure to have a glass of water by your bedside.

Wow, I'm so glad . . . this is the author's description:

Doctor Dream, Kelly Sullivan Walden is a certified clinical hypnotherapist, inspirational speaker, and Dream Expert who empowers people to live the life of their dreams. Kelly is the no. 1 Amazon bestselling author of "I Had the Strangest Dream," "The Dreamer's Dictionary for the 21st Century" and "Discover Your Inner Goddess." Kelly appears frequently as a Dream Expert on Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC TV news as well as being a frequent guest on radio nationwide.

"Dream Expert"? Dream expert. D-r-e-a-m e-x-p-e-r-t. I know what those words mean, but they're not helping me in that combination. I really wish I weren't such an honest person. Because if I didn't have a problem with cheating people, I could be a dream expert, too.


  1. My sister (normally an intelligent woman) lived in Singapore for three years and came back full of feng shui wisdom. She told be a big secret for success: never sit with your back to the door. You will invite bad spirits.

    Hell, I told her, that's not feng shui. That's western. Like old black-and-white movie Westerns!!! Sit with your back to the door and the bad guys come into the saloon and shoot you before you can draw!!!

  2. LOL OHAI, and here I was sleeping on rusted barbed wire in an industrial garnet grit tumbler! I'm cured!

    I too am a lifelong insomniac, and now, when I can't fall asleep or wake up in the night, the best I can do is remind myself that the idea of an uninterrupted sleep schedule is silly (find me one other animal that tries to do this, I don't know of any), and I *try* to remain calm and not send myself into major anxiety about my sleep debt and how I must sleep *now* or I will be too tired to continue juggling all of the plates and on and on with the unraveling and the failure and the homelessness and the death in gutter while feral cats eat my toes.

    Not that this is a prescriptive solution at all, but it helps keep the anxiety at bay a little to remind myself that not even my lazy ass cats and dog sleep for hours on end with no waking up, so I'll probably be ok.

  3. i drug myself to sleep. have too - less sleep = more pain.

    i will say that things like ambien are VERY close to being SSRIs. not quite the same, but close enough *I* shun them, for fear of porphyric interference [i just made up that word :D ]

    have you tried melatonin? a lot of people have never heard of it; a lot of people it doesn't work for; a lot of people swear by it. doctors tend to think it works, at least? i dunno - i wish i could live on less than 12 hours of sleep [seriously - lately, it's be 14-16 hours... i'm sick of sleeping! sigh] but i have insomnia along with the whatever-the-fuck makes me sleep 2/3rds of the day away, so, as i said, i drug myself. klonopin, now - used to be halcyon, but that REALLY made me do some weird things; the klonopin, not so much.

  4. Lifelong insomniac here too. Melatonin doesn't work for me. I've tried GABA, valerian root, and phosphatidylserine--nope. My son swears by marijuana, so maybe I'll give that a try ... Basically, I just get out of bed if I wake up and lie there for an hour without falling back to sleep. I've come to just accept it and not get upset about it. Still, there are times when too many nights of too little sleep take a toll. I figure 6 hours is a good night for me.


Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at