Friday, July 18, 2008

Going nocturnal

For the past several days I've had a hard time staying awake while I write, which I considered a very bad sign. I worried that I was getting either bored with the project or too psychically exhausted to complete it in the timeframe I wanted to. But when away from my computer, the story and characters nagged at me, so I decided it wasn't that. I wondered then if I needed to take a break from writing or else risk burnout.

Turns out it's just my insomnia, or whatever the best name for my sleep disorder is. I've had it for as long as I can remember and while it can be controlled with medication, I can't be on my medication right now because of drug interaction issues. I *finally* got some good sleep this afternoon and can now write without passing out in front of my computer. The way my disorder works is I can sleep during those rare windows when the petty dictator in my biology lets me. Missing a window means enduring more exhaustion. Unlike a normal person, I can't sleep whenever I'm tired. I can be so fatigued that I'm walking into walls but if it isn't a window when I'm sleepy, there is nothing I can do but endure it. There is no way to make myself sleepy. I tried everything from hiking 20 miles in a day to hot baths. No effect. For years I built up a rather frightening sleep deficit because I tried to practice sleep hygiene in order to get my sleep all at night. The result, I got maybe 2-4 hours per night, on the nights when I slept. By the time I found a doctor who could help me, I couldn't drive. I could barely see straight.

So, I slept through the afternoon and am now wide awake. I'll use the time to write some more because these windows of alertness are rare too. I'm looking forward to getting back on my meds and being a normal person again.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to talk to someone during the night, check Facebook Chat. I'm up at weird times during the night sometimes. ;-)