Monday, February 19, 2007

Who needs sleep?

Back around my last major bout of insomnia, I discoverd the Bare Naked Ladies' song Who Needs Sleep. The crazed tempo of the chorus resonated as the fluffy (albeit catchy) pop version of how insomnia feels - not very deep, recurring thoughts flitting through the mind like an insistent melody that just won't leave.

These days I'm also able to link insomnia to Kumbhakarna (of The British Library's The Sleeping Demon Kumbhakarna above). It's not so much because I am a Hindu demon about to go head to head with against a monkey army (even if that would be good material for one of my weirder dreams and also makes me wonder if any of the monkeys I've dreamt about were veterans), but because the picture captures for me the feeling of my mind being prodded with pitchforky thoughts that keep pestering away even when the rest of me wants so badly to just sleep.

If you would have asked me Sunday night, I would have said Kumbhakarna got a sweet deal being cursed to six months of sleep at a time. I know that it resulted in being poked awake by an alarm clock of pitchforks and what look in the picture to be giant spoons, but around 4 a.m. when I was still awake, I think it would have sounded like a fair trade.

It's funny the things that run through a person's head when she cannot sleep: mental to do lists, recordings of conversations, song lyrics (Freedom is coming - freedom, but apparently not sleep). The worst part is that feeling of "something's bothering me, but I can't quite pinpoint what it is, so I guess I'll just stay awake FOREVER (and ever, amen)." My past bout with depressive prairie insomnia (the worst kind of insomnia!) tells me there's nothing less sleep inducing than trying to will yourself to sleep. Sometimes it's better to just get up, but being up when you really are tired and know you have to get up in the morning is unpleasantly pressure filled.

Thankfully, this was just one night and my days of long-term insomnia are far behind. Because I'm on the precipice of pre-geezerdom, my internal clock is now totally off from my night of non-sleep. What happened to the days when I could be out all night, come home, take a shower, and go teach at class at 8 a.m.? I can only sighingly say that I don't now and fight the urge to yell at some kids that they should get off my lawn. On the up side that sort of thing is tiring and might guarantee better sleep tonight...


Jen said...

ugh! I'm so sorry that you had The Insomnia!! I hope you sleep much better tonight.

(I love the picture of the insomnia demon.)

Martina said...

Hey man - Thanks! I seemed to sleep ok last night, so I think I was right in optimistically declaring it a short phase. In retrospect (because of my readiness to cry over the weekend and also other girlie things too delicate to mention), I think I had some hormoney shit going on. Plus, I'm kinda worried about having to go back to the doctor next month. Stupid tests! How've you been doing? I haven't talked to you in ages.

Jen said...

It HAS been ages!!! If it makes you feel any better, I have been riding my own Fun Being A Girl Hormonal Roller Coaster. But I think I'm on the upswing now.

I am wishing you an easy doctor's visit, and I'm glad that your insomnia was short phase this time.

We should do something soon!!