Insomnia: I Can’t Sleep!

Another night of reckless sleep. I’ve gotten into the habit of not eating during the day and overeating at night. Every evening, I remind myself not to eat after 5 pm, and every night around 2 am when I wake up, I sleepwalk to the refrigerator for something to eat.

Why can’t I remember until after I’ve stuffed my face? I have bulletin and erasable boards around and affirmations on the refrigerator to remind me, but I don’t see those reminders in the middle of the night when my only thoughts are of eating.

It’s time to get out of bed and start the day. Good Morning!

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder where people have problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting back to sleep. Some people may not recognize they have a sleep issue as their only symptom, maybe anxiety, increase irritability, impatience, difficulty focusing, or retaining information. In severe cases, people have trouble functioning during the day, affecting their work performance.

One of the first tests I had was a sleep study to evaluate my sleep. At the time, I wondered how anyone could fall asleep with electrodes over their body, but I did rest. The study did not show sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, or sleepwalking. That was a relief, and I had at least two sleep studies.

For years, I had a sleep hygiene routine that consisted of not eating or drinking for at least 4-6 hours before bed, no daytime napping, and no bedroom until sleep time. Oh yes, I also meditated before going to bed. That routine worked, but at some point, I fell off the wagon or decided it wasn’t working.

The last two weeks have brought back the sleepless nights. Every other night’s two-day sleep vacations are not healthy or working, so I will need to discuss it further with my doctor. Fortunately, I have an upcoming appointment next week.




Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

4 thoughts on “Insomnia: I Can’t Sleep!

    1. Nah! I’m usually thinking about some imaginary world where I dominate my enemies, making them pay for all the hurt and pain they caused. Seems to have a calming effect.

      1. Yep, imaginary worlds can have that effect. That’s why, for instance, Second Life became a success, why so many people are addicted to games. And not to forget, watching movies, series, etc. But it is also a way of avoiding the bad stuff in real life, what makes people unhappy, frustrated, scared, and feeling lost. Then the real problems are buried, leading ultimately to not knowing anymore what those problems actually were/are, where they came from, and what caused them. As a result, the solutions become imaginary too, causing even more frustration etc.

        Alonso Quixano is a great example of this widespread phenomenon 😊

  1. Brain injury changed this for me. I found myself doing that at night and learned it was my brain injury. My doctor told me to eat carbs bc my brain needed them bc it was concerting the energy more , why? I had PTSD and vivid nightmares too. But, I still do this. I stopped judging myself. When I don’t I get migraines. If I don’t eat, they last 3 days. Wild.

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