Thursday, August 23, 2012

insomnia -- not a bad thing?

I seem to go through phases of sleeping less and sleeping more.  Like the phases of what i feel like eating, and phases of greater/lesser thyroid function, i'm concluding that these things are not pathological unless they go on too long, or go out of reasonable boundaries.

"This morning" i woke up at around 3 (four hours sleep), and when i couldn't doze off again over the next hour, i gave up the attempt.  This follows a night of only about 6 hours.  Tonight, i'll make sure to take some melatonin so it doesn't become a habit.

The body is an amazing self-regulatory system.  When we try to micromanage it, we end up doing things we never intended.  (This is one of the reasons i avoid pharmaceuticals....)  If we try to INSIST that our bodies eat or sleep or give birth or poop or whatever, when our bodies aren't READY to do it, doesn't it make sense that the rebellion might be an ugly thing?  Not to mention the emotional stress that we get from the frustration, when our control-demanding minds completely fail to get the results we think we should.  And the physical stress that we cause when we try....

A little bit of the fatalism and acceptance-of-the-unavoidable of times past may be good for us.  If we don't EXPECT to be able to control every facet of our lives, the stress goes way down.  It helps to have a philosophy that says that things will be okay anyhow -- i suppose that's why people can have some really irrational religious beliefs when times are hard.

It can be easy to let it drive you crazy when you NEED SLEEP and it eludes you.  Just like, when you're doing everything right and the weight just won't come off.  Western culture telling us that we SHOULD be able to have and do ANYTHING WE WANT, if only we want it BADLY ENOUGH, has been a piss-poor influence, in my opinion.  Ironic, that the voice of reason in this regard comes from a pop icon in "you can't always get what you want, ... but you just might find, you get what you need."

I think that giving your body what it needs, and then having a little trust in it to manage itself properly, is wiser than trying to get it to perform the way you want and to schedule, like a synchronized-swimming team.  Especially if your body is ... shall we say, atypical?  There's NO authority which knows it as well as it knows itself.


  1. I can never thank MDA enough for their posts on bi-phasic sleep patterns. It seems my panic at waking after a few hours was my biggest enemy. My doctor just tried to put me on ambien/sonoma sp? But I says "no thanks" . Sleeping in two spells has me more rested than ever , and less inclined to indulge in other um, sleep therapies.

    1. yes, indeed! now that i don't consider it weird to wake up like that, and i don't "worry" about getting back to sleep, i usually CAN. :-)

  2. I dont think insomnia is ever a good thing :)

    I am slightly skeptical of the bi-phasic sleep thing, I have experienced this before, aka, waking up at 3am staying awake to 6am then sleeping again to 10am.

    Either way it doesnt seem to make a difference aslong as I get total 8-9 hours sleep I feel refreshed.

    1. and that's how it worked for me. i had something to eat, and then slept from 7-11 or so. i'm not sure if i just hadn't eaten enough, or if the carnitine is energizing me to the point that i need less sleep or what.