Insomnia-Fuelled Angsty Sleep Musings

Here I am, sitting on the couch eating a muffin top at 4:30 in the morning. (For everyone’s benefit, I’ll probably hold off posting this until some later time. I’m not at my most coherent at the moment.) I managed to sleep for a few hours, after which I woke up, got up to get a glass of water and, through some mental gymnastics, decided that my life was crumbling around me. True story.

That was three hours ago. I’ve since realized that things are not, in fact, spiralling out of control, but I nonetheless can’t fall back asleep. It’s pretty safe to say that at this point, it ain’t gonna happen.

Insomnia has been a major problem for me since childhood. I remember being a little kid—eight, nine years old—and sitting up through the night, sometimes not sleeping at all. For the vast majority of my adulthood, I both took forever to fall asleep and spent at least an hour, usually more like two, in the living room in the wee hours of the morning.

And then I was prescribed Topamax for seizures and, as a side effect, started sleeping excessively. Like, really excessively.

I at first made this weird assumption that if I rested as much as my body seemed to be telling me I should, I’d feel, you know, rested upon awakening. This proved, however, not to be the case, so I decided to implement a nine-hours-a-night policy. No point sleeping my life away if the extra time’s not going to make a tangible difference in terms of my level of fatigue.

It’s been getting so much better, though—silver lining, yay! I’ve had, generally speaking, more energy than I have in forever, and even if there’s still a low-level tiredness thing going on, it’s much less than it was before. At least I’m functional, which I fully appreciate. There I go again with the silver linings.

Problem is, whenever I have a “bad” night, definitely an outlier given my Topamax tiredness, I assume that it’s the beginning of some larger pattern that’s yet to materialize and that would be the end of the world and entirely unfixable.

If my years of CBT have taught me anything, it’s that I’m doing a little-big thing called catastrophizing.

When it’s not 5 AM, I might pull out my CBT binder and thought-record this. For now, I’m going to make a cup of (decaf) tea and read.

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