Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Mental Health

Anxiety & Sleep (or lack of it)

What better time to tackle this subject than at 2:30am!

Last night I dreamt that I was dying. I don’t normally remember my dreams but this one was so real that I don’t think I will ever forget it. I was on a space ship, the earth had been destroyed and we were the only people left (5 of us). Life support was running out and we all knew death was coming, we had prepared ourselves. I only knew one of the five; my old boss (I have no idea why!) I started to become drowsy and knew the end was close but I really needed a wee! I wasn’t willing to allow myself to die and then have an “accident” so I headed to the toilet (turns out the toilet was pretty normal for one on a space ship, it actually looked like my old house). I proceeded with my tinkling and felt my head getting heavy, I felt myself drifting off. I began to dream within my dream (some crazy inception shit was happening which I was not prepared for). I (still sat on the toilet) felt myself wishing to have my final moments cuddled up in bed with Marc (I know, corny but meh, I’m in love). I remember willing to happen but it never did. As I drifted further and further into death I managed to wake myself (in reality) and had to force myself to sit up and really wake up. I woke with a panic not knowing where I was or who I was, it took a while to even acknowledge that I was still alive. The only thing I was 100% sure with is that I really had to visit the bathroom.

I don’t mean to write so much about a dream, I am not the sort of person that looks into dreams and don’t really think they have a meaning but this dream has stayed with me all day.

In the moment I was drifting away I have never felt that calm, relaxed or peaceful. The only thing holding me back from a state of complete euphoria was the need for Marc to be there with me. The question (and fear) that has been running through my head all day is did I almost actually die? Was that feeling of calmness me actually drifting away in real life? The normal part of my brain tells me it was just my heart rate slowing down and if I had of waited a little longer I would have experienced the jump when it slows too much during sleep (usually triggered by a falling sensation). The anxiety part of my brain is telling me one simple thing: I almost died and I should never sleep again. Of course the anxiety part of the brain is far louder than the normal part so here I am, exhausted and watching streams on twitch wrapped in my favourite blanket on the couch. It is a familiar situation.

Tonight’s episode of insomnia is pretty unique but I do spend a lot of nights laid on the couch for various reasons. I have issues with noise. I can fall to sleep watching TV or listening to music but when it comes to humans making noise I struggle to deal with it. To combat the snoring coming from the other side of the bed I wear earplugs, however I occasionally still hear it. Now sometimes that is due to the volume of the snoring, a lot of the time I lay there listening for it and when I can’t hear it, I listen harder (if that is even possible) until I can hear something. My brain forces me to find the sound so I can then be annoyed and eventually get up and spend the night on the couch. This feels like a form of self-destruction and I have no clue as to why as I LOVE my bed! This can happen anytime, regardless of my current mindset. It reminds me of when I was young (teenage years) and I would sleep on the floor of my bedroom, because I deemed myself as undeserving of a comfy night’s sleep. I used to tell myself I enjoyed sleeping on the floor, even though I hated it. It was like a punishment but I never really understood what I had done to deserve it and I don’t understand what it happening to me now.

I do know that the best way to get a proper night sleep is to not use any electronic devices before sleeping. I fully understand why and I know I should, however each night I fall asleep (when I do fall asleep) I find a twitch stream to watch. I prop it up on my bedside table, muted, and put my earplugs in. I watch until I doze off. The insomnia is far worse when I don’t do this. As soon as I have nothing to focus on I start thinking. I think about everything negative, usually money. I think about our current financial situation which I blame myself for. This begins a whirlwind of negative thoughts that usually ends in a panic and the acknowledgement that I will not be sleeping. The streams gives me a focus, even if I only watch a couple of minutes before sleeping.

It is now 4am. The birds will be singing soon and I am exhausted. I have to try and sleep. I have to try. I may write more about sleeping when I have had some.

Clare x

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