Second 6am picture

An Insomnia Update Because You Care

I have a cold and my insomnia is back so this post will probably be pointless, but I did want to give you an insomnia update.

Oh wait, I just did by writing “my insomnia is back,” and if I was a woman of few words instead of a blogger, I would stop typing. But I know that you want to know more because I’m psychic. Or just self-centered. TBD.

Remember back on March 20th when I asked you if I could die of morning? I said that I was committing to 30 days of waking up at 6 a.m. to force my sleep clock to readjust and my insomnia to get its butt kicked and perhaps most importantly, to be of better service to my family.

For the first 14 days, I did it no matter what. Kids up 13 times? Up at 6 a.m.. I don’t fall asleep until 3am? Up at 6 a.m.. Cats jump on my head at 5am? Up at 6 a.m.. I stuck to it because my word is my bond. Sir Alex carried on.

Those first few days, I was high from lack of sleep. The next few days I hated you. After that Scott would say everyday: It’s so NICE to have you up and awake in the morning. And I would smile and fall asleep. Okay I would smile, spend 16 hours doing stuff, then fall asleep. BUT I WAS FALLING ASLEEP AT 10 p.m.. It was amazing and exhausting and I couldn’t tell if I was happy or depressed or this was just what normal felt like.

Then my plan was attacked by life. First, my daughter went through a phase where she climbed into our bed every night.

My daughter and her sucka mama
I may be a sucker, but I'm the best kind of sucker.

I would have to shut off my alarm because I couldn’t create an exhausted disaster of a child each morning. N is my sleep-until-7-a.m. baby who  doesn’t nap anymore so she needs as much nighttime sleep as possible. For a few days, I woke up at 5:55 a.m., but my body began to catch on to the no-alarm and tried to sleep a little more each day.

I finally shift N to the guest room, then I got sick. I debated whether I should still get up at 6 a.m., but my doctor-self knew that rest would mean the difference between being sick for a week or for 3.

After that, we went away for Spring Break to become survivalists. I tried to get back on track in the middle of the woods, but I didn’t set my alarm everyday so I was doomed to failure. Insomnia is strong and vaguely appealing.

We got home, and I never set my alarm again. Plus, Scott started reading the Game of Thrones series (am I supposed to out you?) and was up until all hours. At first I resisted and went to bed, but soon, I reveled in it. I had a late night buddy! My husband has always been early to bed, early to rise, which has been a bone of contention in our marriage: whose circadian rhythm is better and who should change. (Okay the fights aren’t EXACTLY like that but they pretty much boil down to those 2 questions.) I was so happy to have him on MY schedule. Of course, once he finished the first 4 books, he was snoring by 10:30 p.m. and I had completely screwed up my sleep schedule.

Now, I’m back to just laying and staring and thinking for hours and trying desperately to make up for it in the morning hours. Except the insomnia is made even worse with the knowledge that I can set my alarm for 6 a.m. and begin the miserable process all over again to start falling asleep at a decent hour.

See you at midnight. And at 6 a.m. again. Soon. One day. After this cold ends. Probably.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

11 thoughts to “An Insomnia Update Because You Care”

  1. I don’t think it matters what time you go to bed — 6 am sucks.

    When we took the kids to Sea World we were all so exhausted that I fell asleep at like 9:00. Longest. Night. Ever. Since I was still having to get up to deal with a 2 year old who cries out to get covered up by her blankie a million times a night. Every time I was up I would look at the clock and be all, “Really? It’s ONLY 2:30am????”

  2. Like quitting anything (smoking, drinking, crack, blogging etc..) always remember to cut yourself some slack. Anyone “white knuckling it” will lapse. Just tell yourself that you’re human and try again.

  3. The nice thing about a baby is that he makes me get up when he does. And he’s sort of on his own schedule of sleeping from 3amish until 6am when I take him into my bed and then he’ll sleep until at LEAST 8am.

    I think this child loves me.

  4. So sorry you can’t sleep, but at least you make good use of your time. I struggle with Insomnia too. In fact, my Psychiatrist has said that I may be the most sleep deprived person he has ever met. Last night I was up until 1:45 and I was exhausted and had been exhausted since 6 pm… but still could not get to sleep.
    Hopefully, you will get some sleep tonight.

  5. I was actually just thinking of asking you how your 6 am experiment was going! So sorry to hear that you are sick. I hope you feel better soon. And you should definitely not wake up at 6 am anymore.

    1. I picked 6am for a few reasons: 1) my kids usually wake me up between 6:30 & 7 and my trouble falling asleep remaind 2) I thought having 30 minutes or so of quiet before the day would be good for me. 3) Any earlier and I’d probably die.

  6. I’ve been wondering how your experiment was going. Sorry to hear it got a little derailed. You are still brave for trying, whether you go back to it or not!

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