Monday, May 10, 2010

Sleeping Is Hard

I have a hard time getting to sleep.  Every night.  This might be because I probably have RLS (damn genetics).  Either way I decided to look up insomnia on Wikipedia.

According to the Wikipedia page there are three types of insomnia, transient, acute, and chronic.  I do not have any of those.  I have this issue every night.  I am never tired at night.  If I ever am tired, it is not enough to cause me to sleep.  I do have one of the four patterns of insomnia!  Onset insomnia!  Usually the cause of an anxiety disorder!  Let's take a look at the anxiety disorder page.  Yes, I probably have anxiety due to stress.

I do have social anxiety disorder (SAD).  You're probably thinking, 'You can't have SAD.  You seem pretty normal and social.'  Wrong!  I panic around people.  I hate parties or gatherings even if I know everyone.  I tend to panic and feel ill.  I also fear using the telephone.  The thought of calling someone, especially someone I don't know and trying to ask a question or hold a conversation freaking me out.  I will refuse to call places or people unless absolutely necessary.  I will spend five to ten minutes hyping myself up to make the call.  I will rehearse what I want to say, probably chicken out for a second, hyperventilate, compose myself, make the call all while shaking, hang up, and spend the next five minutes trying to lower my heart rate.  I've some what forced myself to get over this fear by working at places where I have to answer the phone.  At first it was really hard, but when I'm at work I'm the person with the power and so answering the phone is easier.  I still have issues with calling people. I just can't do it.

My fear of phones might also be because my brother convinced me that they were actually bombs that would blow up if you left the phone off the hook and it started to beep.  He used to leave the phone off the hook so that when it would start beeping I would come running, screaming, possibly tearing up, and slam the phone back on the hook.  Everyone thought it was hilarious, except me.  This might also be why I hate any repetitive beeping or ticking.  

I will also rehearse having conversations with people in my head before I see them.  I'm sure I could go on about how crippling my social anxiety disorder is, but that is not the topic of this post.  Anyway, maybe SAD is the reason why I can't sleep.

Back to insomnia, maybe I don't produce enough melatonin.  That might be why I cannot fall asleep ever.  My former roommate Jordan used to have melatonin vitamins that she would take sometimes to regulate her sleep cycle.  Man, she would take one and be out like a light in about 30 minutes.  Nothing could wake her up either until the morning.  I've tried to find these vitamins to try to get my sleep cycle back to something reasonable, but I cannot find them anywhere.  Apparently, they're pretty illegal in other countries, but not in the US.  My local Target does not sell it.  Henry thought I was making it up (the vitamin, not the actual existence of melatonin).  I did end up getting some Target brand generic sleep aid pills.  They work a little, but usually aren't strong enough.

Then I thought, maybe I have fatal familial insomnia.  But then I realized no one in my family has ever had it.  But damn, it sounds fascinating.  You start with some insomnia leading to panic attacks, paranoia, and phobias.  Then you start to hallucinate and have more pronounced panic attacks.  Eventually you cannot sleep again and lose a whole bunch of weight.  It ends with dementia and then you die.  Wouldn't that just suck?

I probably don't have any type of insomnia.  I probably just suck at falling asleep.  


  1. I can totally relate to the phone anxiety issue. I will do everything in my power to avoid talking to someone on the phone. Just the other day, I needed to call someone about an interview I did a few weeks ago, and I actually waited until she was "Away" on instant messanger (so I would actually have to talk to her of course), then called and left a voicemail that I spent 30 minutes writing/practicing. I fail.