top of page


3 weird things insomnia taught me

Insomnia can be a relentless beast, but I discovered some unexpected things which helped me

Through 2020, I slept 2 hours a night

In 2021, I slept 3 hours a night

In 2022, I slept 4 hours a night.

I am now on a drug trial, which is allowing me 6 hours a night.  It’s heaven.

The trial ends in a few weeks.


Here’s what insomnia, and operating on very little rest taught me:


·      To listen to my body

When is rest available? How?  How am I speaking about this? What impact is it having on my exhaustion?


·      Running over things in my head gives me no rest

Whatever I need to do to calm the inner narrative has to happen.  Sound of rain apps on my phone, meditations, body scans, pretending I am in a forest. Anything, anything, other than thinking about my day or what is going on.  That is for daytime.


·      I can disrupt my own patterns

Laying in bed and getting stressed about not being asleep used to be a very easy trap for me to fall into.  Now I enjoy things like secret extra hours with books or noticing that 2am toast can sometimes give me the gluten sedative I need to get back to sleep for a few more hours.


·      Second sleeps are twice as restorative as round one

If I am fortunate enough to be able to go in for a second round of a night – that turns into the best sleep of my life.  Every time.  No idea why.


·      I get as much comfort daydreaming

Oftentimes, now, when I am not sleeping, I am able just to lie there and explore possibilities.  In the same place and position I used to drive myself in circles about how terrible it was that I was not sleeping when I “should” be, I sometimes lay there and wonder about what if’s and where I would like tos and what could bes and places and possibilities and potential.  And there is not as much time in my everyday life in the later stages of capitalism for this kind of behaviour as I would like – so I indulge it.   I play pretend and explore ideas.  And it is delightful.  My body is held.  I am warm and cosy.  And there are imaginings to create.  And I delight in them.



All of this spiders our from the idea that I have chosen to enjoy this time.  I tell myself I have 21 hours a day and that is a rare treat.  I try to remind myself that little stays the same and this is an interesting time for me and my body.


These thoughts all serve me a lot more than some things I used to say to myself when I was getting a lot more sleep.  Things like “I am exhausted”, “I have so much on “If I don’t get the sleep, I will feel like shit tomorrow.”.  I made all of those things come true.


So, I decided to explore what else I could make come true.  And I know when I treat things like an adventure, I am more likely to be able to create corners of safety, fun and pleasure.


And that’s my aim with most things I do.

This first appeared in SelfCareSundays love letters to rest which arrives in your inbox if you'd like it to, click the button below:

A bed surrounded by books


bottom of page