What to do when you can’t sleep.

As some of you know, I have insomnia.  It totally blows.  I sleep at intervals of somewhere between 1 and 4 hours with gaping holes of late night awake time where there isn’t even anything on tv that isn’t an infomercial or 2 & 1/2 Men.

I get asked a lot, “Hey Allyson, what do you do when you can’t sleep?”  and while I usually answer, “I just lay there and try to sleep,” what I really mean is, “I do a whole bunch of weird shit that I don’t want to tell you about because we don’t really know each other well enough for me to tell you about it and you not feel like you should probably leave the room whenever you see me because you’re afraid my weirdness will rub off on you.”  It won’t, so pull yourself together and get ready for a strange journey into what I do when I cannot sleep in the middle of the night.

I usually try to go to sleep at a reasonable time.  And by reasonable, I mean, before midnight.  I watch Conan, then I try to fall asleep on my own.  Sometimes this works, but usually it doesn’t.  I just lie there like a slug while my cat grooms herself on my chest.  It’s disgusting.

So I do a quick run through of all the things that are supposed to make normal people sleepy.  Here they are in no particular order:

-Drink sleepy time tea

-Read a boring book. Like, basically anything by Dean Koontz

-Count backwards from 100

-Close my eyes and hope sleep will come all over my face.

When that shit doesn’t work, because it practically never does, I move on to the weird stuff.  Get ready folks.  Here, in no particular order are the weird things I do to bring sleep.

-Hard boil eggs. Seriously, when the threat of burning my house down is looming, I become exhausted waiting for these fucking eggs to finish cooking so I can lie down.  There are also constantly hard boiled eggs in my house, which is only awesome around Easter.

-Facebook stalk people from high school and feel better or worse about myself depending on how much better or worse they look.

-Jog around my neighborhood and hope coyotes don’t eat me.  Seriously, there are coyotes in my neighborhood and it turns out you can run pretty fast when you feel like you’re trapped in a horror movie that involves coyotes tearing you limb from limb.

-Try and sell stuff on eBay.  I’m broke as shit, so as long as I’m up I might as well be productive and try and make some money.

-Play airplane with my cats until they start biting too hard.

-Take a bath, but first I have to clean the bathtub.  Like, every time I want to take a bath, I have to scrub down the bathtub because I don’t want athlete’s foot in my asshole.  I then end up cleaning the entire bathroom.  Then I take a bath and about 5 minutes in I get bored so I get out and get my iPod, then the water is cold, so I have to drain a little then add more hot water.  THEN I start to panic that I might fall asleep and drown so I have to get out of the bathtub and grab my inflatable airplane pillow, which I have to blow up, so I have to sit like a a nob on the edge of the tub blowing it up.  Then I get back in and the water is too cold again, so ONCE AGAIN I have to drain a little bit of the water and the refill it with the hot.  Then after about 20 minutes I start to get all pruned and I’m not even halfway through whatever podcast I’m listening to.

-I listen to the rest of whatever podcast on my bedroom floor with my feet in the air while I focus on trying to spread my toes as far apart as possible.  It’s called yoga toes folks, it’s  a real thing.  And I can do it really well with my left foot, but my right foot isn’t as good at it which pisses me off.  I hate my right foot.

-Go into elaborate fantasies about one day writing my memoir and then being interviewed by Conan O’Brien.

-Try on outfits that I would possibly wear on Conan.

-Try on all the shoes in my closest and then wonder why I own so many high heels that I never fucking wear because I can’t walk in them anyway and I almost always fall over in them.

-Consider selling my shoes on eBay.

-Re-consider selling my shoes on eBay because what if  I need them for a wedding or something, because seriously, all of my friends are getting fucking married and I don’t want to have to buy a new pair of shoes every time I have to go to some wedding.

-Go back on facebook to see who the fuck else I know is getting married.

-Consider joining eHarmony.

-Realize I’m a disaster of a person and I would be one of those people who gets rejected from the eHarmony site and decide that I can’t handle that kind of electronic rejection.

-Go back on facebook, drink half a bottle of wine, and decide I’m better off than all those fuckers.

-Realize I’m too drunk for the internet.

And finally, friends, I fall asleep around 6:30 in the morning.  Which gives me about 1-2 hours before I must be awake for the day.  Huzzah!

So that’s what I do when I cannot sleep and sleep deprived mania washes over me.  I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into my weird ass life as an insomniac.  Please don’t avoid me forever now.


About allysonhood

I'm a comedian. I'm a writer. I'm a relationship ruiner. Which I realize isn't a real word, but it accurately describes what I do to other people. Which is ruin them. Sorry.

Posted on September 3, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. You should do what my insomniac husband does…watch porn, beat off, and sleep like a kitten. It buys him an extra hour or so of sleep.
    And you thought YOU were getting personal??

  2. I like how the weird stuff is AFTER you hope sleep comes all over your face. Fun piece.

  3. I’m convinced this is genetic. I have it. A friend of mine has it. Ideal sleepy time is start between 4 and 6 am.

    And what to do at night? Try desperately to sleep, then give up and putz. I often tell myself, “you can do (insert housework here) just as easily during the night as the day. Do it now.” But do I? NooooOOOOPE.

  4. I have the same problem. It got ten times worst after I had kids. Kids don’t get that daddy didn’t get to sleep till 4:30. They wake up early and don’t give a damn.

    Also, I got into a bad/weird situation going through depression stuff where I was kind of sleeping, but taking Nyquill every night. My therapist had me try something that was really helpful. I have a “nighttime” routine (mine also involves Conan) that if I deviate from I don’t and can’t sleep, but if I stick to this really helps. Its not a bedtime (that would kill me) but whenever I decide I’m ready for bed, I have like an hour long ritual that I do. My body is pretty keyed to it so it gets pretty ready to go to sleep…most the time.

  5. Four words – crafting with cat hair!

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