“He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. Many must have it.”
-Ernest Hemmingway, A Clean Well-Lighted Place
1 out of 3 of the people reading this article right now have insomnia. Sound sensationalized? It is, 1 out of 3 have mild insomnia, but the shock value holds true. We are a species of animals that prides itself on never needing sleep, and somehow we think that’s all right.
“Oh, you got 8 hours last night? I only got 6. It’s no big deal”
“What’s that, you got 6? I only got 4 and I feel great.”
“Hey Steve! Go f*ck yourself AND your 4 hours. I haven’t slept since the Reagan administration, and I ran three marathons this morning.”
Of course when doing your due diligence, what self respecting person wouldn’t visit WebMD and search ‘tired but cant sleep 🙁 am i dying?’, and hopefully come up with some answers:
WebMD will save the day
Clearly WebMD may lead us astray on this one. But no worries, we’ve compiled a handy list of symptoms of our own (that you
most probably definitely have):
-Difficulty falling asleep at night-
-Waking up during the night-
-Waking up too early-
-Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep-
-Daytime tiredness or sleepiness-
-Irritability, depression or anxiety-
-Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering-
-Increased errors or accidents-
-Ongoing worries about sleep-
I’ll admit, that list is pretty vague and overall terrible. I mean, I would assume every person in the world has experienced some, if not all, of those symptoms before. Luckily here at ALLS we aren’t doctors, so that list can be written off pretty easily as bullish*t.
Just kidding that was via the Mayo Clinic, ya know, just one of the biggest medical research groups in the world. Even the people who know what they are talking about, don’t have a stead fast rule to what insomnia is. But what we can do is provide you with a list of things that may cause mild insomnia, and hopefully we can kick this condition for 33% of you.
-travel and abnormal work schedule-
-eating before bed-
-Eating in bed-
-using your computer in bed-
-video games in bed-
-smart phone/tablet in bed-
So once again, via the Mayo Clinic, we want to avoid basically any activity in our beds that isn’t sleep. Also any activities before bed that are “stimulating”. Also stress, which nearly every adult in the world experiences. And we here at ALLS suggest you quit your job once and for all. Clearly that extra overtime and those business trips are slowly killing you. Who needs a paycheck anyway?
Fortunately, a little mild insomnia hasn’t actually killed anyone (I could be wrong, I didn’t bother to look it up). But, what about the real insomnia? That top shelf sleeping disorder everyone wants to know about? Well let’s get into the good stuff and talk about a real man’s sleeping disorder.
apple won’t call me back about my next project
The main difference between the above stated mild (or acute) insomnia, and chronic insomnia is obviously the persistence of the condition. Although the symptoms don’t change much, the reasons for why you are suffering get a little more serious. With acute insomnia being mainly environmental, chronic can be an indicator of a much more serious unknown issue. Here are some of the more common underlying conditions:
-Major Depressive Disorder-
Unfortunately, as you can see, insomnia runs the gambit of many different physical and psychological conditions. So, with suffering of one of these diseases comes the potential for persistent and long lasting insomnia. In these severe cases it can last intermittently from months to years, leaving the victim helpless. And unless the underlying medical condition is treated, the insomnia is potentially left untreated as well.
Insomnia doesn’t reach its pinnacle of sh*tty there though. There is one step above chronic…
Fatal Familial Insomnia
This is where we reach the life threatening stages of insomnia. And you may wonder, “Life threatening? how can someone die from being a little sleepy?”. And the only available answer at the moment is; we have no idea. They do know that if you go an extended period of time, you will die. We don’t know how long, or what necessarily you die from, but you will die.
One of the most notable cases of FFI is that of Michael Corke. He went sleepless for six months after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He experienced severe depression and eventually was put into a medically induced coma. Even after being induced, he still did not experience brain recovery and rest, after which he eventually succumbed to the disease.
They do know that FFI is caused by a prion disease of the brain, being inherited as well as being spontaneously onset. In almost all cases FFI is fatal with varying lengths of lifespan after initial insomnia occurs. There has been some progress with treatment using the anti-biotic doxycycline, being used to slow the development of the disease.
Get Your Goddamn Rest
What you have learned today
- Don’t f*ck around in bed before you are ready to sleep
- Sleep is more important than we think
- And we have no idea why it’s actually important