67 CommentsCreative Writing, Health and Wellness, Music, Poetry

Eyes glued open

burning, blurry

Insomnia and blodshot eyes

lie down

close them

wish hard


Poem ©D.D.B. 2013/2o14/2015


Have you ever had insomnia?

How do you handle it?

For me, it’s a life-long affliction. Going to bed early means being wide awake at 2 a.m., so I just stay up until the eyes are fried. Get a lot of blog posts written in the middle of the night.


Seriously though, there are many things you can do to combat insomnia, as outlined in THIS ARTICLE.

It’s well known that computers are on the symptom-causing list, but, many of us don’t pay it any mind.

Alrighty then, OFF TO BED!

sleep studies for insomnia

This was originally published on June 18, 2013. Not much has changed since then, except I finally let the doctor talk me into taking part in one of those overnight sleep studies at the hospital. Frankly, this freaks me out more than a little! I have enough trouble sleeping as it is and can’t imagine it will be any easier wearing various wires and attachments. What happens when I have to get up to pee in the middle of the night? What if I can’t sleep? How much privacy is there? One week to go and I’m getting more trepidatious by the day! Of course, you know there’s going to be a blog post about this, yes? 😉

Have you participated in one of these sleep studies? What’s it like?
Looking forward to your comments!

Photo credits: Eye Sleep Study

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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67 thoughts on “INSOMNIA

  1. Fried eyes eh! Gosh! Gives me such crazy visuals!I’m lucky that I’ve had very few sleepless nights and remember them very clearly.Hugs. Here’s wishing you happy zzzz’s

    1. Haha! Yes, I have dry eye syndrome and that sometimes leads to “fried eyes” when I stay up too late, which is my normal habit. Happy zzzz’s would be nice Vidya and I’m glad you don’t have much trouble in that area. We’ll see what the experts have to say.

  2. I confess to having used Ibuprofen PM for a couple of years now. My problems were mostly aches and pains from arthritis, so the ibuprofen is for that and the Benedryl part is for quicker sleep. You can also get Tylenol PM and Aleve PM and Unisom is just the Benedryl part. I’m sure you’ve tried all those, though. Good luck with the sleep study!

    1. Hi Lorinda; I sometimes take Benedryl, but try to stay away from drugs in general. Even with that, I may fall asleep a little faster, but still keep waking up. 😛 This study will be interesting, but I’m sure not comfortable about it! Thanks for visiting.

  3. I’ve had sleepless nights too but luckily for me, they pass soon enough and I find that stressing about insomnia adds to the problem! Instead of working productively, I would suggest get the most boring book you’ve ever owned and read it lying down in bed with just the reading light so that you can bore yourself to sleep……..Don’t try walking around, or even working because that wires your brain. Another practice I resort to is to lie down on the carpet – it’s so uncomfortable that I soon want to stretch out in bed and ……fall asleep!

    1. Thanks for the tips. I guess I’ll have to invest in some boring books. Mine are all interesting. 🙂 Lying down on the carpet is an novel idea, except getting back up would be a bit of a struggle. LOL Thing is, I get most creative in the middle of the night and want to be working then. Oh well!

  4. It’s so frustrating when you want to sleep but can’t… I was afflicted with a brief period of insomnia when my brother was ill. I realized it was due to a lot of stress. Now my sleeping patterns are normal, but it takes a lot of time before I finally sleep, which as you said, is computer related.

    1. Yes, I think the computer issue is one culprit, for sure, but, it’s hard to give it up! 🙂 Anyway, we’ll see what the experts have to say. Thanks for visiting.

  5. I have had bouts of insomnia for sure, usually if I am too stressed and/or had too much caffeine (usually too late in the day). I have never gone to the sleep lab and hope I never have to. I think I would have some of the same concerns. I look forward to hearing about it! Then and in the meantime, sleep tight! 😉 <3

    1. Sleeping tight is the problem, Elly. I can’t seem to do that! 😛 Whether it resolves anything or not, this sleep lab will be an interesting experience.

  6. Hey Debbie, to be honest I can’t remember the last time I went to bed thinking “Okay, it’s time to sleep now”.I normally go there when I can no longer be working in my home office. Right now I have a full time job (which I hate) and want to go back to full time Internet Marketing but I still need to make up the time (and lots of it) to work on it and the tricky part is that I’m a married guy now so spending quality time with my wife is something I find very hard to do these days.Not going to sleep early or at “decent” times is what allows me to work this extra time on IM and still pay the bills with my day job, of course I feel tired most of the time too, in fact, I need to record a promotion video (talking head style) and I haven’t been able to do it because I look like crap! LOL I’m literally waiting for the weekend to see if I have a better looking face and can record something more decent but to answer your question I don’t do anything about insomnia, stress and anxiety do not allow me to sleep properly anyway.Sergio

  7. Why am I not surprised computer use can add to the problem? I use a bit of melatonin to help get me to sleep, and I notice if I don’t exercise enough, I don’t sleep as well either. I hate not being able to sleep. I’ll either get up and go write, or read something…

    1. I suppose there’s something to that. Bright light from the screen, etc. I’ve tried every natural remedy, including Melatonin. Did nothing. 😛 Exercise is something I certainly need more of, so maybe that’s the key! Thanks for visiting Lisa.

  8. Debbie, I hope the sleep study helps, I can’t imagine not getting a sound sleep. I do tend to miss my sleep if I am not in bed at about 11 so I get my blogging and writing or reading done till 1.30 or 2 am. Usually I sleep fine and sometimes make up for lost sleep in the afternoons.
    All the best for the study. Try a warm mug of just milk with honey, it works wonders for relaxing the mind & body.

    1. Glad you don’t have sleeping difficulties, Indy. 🙂 I’ve tried every natural remedy there is, I think. Napping makes me even more groggy, so I don’t do it very often.

  9. I sleep very late. Too late. My mind starts churing only in the twilight zone. From my school days. I used to study very late in the night. Even if I want I cannot sleep before 2 am. And i get up everyday at 6 am. Many ask me how I do it and if I have some ‘personal issues’. I have no answer for the first part and for the second one – no. Maybe I am sleeping disorder. Till now I am healthy- touchwood. But at 2 am I HAVE to read a book to feel sleepy 😛

    1. Sounds like you’re a night person, same as me. 🙂 It’s the most creative time of day! I think some people need less sleep than others, but getting up at 6 am would be difficult for me.

  10. They say that I can sleep anywhere, anytime – it’s true!
    One of the bipeds keeps some strange hours at times, but I don’t mind being woken up because I’ll catch up on my naps when they’re busy later in the day.
    I’m looking forward to reading about you sleeping, or not, for the study!

    1. Ah, the joys of being a dog! 🙂 Sometimes I wish I could be one too, Clowie. Yes, I will document the sleep study experience, for sure. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

  11. Poor Debbie. Insomnia is so miserable. I feel for you. I’ve had a bit of insomnia over the years due to job stress and lately due to menopause. Taking estrogen replacement has really helped me and I’m sleeping great now.

    Hope the sleep study helps shed some light on your condition. Does sound daunting though. I don’t blame you for losing sleep over that. All the best!

    1. Thanks, Cathy. It’s been a lifelong affliction, so I’m used to it, but, it sure would be nice to be able to sleep through the night. Sigh…..This study sounds very uncomfortable and how they expect you to sleep, I don’t know. Glad to know your sleeping difficulties have been resolved. 🙂

    1. I can relate to that, Francene. My deepest sleep seems to be between 5 and 7 am. It will be interesting to see what the tests results show.

  12. You won’t believe this, but counting sheep really helps me. I’ve just been doing this for the past 3 months,…and I usually get only to sheep number 5, who always seems to stumble over his own legs, and barely manages to jump that fence, and then I’m out. Lol. And I’m one who has 1 million thoughts zapping through my head. Apparently those sheep chase the thoughts away.
    My husband was in a sleep clinic. He fell right asleep, but then he’s like a horse. He can sleep while standing. Hope the doctors can help you, Debbie. Insomnia is a bummer.

    1. I’m surprised that actually works, Angelika. 🙂 Glad to know your husband fared so well with the clinic. I have trouble falling asleep at the best of times and can’t imagine it will be any easier with wires attached! 😛 We’ll see what the outcome is.

  13. Don’t worry , it will be fine Debbie… I can sleep anytime and anywhere , well almost 🙂 Sometimes I do feel uneasy and am not able to sleep…But other than that it’s fine with me…

    1. Glad you have no sleep-related issues. This has plagued me since childhood, so I’m not sure what the resolution might be.

  14. Sleep never used to be a problem with me, Debbie. But of late, I’ve been waking up around 3.30 am and can’t go back to bed again. Working on getting to bed earlier so at least, if I do get up at 3.30, I might as well get out of bed! Crazy, or what? 🙂
    I can imagine how being part of an ‘experiment’ would be intimidating, but I hope it helps you to learn more about your sleeping patters. Good luck!

    1. I sure wouldn’t want to get up that early, Corinne, but I’ve always been a night person and reluctant to go to bed. Hope you find your solution! Not looking forward to this test, but my doctor has been nagging me to do it for years and I’m tired of being tired all the time, so, we’ll see what advice they have for me. I’ve tried every natural remedy out there, to no avail.

  15. Hmm…that was a little melancholy as I scrolled past the 2013 commenters and saw a name of a former blogger whom I absolutely adored. Yes, you and I have shared more than once with each other about our insomnia. And one of my closest blogger friends has horrific problems with it. Been there, done that too. I’ve doing ok recently until ironically LAST NIGHT. Then I see this post today…very psychic of you Debbie! 🙂 Last time I saw the clock it was 5:31 a.m. then had to be up at 8:15 a.m. I don’t get back to bed until around 2 a.m. Long day. But, it’s weird how the body adjusts. I’m not saying in a healthy manner because it’s horrible for our health. Yet, the body is so dang resilient. Here is to a wonderful, warm sleep for both of us tonight, my friend! 🙂

    1. Hi Mike; I think I know who you mean. It’s too bad she left the blogging world and I miss her too. 🙁 Sorry you had trouble sleeping last night, but yes, the timing is interesting. I know what you mean about the body adjusting. Mine would probably go into shock if it slept more that 3-4 hours at a time! I’m dreading this sleep study and don’t hold out much hope that the problem will be solved, but, you never know. Wishing you a good night’s sleep as well!

      1. I would really enjoy an update after your study (even via email), Debbie! I have a few friends who use those oxygen mask/machines and they say they sleep incredible now and wake up refreshed. Hmmm… Hang in there my dear! 🙂

        1. I’m planning to publish a post about it, Mike, but feel free to email me if you have questions. As for the machine, I honestly don’t think my problem is sleep apnea and the idea of wearing such a contraption to bed is a complete turn off. We’ll see how that goes! 😛 On the other hand, waking up refreshed is something I have no experience with – might be nice for a change! 🙂

  16. Hi Debbie,

    Those CPAP machines aren’t so bad. My husband as sleep apnea and has to use one when he goes to bed. He hasn’t complained about any discomfort and ever since he started using it he gets a good night’s sleep and he’s energized in the morning.

    Sometimes I want to use it myself :).

    Hope you get some sleep :).

    Take care.

    1. Hi Corina; I don’t relish the thought of wearing a machine to bed, and I honestly don’t think sleep apnea is my problem. We’ll see what the experts have to say. 😛 Can you tell I’m not very enthusiastic about this? LOL I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in decades, so I’m pretty much used to it. Glad your hubby is doing better now though. 🙂

  17. Reading your post and all the comments – I feel sorry for anyone who does not sleep well. I go to bed when I am tired – usually between midnight or 1 a.m. I fall asleep in 5 minutes on my left side. I wake up 6 hours later, same position and I never hear one thing during the night – nothing. My hubby says they could rob us blind. Apparently there is a lot of activity in the house during the night. Hubby gets up several times, the dogs want out at least once, sometimes the phone rings, sometimes the people next door are partying outside our bedroom window – I hear NOTHING and never even move during the night.

    1. I envy you, Carol! My husband is like that. Never moves and the covers are hardly disturbed. I toss and turn and moan and groan and the covers are flung every which way, plus I wake up every couple of hours. It’s been that way as long as I can remember and probably stems from having sleep patterns constantly disturbed as a child. I’m skeptical this sleep study will offer much in the way of a solution, but I’ll try to remain optimistic about.

  18. I’ve never participated in a sleep study but I’ve always wanted to be in a dream research study, which I guess is a sleep study of sorts. Every once in a while I get bouts of insomnia and I too tend to either get blog posts done, comments made, or play many games of solitaire.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    1. That would probably be more fun than this one, Lee! Nice to know I’m not the only one trolling the Blogosphere in the middle of the night. Never tried Solitaire, but sometimes reading a book will make the eyelids heavy enough to sleep. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  19. This has never been an issue with me Debbie, I can sleep girl! I do it really well too! lol…

    Now my Mom is a whole other story. It started because she had three kids and her first one maybe slept 2 hours in an entire 24. Then of course my Dad was sick their entire marriage and she wanted to make sure she heard him so she maybe sleeps 3 or 4 hours a night.

    Since she moved next door to me last summer and my Dad has been gone 10 years now she’s sleeping better. Knowing she doesn’t have to get up or listen for anyone is helping with that. I feel for you guys though! Thank goodness I’ve never had that issue.


    1. I can only imagine how great it must be to get an entire night’s sleep, Adrienne. You are so fortunate and I envy you that. Sounds like your mother had similar issues to mine, (my sleeping patterns have been disturbed since childhood), but I’m glad she’s doing better now. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend! 🙂

  20. Hey Deb, I’m a sleeper. I can sleep anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a night.

    I use to wake up sometimes at 3 AM and then lay there for about an hour thinking about all kinds of things. But then I discovered a good secret to sleeping right through. I take a tablespoon of liquid Magnesium right before bed. And if I have any soreness from sitting at the computer all day, I have also have some Magnesium lotion that I rub on my back. It is amazing 🙂

    Plus, if you need to reduce stress at all, my doctor told us that the best sleep time is between 7 AM and 9 AM.

    1. I certainly envy you, Sicorra! My sleep patterns have been messed up since childhood. 😛 Thanks for the tip about the liquid Magnesium and the lotion. Will definitely give that a try. I have noticed that early morning is when the deepest sleep occurs for me. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  21. Hey Debbie,

    Well, being awake at overnight is now a usual practice of mine and I just love sleeping at 8 – 9 am 😉

    It started at the time of my higher studies and there were days I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours too. Ugh… I’ve got some black patches beneath my eyes at that time. I’ve read lack of sleep ‘causing ’em. However I’m more concern about my health now though. I hope you too Debbie! Health is wealth dear 🙂

    I have no big problem with sleeping early either Debbie. If I wanna wake up early in the morning, I do to sleep early too. But very rare and mostly my family members are awake when I gonna jump on my pillow 😉 Anyway I do make sure I sleep minimum of 8 hours 😀 lol…

    You have a wonderful week there and take care dear 🙂 Keep rockin’!


    1. So, you like the night too Mayura! 🙂 Has always been my favourite time of day. Can’t remember the last time I had 8 hours of sleep though. They do say when you get older, less sleep is necessary. Still, it would be nice to be able to get at least 4 or 5 hours without waking up in between. 😛 Oh well! I remember a quote from a movie, (but not which specific movie): “You’ll get plenty of sleep when you’re dead.” Perhaps then? 😉 Thanks for visiting and have a great night, my friend. Cheers to you, too!

      1. There’s a lot going on about sleep and health Debbie 😉 But everything is not possible as they recommend though 😀

        Death is nowhere near Debbie 🙂 How could you think about it while your oldy favorite musicians are still alive? You still wanna meet Metallica too, nah? Music will keep you healthy 😉

        Ha ha… If you’d like, you can take sleeping 8 hours as an challenge 😉

        Anyway music keeps me awake all the nights and energize me whenever I feel sleepy 😉

        Remember, keep rockin’! 😉


        1. LOL I just figured, whatever sleep I’m missing now, can be made up for in death. You know, “The Big sleep”. 😉 It’s been a life long problem for me and I’m used to it. Eight hours seems like the impossible dream. Yeah; music does keep me going too and I ABSOLUTELY want to see Metallica! \m/. Have a great weekend!

  22. Hi Debbie

    I wonder if we are allotted so many hours in our lifetime to sleep! I think if so, I must have used them up when I was a kid. LOL
    I could go to bed at 8 or 9 and still not be ready to get up by 7:30 to go to school. On the weekends I was only allowed to sleep in until 8. Even when I was 18 and moved away from home, I could still sleep for long hours. Then…..drum roll…..I had a kid! Sleeping was destroyed.

    Child grown and gone, but I have never been able to sleep straight through the night in 47 years! I am always waking up sometime in the night no matter how tired I am. If I can get 4 hours straight without waking up it would be a small miracle. But I stay in bed until about 7 each morning. I can compensate when I get really tired, I do well with catnaps. Learned that very well from the resident felines.


    1. I feel your pain Mary! Sleeping through the night is something I can’t remember ever doing. 😛 Cat naps work for many people, but I find they just make me groggy and grumpy. Often, I’ll briefly doze off in the evening while watching TV, which probably is one of the reasons my sleep patterns are so messed up. Thanks for sharing your experience and have a great day! 🙂

  23. I feel ya girlfriend! I’m going through that now. I’m up at 2:30 a.m. like an alarm clock and can’t get back to sleep. I’m tossing and turning…ugh I hate it. When I finally start to get sleepy it’s time to get up 🙁

    I’m gonna have to read the article you shared to learn how to fight it. Love your selection of music! If I ever hit the lotto I’m picking you up in a private plane and we are going to a concert together! The craziest double date any teen or young adult has ever seen LOL!

    Have a great day Debbie!

    1. Hi Corina; Yup; that all sounds familiar. Even when I do fall asleep, it’s never for long. 🙁 So many things in that article I’m not willing to do, but, they probably work. Love the lottery fantasy! ROCK ON!! 😀 Metallica is on my concert bucket list, (just in case your numbers come up 😉 ). Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    1. Those would probably work Sandra, except red wine doesn’t agree with me. I’ve never actually tried Valium, but Ativan also works well. Unfortunately it is addictive too, so I rarely use it. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

    1. Hi Corinne; Infrequent bouts of insomnia are probably fairly common, but, at least you go back to normal. For those of us chronic sufferers, it’s pretty much a way of life. Thankfully, I can function with little sleep, as long as there’s coffee. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  24. I’m pretty lucky most of the time, falling asleep almost before my head hits the pillow. Those few times the opposite happens, I just lie there and think until my thoughts bore me and I fall asleep. I sometimes run a song over and over in my mind. I don’t even try to do anything intelligent like writing a blog, because my brain is usually in dumb mode by the time I get to bed, anyway, and I don’t want to disturb anyone. Oh well…it doesn’t happen often, as I said. Russ is the house insomniac…

    1. You are fortunate Mary. Even when I do fall asleep, it never lasts more than 2 or 3 hours at a stretch. Sigh….
      I know; Russ and I have had a few middle of the night conversations. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  25. Deb, yes I can so relate! I’ve had this issue for several years and did better last week when I started to exercise more. But last night it happend and I’ve been up for hours now. The good thing is I get more done before I go to my day job. 3 pm is time for more coffee on days like this. Interesting about the computers causing it too 🙂 That music is great for relaxing btw.

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one Lisa! More exercise may help me too. Must make a concerted effort. Hard to stay off the computer late at night, because I’ve always been a “night person” and that’s when creativity is strongest for me. Vicious circle! Thank goodness for coffee. 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

  26. Hi Debbie,

    Ah…I can well relate to those ‘fried eyes’ too 🙂

    I know sleeping late bad for health but for me it’s because I find that quiet time of the night the most peaceful one to work. But I have to change my lifestyle because it’s been proven it’s bad for health, or perhaps we realize of it much later in life.

    Sleeping early and getting up early to do the same things is a better way it’s said. I would be trying that instead now, once I’m back from my little holiday.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena; Wish I could sleep late, but, I’m always up early, regardless. Going to bed early doesn’t work for me either, because then I’m awake at 2 a.m. 😛 Lisa mentioned exercise in her comment. Think I need more, for sure. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a wonderful holiday! 🙂

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