Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I know I have written in the past about my struggles with insomnia.  Unfortunately, after a nice period of not having it, it is back for a visit.  The last two weeks have been terrible.  I have lost track of the number of times I am up at 5am for no reason at all, unable to sleep.

This week, we have guests visiting us here in Piemonte.  Today is going to be super busy, with lunch up in a snowed-in hamlet in the mountains accessible only by walking, skiing, or snowmobile, followed by dinner in a fancy restaurant in a small stone town that is a 15-minute drive further up the valley than we are here.  I'm starting to get worried that I will be falling asleep at the table.  It's much worse when the language we'll be using is not my native language as well, because while I would now consider myself fluent in Italian, to be able to participate in a lively conversation I really need to be alert.

The worst thing about insomnia, and the thing that I think is hardest to understand for those who have never experienced it, is the fact that I am actually really really tired right now.  It's not like I've had enough sleep and I woke up because I feel refreshed and lively.  Definitely not.  I would LOVE to sleep another two hours.

I think insomnia is very similar to infertility in the sense that if you have never experienced it, it's very hard to understand what it's like.  My husband is particularly guilty of this, because he has no trouble with sleep whatsoever.  He sleeps on airplanes.  He sleeps in as late as he wants in the morning, with no care for how noisy the house might be, how light the bedroom might be, or what time he went to bed the night before.  He can't understand how I can wake up early and be tired and then not be able to fall back asleep.

I would love some advice, if anyone has it.  I don't ingest caffeine almost ever.  I drink decaf coffee, and rarely in the evening.  I'm wondering if big late dinners are part of the problem, but I'm not feeling indigestion when I wake, and I don't think the nights when I have the biggest latest dinners necessarily coincide with my insomnia.  I know anxiety is probably playing a small role, but for example right now I don't feel particularly anxious.  But I still can't sleep.  Would seeing a doctor help?  I've mentioned it to doctors before and never gotten any satisfying advice or suggestions, but perhaps making an appointment just for sleep issues might be an idea?



  1. I wish I had some advice! Seeing a doctor is definitely a good idea. How frustrating! :(

  2. Insomnia is a tricky biotch. I never really had to deal with it until I was pregnant. I had brief stints where I would have a rough few days prior to when I got pregnant the first time, but since then it's not uncommon for me to wake up at 4 in the morning and be wide awake even though I'm exhausted.

    I don't have perfect solution to it but, for me at least, insomnia is a self-perpetuating cycle. I usually end up trying to battle through, when what I should be doing is listening to my body, and sleeping when I'm tired (which is hardly ever truly possible). And just like with kids, a good night time routine helps. Turn off the electronics, have some tea, I need to read to help fall asleep...

    And a doctor's appointment certainly wouldn't hurt. There might be something (are you on any meds or vitamins or something that might be having an effect?) that he can change or help manage.

    (sorry for the ramble...)

  3. I don't suffer from insomnia as severe as yours, but I do have trouble falling asleep on occasion. I find that I really do need to unplug from everything for a little while before going to bed - just chill out and quiet my mind for a while. I don't think a doctor's appointment is a bad idea either.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!