#NoSleepTonight: 23 Things Only People With Insomnia Will Understand

by Ashley Fern

Not being able to fall asleep at night when you know you have to be up at the crack of dawn is one of the worst feelings in the world (no, that is not an exaggeration). It's frustrating, since it's basically out of your control because you know that if you could be sleeping, you would be.

Life would be a whole lot simpler if our brains came equipped with an on/off switch, wouldn't it? For some reason, when the clock strikes 12, every decision you have ever made in your life pops into your head.

Instead of sleeping, you filter through these thoughts and memories, and before you know it, it's 4 am and you've accepted another sleepless night.

Well, that's not the worst of it. Here are more of the struggles insomniacs face on the reg:

1. Never being able to fall asleep when you want to

If I fall asleep by 10:30, I can get a full nine hours of sleep! Chances of that actually happening? Slim to none.

2. If you are lucky enough to actually fall asleep, you can't stay asleep

You may get a good three-hour stretch once you actually fall asleep, but the next thing you know, it's 4 am and you're wide awake, ready for another lethargic day at the office.

3. Feeling tired no matter how long you actually slept

Do people ask you if you have chronic fatigue? Can you even remember the last time you got an actual good night's sleep?

4. Waking up before the alarm clock and never falling back asleep

You think you finally succeeded in getting a full night's sleep because you have woken up feeling somewhat refreshed. Well, that's before you check the time on your phone, which regretfully tells you it's 6:08 am. Back to bed? Yeah, good luck with that.

5.  You are all too familiar with Unisom, Advil PM and Ambien

You have tried every pill out there. Advil PM gives you bad dreams, Ambien makes you hallucinate and Unisom only works if you get nine or more hours of sleep.

If you plan on taking any kind of sleeping aide, you better make sure you have ample time to rest, or you risk spending the next day in a groggy fog.

6. WTF is a nap?

No! You can't take a nap because you will never be able to fall asleep come the evening. If you even sleep for 15 minutes during the day, you risk ruining your future sleep. I mean, this is just science!

7. Someone in your life has told you to stop hanging out in your bed

After a long day at the office, the only thing you want to do is crawl back into your sacred resting place. But, as everyone will tell you, the more time you spend in your bed (when not trying to sleep), the more you trick your body into staying awake.

8. Your bedroom must be completely pitch black at night

The only way you can even attempt to sleep is in total darkness.

9. Despite being told not to watch TV before bed, that's a sacrifice you're just not willing to make

I would read a book if I weren't too tired from reading Excel spreadsheets all day. The only thing I want to do before bed is spoon Netflix and watch marathons of a television show I've already seen three times.

10. You are either irritable in the morning or tired; there is no in between

You're never in a good mood in the morning, and honestly, why would you be? You had a sh*tty night's sleep and the last thing you want to be doing is heading into an office. No one has ever had a productive day that began with waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

11. Anything and everything will wake you up

Your radiator starts acting up? Bam, you're awake. A car alarm goes off 20 blocks from your apartment? Doesn't matter, you're awake. Knock your laptop off your bed? You're most definitely awake.

12. You spend ample amounts of time, lying in silence and staring at the ceiling

You try to resist the urge to watch television before bed, but this plan doesn't really seem to be working, either. You lie and lie while drowning yourself in your own thoughts, wishing there were someway you could actually fall asleep.

13. You can't drink coffee after 12 pm

I know I am. Actually, you probably should just give up on caffeine altogether. There's no way these stimulants can be good for someone with sleeping issues.

14. You try to sedate yourself with whatever means necessary

Whether it's weed or wine, you have no shame trying any method to put you to sleep. In college, you probably didn't notice how bad your insomnia was, since you were likely going out most nights, getting drunk and thus, sleeping through the night.

Now, the struggle is real and you feel every ounce of pain.

15. You want to scream at people who simply tell you to reduce your stress

"Oh, well thank you for your wise words. I couldn't have come up on that one on my own. Please tell me how easy that is for you to do that. No, go on, I'm listening..."

16. You have trouble finding the perfect sleeping position

Nothing is comfortable because nothing is putting you to sleep. You try to arrange yourself perfectly with your pillows, but alas, that has also failed you. Try sleeping on your stomach and see how that works out.

17. Thinking you'll actually get up extra early for the gym

HA! Yeah right. I don't even know why you would think this was a possibility for you. Chances are you tossed and turned all night and as soon as your alarm went off around 5:30 am, you knew there was only one option: the snooze button.

18. Calculating the hours of sleep you'll get if you fall asleep RIGHT NOW

You know this never works well, but for some reason, we do it anyway.

19. You've basically convinced yourself that you don't even need sleep

Maybe I wasn't made to sleep. I mean, that's basically what my body has been telling me. Maybe I should accept the fact that I will never endure a full night's sleep and just pursue the life of a vampire.

20. "I'll wake up in 10 more minutes..."

No you won't. You'll wake up in 20 and you'll be late for work. Five minutes is the max you can allow yourself before you completely disappear into the blanket abyss.

21. When your friends can't get in touch with you before 1 pm, they assume you're dead

Your friends all know you as the girl they can call at 9 am to vent about their antics from the previous night. You're always the first awake so this should come as no surprise.

But there will be that one day you actually are able to sleep past 10 am, sending your friends into a panic.

22. Am I hungry or just tired?

Who cares, Seamless is available 24/7. Just say yes to your cravings.

23. Finally thinking you could fall asleep but you have to pee

This is the absolutely, positively, the worst feeling ever.

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