I haven’t slept more than four hours in a row in over a month, save for once when I followed cider with eggnog and rum — but that’s not real sleep.
I’m talking about restful, pleasant sleep. Without vivid dreams. Without having to take NyQuil at 2am. Without having to mix Percocet (prescription, I had my toenails removed and one got infected) and nighttime Alka Seltzer.
I’ve seen Fight Club. I know insomnia can’t kill you, a doctor told the narrator that. But he apparently forgot the part about driving and nearly nodding off, walking down a street and forgetting to look both ways when crossing it, or bashing through automatic doors you forgot were supposed to open on their own.
I know what’s causing part of it: I haven’t been able to run in over three weeks. Hell, I haven’t been able to SWEAT in over three weeks. Thanks to my now-removed toenails and the subsequent complications, my normal method of tiring myself out hasn’t been an option.
And it’s not like I don’t sleep, I just do it in shifts. Four hours from 3 to 7am. Maybe a 90-minute nap in the afternoon. Perhaps a two-hour nap at 5pm that was supposed to be 30 minutes.
I know what you’re thinking: Tyler, you’re an idiot. Stop taking those naps, lay off the caffeine, and you’ll be fine. Except I’m not. You see, I can’t work when I’m not rested. I’m terrible at my job. I can’t keep track of anything, my ideas suck, and the world just won’t adjust to my schedule, no matter how much I’d like it to.
I cope with Guayaki and the occasional latte or cup of coffee. I don’t have it regularly, only when falling asleep would be a detriment to my physical health or professional responsibilities. I eat regular, healthy meals composed mainly of non-processed, healthy foods. I go to bed at the same time every night. I tried sleeping aids, but the grogginess is just as bad as being tired.
I read a lot. I’ve probably read 90% of the internet right now. I’ve surely read everyone’s tweets and Facebook updates. I’ve answered all my client’s page questions. None of that makes me tired.
I read books, too. Read half of George Takei’s latest last night, then watched the Daily Show, then read some of Die Empty, then listened to classical music, then a podcast back in bed. Then I got up again.
I’d love to say this lack of sleep has given me super powers. I’d love to say I now have more time to more stuff. But nothing works for me when I sleep. If my brain never gets a chance to shut down, it can’t refuel.
I know I can’t die from insomnia, but sometimes it feels like it.