24 Hours Inside the Mind of an Insomniac


Dear insomnia,

Why do you torture me so?

I cannot sleep for hours or days on end.

At first, you’re an annoyance. It’s 1 a.m. and I’m not even tired. I have an interview tomorrow afternoon.

It’s 3 a.m., then 4, I have probably switched positions 70 times now.

It’s 5. I try desperately to close my eyes and drift into the warm embrace of sleep. You force me to sit there in bed, uncomfortable and thinking about everything I am anxious about. I begin to cry.

I try some light music. It doesn’t help.

It’s 6, then 7 and I know you’re going to make me bomb this interview, maybe I could try to reschedule?

It’s 8 a.m. and I’ve almost given up. I turned off the music, it’s become a blur of odd sounds I no longer recognize.

I’ve been awake for almost two days.

At 9 a.m. I get up, I’m hungry. I find a small snack and rush back to bed, hoping I’ll get an hour of sleep.

At 10:30 I decide it’s not worth it. I lay back and fall into a trance. My head is pounding. Everything sounds like it’s far away and right next to me at the same time.

At 11, I get up and get myself some coffee. You’ve defeated my body’s natural functions for another grueling night.

I cancel my interview, I’ll try again another day. It isn’t safe to drive.

At noon, I force myself to eat a sandwich. I feel sick.

At 1 p.m. I am watching T.V., my body aches and the room is spinning.

It’s 2 p.m. and I swore I just saw someone walk into the kitchen. No one else is home.

I open my eyes, it’s 4 p.m. You let me sleep for a couple hours, but I feel the same. The light coming in from the windows hurts my head. I get more coffee.

I try to eat dinner at 6, but my body is shaking and my stomach churning. I throw it all back up.

Maybe I should try to go to sleep again, I think to myself at 7. Maybe you’ll let me get some relief.

I’ve only actually been out of bed a few hours. I’ve gotten nothing done so I put some laundry away instead.

I realize I no longer feel tired at 8. I sigh to myself, awaiting another long night. I watch some T.V. or scroll through my phone. What’s the point?

10 p.m. comes around and I’m curled up under my blankets, I hope I feel tired soon.

It’s 11, and I’m in so much pain I don’t know if I am capable of sleeping.

I see shadows moving where I know they shouldn’t around… midnight, I think? Is this real?

It’s 1 a.m.

Why do you torture me so?

Image Credits: Courtney Heathfield

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