Wednesday, February 9, 2011


"When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep, and you're never really awake."
-From the movie Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk

Not sure when it started, but as young as 5 years old, I remember being urged, begged, and scolded --- to sleep at a decent time. I tried not to disturb other people and would quietly slip out of my parents' bed and wander around the house as soon as my parents, or just my mom, would fall asleep. I'd visit my room --- yes, I had my own room but I didn't sleep in it until I was 8 or maybe 9 --- and play with my toys, watch TV with my dad, drink copious amounts of water, or other sorts of amusements. In some ways, nights were the best part of my days. But, oh hey, don't get me wrong. I was never one of those people who hated mornings and would be a monster because I didn't get enough sleep.

As I got older, it got worse, or better. Depends on how you want to look at it. I moved to my own room and would to go to bed when the rest of my family did, and unlike my sister, who basically slept through anything, woke up instantly when someone (usually my mom) knocked on my door. My secret? I wasn't really sleeping. As soon as I heard my parents' door sliding open, I would turn off my lights and jump into bed. Sometimes nobody would come to my door for about half an hour so I could either catch a few winks or just laze abed. It was harder when my dad wasn't around, though. My mom would leave her door open so I would sometimes get caught with my light on. I'd make the half-assed excuse of forgetting to turn it off or saying that I woke up a bit early when I was given my own alarm clock.

I guess, up to a certain point, my family was aware of my sleeping habits. It was a running joke even among my cousins that I had a lot of time in my hands. One cousin tried to teach me the guitar and told me to practice at night, unfortunately (or fortunately, for the neighbors and my family's ears) I never got into it. My sister would ask me to wait for her to come home so she wouldn't have to ring the doorbell and wake our mom. Then in college, when I lived with some other people, they got used to going to sleep with me on the computer and waking up with me still on the computer. When they needed to wake up early, I was always the person to shake them out of the zzzs.

Sleep deprivation causes muscle cramps and I depend on its intensity to remind me of how much I need sleep. I have a lot of bedtime rituals that sometimes helps me sleep. Honestly, I continue drinking alcohol because it sometimes gives me a few hours with dear old Morpheus. Sleeping pills never quite work like they're supposed to. A few times I was in the hospital, they injected me with sleeping aids but they didn't work either. It just annoyed the hell out of me every time they  said my name to check if I was sleeping. Thing is, even if I'm sleeping, soon as you mention my name, I'd wake up.

I know my sleeping habits should be considered a problem. Yet my main problem is, I don't mind so much not being able to sleep. Sometimes I complain about it, but then I think, if I could just turn it into doing something productive, I'd be better off. So now, I'm signing off to do some reading, maybe do my homework for Vietnamese class. Or maybe not. Probably not. :D

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