It’s bad enough feeling like you have to explain yourself for why you are looking so tired and lacklustre without coming up with excuse after excuse for reasons not sleeping. I could always see the look on work colleague’s faces, a kind of “here we go” look at what I was about to say kept me awake on the particular night. One night it could be that I ate too much garlic, the next could be that someone’s car alarm went off and I couldn’t get back to sleep and then there would be reason after reason that seemed totally logical to me but totally incomprehensible to someone who has only known what it is like to be able to sleep. The trouble with insomnia is the more lack of sleep you have, the more things that will start to trigger you off as you become accustomed to not sleeping. Your body will start to work in the sympathetic state of fight or flight when adrenalin is charging through your body and high levels of cortisol are flowing. This causes even further anxiety and now little things that wouldn’t normally set you off start to annoy the living hell out of you. Your partner’s little snorts that you once found adorable will now start to grate on your nerves all night like chalk on a blackboard, that fountain that once was soothing will now become a point of annoyance when the water continues to babble once the sun goes down, you will start hearing traffic that you never knew was nearby and worse still once you wake up you may not even be able to fall back to sleep anymore.
My number one triggers for lack of sleep include bright lights shining into the bedroom (unfortunately I can’t use blockout curtains as free flowing air helps me sleep) which brings me to trigger number two which is windows being shut, if I am at a friends or in a place where there is air conditioning and windows have to stay shut, I can say sayonara to sleep for the night, garlic was a big no no until quite recently, worse still garlic that hasn’t been put through a garlic crusher, outside traffic noise, backpacker parties..and the list goes on. I am sure this post will be one of many about things that trigger insomnia.