You know how most, normal people just lay down in bed at night and go right to sleep? Well … not me. I would kill to have that ability! (Just kidding. Maybe.)
Just the other night, in fact, I didn’t fall asleep until past 4 AM. About three months ago, I had the worst bout of insomnia of my life, where I was only getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night for weeks. Some nights it was only 1 hour. Sometimes it was no sleep at all.
When I tell people I got no sleep, they often ask me “Why?” And uh … I wish I had an answer. I’m not even doing anything during that time when I could be sleeping. Usually I’m just lying there with my eyes closed, wondering why the heck I’m not asleep yet.
How is this writing-related, you may ask? Well, I’ve often wondered if insomnia and writing go hand-in-hand. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve used storytelling as a way to combat sleeplessness. All the nights I’ve spent lying awake worrying––whether it was about monsters in the closet or how I’m going to pay back my student loans––I’ve always started writing scenes in my head to distract myself from worrying about real-life problems (which are much scarier and more stressful to me).
It’s almost a “Which came first––the chicken or the egg?” scenario. Am I bad at sleeping because I’m always making up stories in my head? Or did I become a writer because I lie awake every night imagining things? Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
So, I’m curious: Are any of my fellow writers out there also insomniacs? If so, do you think the two are related? And if you aren’t an insomniac … please grant me your magic sleeping powers. Seriously.