Nobody Ever Talks About How Lonely Insomnia Is

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It’s 4am, and I’m awake. Still. Insomnia is something I have dealt with most of my adult life. And it’s really lonely.

Just a few minutes ago I tried to stretch really loud, hoping maybe my husband would wake up just for a few minutes, so I’d have someone to talk to. I ran out of Netflix to binge, and I am feeling particularly bored this morning/evening.

He didn’t wake up. In his defense, sometimes he does. He’ll get up, sit on the couch with me for a bit, usually fall asleep during an old episode of The Office. Sometimes I think he does it for me.


Sometimes I think he does it because he misses me. It’s got to be awful being married to an insomniac.

I need to get a pedicure, but I keep napping when the damn pedicure place is open. Why are there no 4am pedicure joints? It’d be really convenient. But also probably kind of spooky.

That’s the other thing they don’t tell you. Grocery shopping at 4am is possible, but it’s not recommended. The deli counter is usually closed, the produce is almost always covered, and the stores are full of pallets and people stocking the shelves.

They aren’t really looking to carry on a conversation, either. Most have headphones in and are just trying to empty their pallets before they go home and go to bed.

Sometimes I wonder if they have insomnia, too and that’s why they took a middle-of-the-night job.

Maybe I could work as a stocker. I’m an author now. The thing is, I do my best writing in the middle of the night. (Don’t worry, this isn’t it.) My creativity is at it’s tippy top around 3:30am.

Concept of idea with colorful crumpled paper

I think that’s terribly unfair.

I will probably stay awake until I need to take my daughter to school at 7:45, at this point, it’s easier than falling asleep at 6 and trying to wake up before 7.

An hour of sleep is almost worse than no sleep at all.

All insomniacs know that. It’s all about the bargaining.


“If I fall asleep now, I can get two hours. Then I can go to the DMV, get my new license, and come home to take a nap.”

“All I really need is a good six hours. Then I can take on the world.”

“What if I just stay up all night and then go to bed early tomorrow night?” (This one never works, by the way. Do not try it.)

My friends invite me to do things, but I am usually to exhausted from the night before to go. They know better than to invite me out for breakfast, because unless I am still awake, I am missing that date.

I really miss my friends. But I can’t call them at 4am.

Can I?

Sometimes I get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes I wake up at 7:30 and take on the world. It’s insane what you can get done before 10am.

well rested

But I can get way more done after 10pm, (That’s the mantra of insomnia!) and that’s why in the middle of the night, in the quiet of my house, I write.

I watch TV.

I scroll through Facebook.

I play video games.

I do anything but sleep.

I wonder if I can turn on an accidental light in the master bathroom and get my husband to wake up.

bathroom door

It would be nice to have someone to talk to.

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  1. This is me. I have severe insomnia since I was about 13, when all of my issues started. I also have a nightmare disorder that adds into it. So when I do actually sleep, I am having nightmares which means no good sleep. In order to reallllly sleep, I have to medicate. I hate medication, so that is very rare for me to actually do. I have found that Blue Lotus (an herb) helps me to relax a little more and tends to help e get a little more real sleep. Sometimes I wander around outside on our acreage in the middle of the night petting animals lol.