Posted by: Chelsea Novak | February 16, 2006

The insomnia of Chelsea produces monsters

I had a really good sleep a few weeks back. Like one of those sleeps that the people in mattress commercials pretend they’re having. The kind of sleep that Dagny Taggart always seemed to have. It was spectacular. However it seems that I experienced that blissful sleep at a price. That price being that I’ve slept about three to four hours a night for the past two weeks.

I’m a creature that does not function well without a good amount of sleep. At least seven to eight hours a night. For the last two weeks it’s just been getting worse and worse and I can’t figure out what’s keeping me awake. I’m quite happy, my friends and family are happy and healthy, work is no more stressful than usual, I exercise at least three times a week, I eat healthily… I just don’t get it. Things are really good, so why am I not sleeping?

I’m not hallucinating yet, but things are starting to develop a bit of a haze around them. M has suggested that when I sleep I’m not actually sleeping, but I have a split personality that is secretly flying across the country starting makeup clubs. I guess it’s when women secretly take their femininity back? (“Her name was Elizabeth Arden… Her name was Elizabeth Arden…”)

Anyway I don’t want to resort to anything chemical to help me sleep as natural sleep is what I really need. I’ve tried warm drinks, I’ve tried playing video games, I’ve tried imagining a ball moving slowly around an infinity symbol, I’ve tried saying words like “applecake” over and over again until the word loses all meaning, I’ve even once tried taking a shot of Bekerovka (the result was me passed out, not sleeping). No change. I can be barely awake at 9:30, but the moment I’m in bed I’m wide awake and staring at the clock for hours on end.

So tonight I’m down to the bottom of the barrel for non-chemical sleep aids. Even though I’m exhausted, I ran a little harder than usual on the treadmill today and I had some rice with dinner in the hope that fatigue and carbs will combine to create a coma. I’m also going to try to meditate, even though I have no idea how it’s done. Apparently you have to try and concentrate on something and just one thing for 30 minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do that, let alone actually sit still for 30 minutes. When I told M about this he asks if I was turning into a hippie and then offered to put on a Yanni CD for me. I didn’t think we even owned Yanni CD. God I hope we don’t.

If all that doesn’t work, I may haul out my old organic chemistry textbook or one of my Czech workbooks, because they used to put me out like a light. My last resort will be fetching a musical toy I had as a child, an orange owl, that played a soothing lullaby. The music would slow down as the owl would run out of power. I’m sure M will love the melody.

So wish me luck and if anyone has any suggestions of how to naturally fall asleep or if someone has the magic guide to actually getting your brain to stop, let me know. Please, please, please let me know.

Today’s sing-a-long song: “Calculation Theme” by Metric




  1. I’m assuming you’ve tried reading a long book.

    If not, try it. Get an old favourite (not a new book or you might get too into it) and cuddle down into the covers, on your side, to minimize muscle usage in holding up the book, and nuzzle into your pillow and read. It generally takes me 3 minutes til I’m gone.

    Of course, I am a narcoleptic.

  2. Well. I have a number of meditation CDs that have helped me. Lately, Rob’s taken to listening to a CD at night called “The War Machine,” which is not relaxing and involves creative visualization of walking past decrepit buildings into a dark alley toward an unseen attacker…but that’s neither here nor there.

    “Just Relax – Relaxing to Sleep CD. Guided meditation for sleep; sound therapy for relaxation and healing.” It’s kind of weird, but I’m usually not awake to hear the end of it.

    In his book, “Restful Sleep,” Deepak Chopra recommends doing nothing. What time do you usually fall asleep? 2:30? OK, lie in bed with the intention of staying awake with your eyes closed until 2:30. Dunno how effective that is, but I have happily fallen asleep many a time to his CD, “The Soul of Healing Meditations.”

    Insomniac no more,

  3. an orgasm or two usually knocks me out cold. it’s satisfying, free, good for you, and generally faster and more reliable than books and meditation.

  4. Your anonymous commenter is spot on.

    Magnesium and calcium supplements at bed time can also be helpful.

    And I usually try to recall serial memories. Like the first time you and Matej kissed, the second time, the third time…

  5. Try “5htp”

    a natural herbal extract that helps regulate seratonin and melatonin production.

    I don’t know what food supplement regulations are like in the states but here in New Zealand you can get it over the counter at the chemist

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