26 Struggles Of Exhausted Insomniacs


Insomnia affects 48 percent of Americans occasionally and 22 percent of Americans every or almost every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The causes can vary from depression and anxiety disorders to the simple buildup of stress from everyday life. But what seems to remain constant is the frustration you feel when you just can't seem to drift off to dreamland and stay there for hours on end.

We reached out to HuffPost Lifestyle's Facebook community to find out what thoughts most commonly course through your mind during a typical bout of insomnia, as well as personalized ways you've tried to cope with this sleep-depriving disorder. Here are 26 thoughts and suggestions they had to share.


1. "I think about everything! Work, bills, dealing with certain family members or friends. My heath, the health of my husband. My cats. The future. The weekend." -- Facebook user Sharlene Stenseth

2. "Why the F am I awake?!?!?!" -- Facebook user Chrissy Garland

3. "Hoping not to wake up my wife as I lie there in bed, moving around. It's wondering if my family is happy, safe, and feeling loved. It's moments of self-doubt and high energy." -- Facebook user Erika Ortiz

4. "The success and accomplishments of the past which I fear I'll never know again due to mistakes, poor decisions as well as events beyond my control." -- Facebook user Michelle LaPlante-Romanowicz

5. "My mind drifts back to sad, tragic or horrific real-life images I've recently seen or stories I've recently read. These are usually news stories that deal with some sort of senseless tragedy or examples of terrible human cruelty (car accidents, child deaths, animal abuse)." -- Facebook user Robyn Anderson Goldy

6. "I think about how nice it was in the old days when sleep and I were on speaking terms. Oh -- and money. I definitely think about money. Or my lack thereof." -- Facebook user Teresa Esposito Horvath

7. "Some nights I wake up around 2 or 3 a.m. thinking about the work I didn't complete the day before. I replay situations and conversations and think of how I could handle them better in the future." -- Facebook user Steph Marie


8. "What does it all mean? Why am I still here? What can I do to have a meaningful life? Why can't I ever get to sleep?" -- Facebook user Michelle Reiley Adams

9. "I lie awake at night thinking about the big things -- are we saving enough for college, am I doing what I was put on this earth to do, am I a good mom, am I a good wife... Deep deep thoughts do not lead to deep deep sleep!" -- Facebook user Laura Errico Lanier

10. "Take things I can't change from the past, toss them with present concerns, then blend it all with future possibilities (anything from what I should make for dinner tomorrow, to where I'll be in a year, to what if a loved one gets sick, etc.) and my brain is like a horse race in quicksand." -- Facebook user Shany Conroy

11. "My thoughts follow themselves to the point between my inhalation and exhalation of air. Then I watch my consciousness until I can't tell dream from reality. Then I plan my lunch for the next day." -- Facebook user Robin Myers

12. "Oh God, I have to get up in however-many hours. Why couldn't this happen on the nights before my day OFF? Ugh, tomorrow is going to absolutely SUCK." -- Facebook user Amanda Guilford

13. "On the nights I go to sleep quickly I sleep soundly. On my insomnia nights, I usually have nightmares. Like raging nightmares." -- Facebook user Nikki Proacasky


14. "My insomnia thinking starts the way a Google search starts. I start with one random thought, maybe a conversation from earlier in the day, which turns into a thought about some other loosely connected thing and then, before I know it, I'm thinking about something completely out of left field that has absolutely nothing to do with my original thought." -- Facebook user Cynthia Homa

15. "Rehearsing how conversations should have happened." -- Facebook user Ana Lamas

16. "There are nights when I feel so restless and annoyed that I break into tears, wander around the house and get so drained that I become more overtired and restless." -- Facebook user Emily Della Pietra

17. "My insomnia is not about worries -- it's about freedom. I've been a 24/7/365 caregiver for 21 years. It's the only time I can get lost in whatever I want." -- Facebook user Melissa Brazell Geralds

18. "I begin to worry about not being able to sleep right after dinner. The process of going to sleep is now a huge source of anxiety. The silence while waiting to sleep causes me intense discomfort. " -- Facebook user Shannon Reeves-Rich

19. "Could'ves, should'ves and would'ves..." -- Facebook user Monica Sanchez Ontiveros

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20. "I do a walk-through of all the different houses in my life, like my grandparents' and my childhood home, and I visualize everything like furniture placement, pictures, etc. In an odd way, it's very comforting." -- Facebook user Cleo Rasile

21. "For reasons that are a mystery, even to myself, I've been trying to memorize Shakespearean sonnets lately (I'm up to about 25 of them now). If I wake up in the middle of the night and find myself unable to sleep, I start to mentally recite Shakespeare's work and it often lulls me back to sleep." -- Facebook user Paul Weiss

22. "I used to replay my life and do it so much better, but as I hate reruns, I now journal instead... Occasionally a cat will hop up and critique my work, but leave when she realizes it's not dinnertime." -- Facebook user Connie Maes

23. "I used to just let my mind wander, but then decided to use the time wisely. If I can't sleep, I try to think of ways to improve my business or my life in some way ... I try to stay with one topic and really work it to the core. Eventually I fall to sleep!" -- Facebook user Jennifer O'Donnell

24. "I no longer stay in bed stressing. I think of what Thomas Jefferson said about those wee small hours of the morning. They are pondering time. So I use them to read, write, send letters, have deep quiet thoughts. And soon I am ready to go to sleep." -- Facebook user Michelle Grassi Brockmeier


25. "I kill time during bouts of insomnia by listening to music and daydreaming. It somehow makes those nights less insufferable." -- Facebook user Jennifer Shelton Torres

26. "I tend to try to bore myself by recalling memories of my life year by year, but it doesn't work so I tell myself that if I'm not asleep in five minutes, I'll get up and do some housework! Works like a charm!" -- Facebook user Jennifer Stenning

Before You Go

Cat/Cow Stretch Part I

Seven Yoga Poses for Insomnia