For anyone suffering from persistent insomnia, the idea that the condition has benefits is an absurd one. However, if you have occasional bouts of sleeplessness, you can reap some rewards. As this piece argues…
Being unable to sleep night after night, for weeks on end, is – of course – hell. But in smaller doses, insomnia does not need a cure. Occasional sleeplessness is an asset, a help with some key troubles of the soul. Crucial things we need may only get a chance to happen during a few active hours in the middle of the night. We should revise our assessment of sleeplessness.
I agree with this. I have had a few rounds of insomnia lately brought on from work stress and I found that I was able to work out some problems during this time. I was fortunate: I took a break midday when I was tired and had a brief nap and I was fine. I realize that not everyone can recover so easily.
To read the entire piece, go here: Perspectives on Insomnia -The School of Life Articles | Formally The Book of Life. Photo by Megan te Boekhorst on Unsplash.
If you are having sleep problems, read #1. If you need to understand why you need to sleep more, read #2.
- Shuteye and Sleep Hygiene: The Truth About Why You Keep Waking up at 3 a.m.
- Scientists Now Know How Sleep Cleans Toxins From the Brain | WIRED
I especially liked #2. I had a long held belief that is why we sleep. It’s satisfying to see it established by science.
We all need clean and shiny brains. To do that, get some sleep.
More good advice about sleeping from Vox: How to sleep better
I agree with most of this, but there is one part I want to highlight:
If you’re not sleeping and getting anxious about not sleeping, just get out of bed and leave the bedroom. Sleep specialists have established that staying in bed while you’re anxious or not sleeping is one of the most common contributors to chronic insomnia, because it trains the brain and creates bad associations.
The part in italics is key. If you are not getting anxious about it, you likely can stay there until you fall asleep. At least that works for me. I have tried getting up and I find that more disruptive. Now when I can’t sleep, I tell myself that at least I am getting rest and I will likely fall back to sleep, and almost always I do.
Michael Massaia spends his sleepless hours haunting NYC and Central Park, taking incredible photos. This is just a sliver and doesn’t do his photos justice:
If you can’t sleep and want to see what one person can do in the sleepless hours, see, Haunting images of New York City’s Central Park from Michael Massaia. His photos are great.