Friday, April 14, 2006

Into the Mind of an Insomniac

Well, I guess for a first post, I’ll start with an explanation of the title that I have chosen for my blog. I have been living with chronic insomnia off and on for the past seven years. For those of you who are not familiar with insomnia, there are several different kinds of insomnia. The form of insomnia that I have is called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. Basically, my body clock is out of whack. Unlike normal people who have body clocks that tell them to be active during the day and sleep at night, my body clock tells my brain to be active at night and sleep during the day. Under ideal conditions, I would be fine. I would still be getting the recommended eight hours a day. Where the problem arises is that I, like any other person, have a job during the day, and am not able to sleep the day away.

A common, yet extreme treatment for my form of insomnia is Chronotherapy. While undergoing Chronotherapy, I have to systematically delay my bedtime by 3-hour increments each day, establishing a 27-hour day. I continue this cycle until I have reached my desired bedtime, (11 p.m.). Once I have re-established a normal bedtime, I have to maintain that new bedtime rigidly. This is easier said than done since my job, as a Pastry Chef requires me to work long and constantly changing hours.

Over the years I have found various ways to keep myself occupied on those long sleepless nights. For a while, I was a voracious reader, reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. and Barnes and Noble had become my best friends. However, I soon found that reading could not hold my attention after a while. The sleep deprivation caused my eyes to constantly lose focus, and my mind would wonder causing me to constantly lose my place. While looking for something else to keep me occupied, a friend at work introduced me to massive multi-player online games. For the next two years I played various MMOs, which included Dark Ages of Camelot, Horizons: Empire of Istaria, and World of Warcraft. Eventually, I soon grew tired of the online gaming, and I started to look for something else. Although, I do admit that I did like the interaction that the games offered. Granted it was through a computer terminal, but I was more or less chatting with other gamers.

While fudging around on the net, I soon discovered fan fiction. I opened an account on, and started working on various fanfics. I found the creative aspect of writing far more interesting than just lounging around reading, or clicking my mouse like a mad man playing online games. I still add on to my fanfics whenever the moment moves me, but not as frequently as I used to. From fan fiction, I moved on to At first I just trolled the forums chatting with fellow couch potatoes/computer geeks about our favorite shows. After spending far more time than I’d choose to admit, I eventually became an editor and have taken on the responsibility of moderating the forum boards and info pages for several shows included on the site.

My primary obsession for the moment that has helped me through many a sleepless night is the television show “LOST”. I must say that I am totally addicted to the show. I’m even contemplating getting a DVR (which I swore I would never get due to the sheer lunacy of the price). I now spend most of my nights working on my theory (every LOST fan has one whether they admit it or not). I have it posted on a few LOST forums on the net, and has even been featured on a few podcasts, but that’s for another post.
Well, I hope that this first post lives up to the title. I’m not sure if it has given you any insights into the mind of an insomniac, but I at least hope that this was an interesting read for you.


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