The majority of my adult life was defined by insomnia. Scratch that – the majority of my life, period. Summer vacations involved a lot of reruns at 2am – which explains my deep, eternal love for Scott Bakula. Mornings were my enemy – to the point that I worked for several years on an overnight shift. It suited me – although I did start reacting to sunlight like Gollum.
I’ve been on all of the sleeping pills, the pills that aren’t for sleeping but have that as a side effect, herbal teas, supplements. I’ve cut out caffeine, tried meditation, set up a very specific schedule, exercised, and tried drinking myself to sleep. Nothing worked for more than a week, most not at all. I’d accepted my life would be lived in an exhausted haze with plenty of nature documentaries and QVC.
Then, about a year ago, I was suddenly cured. I was going to sleep by 10 and waking up at 6 like a proper adult. The change happened when I moved in with a friend – we’ll call her Shmauren – and her very energetic son, who we’ll refer to as Optimus Prime. Living with Optimus Prime was like living with the world’s most effective alarm clock. When he was up, so were you. And it became kind of awesome. I was getting a solid 7-8 hours a night; I was productive in the morning; I was ON TIME TO WORK.