The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles exists for people struggling with quality sleep. The column began in December of 2017 as a channel to vent frustration at my ongoing sleep issues and how it detrimentally affected my life. In the last 15 months I have discussed the deliberation to whether or not take prescription drugs, the “emotional crutch” that may develop when taking OTC sleep aids, the anylitical neurosis and anxiety that causes me to stay up at night, the various crutches and coping mechanisms I have used to get a modicum of sleep, plus more. I mentioned how my inability to control my insomnia led to the collapse of my engagement in Excerpt #5. In Excerpt #7, we discussed relapses. In The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8, we will discuss resolution.
You might be thinking that The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8 might be the final excerpt of the Sleep Insomnia Chronicles. It might…can’t say for sure. Why I can do is give you an update.
Change Is Good
About a month ago I moved from to a new residence. This was a good change for me since the old house had issues that affected my sleep. One, I had memories there that at time would affect my sleep. Two, it was near an intersection of two busy streets so I would hear cars vareening in the middle of the night. Three, the AC there was for shit and so I was periodically warm upstairs even if I set the thermostat at 62 degrees.
So you know what they say….a change of scenery is always a good thing. The new place is in a quiet area, the AC works perfectly, and I have black-out curtains which make the room cold and dark. Ideal. (Go back to the NPE article on Ways to Biohack Your Sleep.)
Also, one thing I didn’t know was that my sheets were keeping me awake. My body is strange. I tend to have cold extremities but my abdomen burns hot. In the past, it was not abnormal for me to wake up, even in cold rooms, sweaty all over. Of course the AC not working exacerbated this issue, but like I wrote even when I lived with my ex-fiancee or when the AC was working in the old place, I would always sweat.
I did some research and found out that non-cotton sheets don’t ventilate well and could be the culprit. I checked my sheets and noticed that were not cotton. So I switched out my daughter’s cotton sheets with mine and voila! That issue is gone. (Hey she only sleeps at my place 4 nights a month. Don’t worry I’ll get her some cotton sheets.)
But I think what makes The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8 worthwhile is the change in paradigm. But let me go back. In previous excerpts, I mentioned that by utilizing the CBT-Insomnia and sleep restriction techniques my sleep would improve. To review, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy-Insomnia recommends replacing your negative thoughts/associations with positive ones. In particular the notion of catastrophizing, the idea that one night’s poor sleep would result in the worst possible catastrophic outcome, like being hospitalized for death. Buy this CBT book on Amazon now.
Moreover, CBT-I and sleep restriction therapy recommends not going to your bed until you are sleepy. And if you can’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, move to a back-up room or activity like reading a book or listening to ASMR or a boring podcast. The reason for this was so you would not identify your bedroom with the anxiety of not sleeping.
So in my past house, I set up my papasan couch in my daughter’s room. If I woke up in the middle of the night, I would move over to it. I know it’s weird to think that a 6’2’’ man could sleep effectively in a papasan shell couch but with a chair to prop up your feet, it is pretty effective. My backup spot was never a bed.
The most curious thing about The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8 was the 3am wake up. I’m not sure why but most nights in the last year I would wake up at 3:00am on the dot. Now some of you might know that as the “Devil’s Time.” Jesus Christ died at 3:00pm so anything reversed of him is the devil’s. (Think of an inverted cross.)
Now nothing demonic would happen when I arose. It wouldn’t because I’m in a state of grace and have blessed the house with holy water. (Yes, there are still people who believe in that “mumbo jumbo” religion.) I just noticed I would awaken at 3:00am. At that point I would move over to the papasan and knock out a couple of 45-minute sleep intervals. I would listen a podcast at half-speed until I noticed I was dozing off and then click it off. So most nights I was getting 6.5-7 hours a sleep. I’ll take that any day.
Most recently, since I have moved to the new location, my sleep has improved even more. This the most uplifting thing about The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8. I have the papasan in my bedroom but more often than not, I don’t use it. I stay in my cotton-sheeted soft bed in my cold, pitch-black bedroom all night. All night meaning 5:30-6:00 am because I have always been wired to wake up at that time. Always.
I remember in college volunteering at a men’s homeless shelter at night. I would get off duty at 2:00am and go to sleep. I would wake up at 6:00am. I have never had the ability nor predilection to sleep until the late morning. Moreover, I am an early bird. I jump out of bed.
In summation of this The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8, I want to emphatically state that my sleep reversal may be mostly be ascribed to a change in my lifestyle paradigm. I have been MGTOW (A Man Going His Own Way) for several months now. MGTOW is a philosophy geared toward the utmost optimization and self-actualization of men. Of men making the best of themselves detached from women in all manner of their life.
A corollary to this would be men swear off long-term dating and marriages, since both of them expose the man to having his assets taken at the whim of his wife’s discretion to divorce him at any time as well as false sex assault allegations. MGTOW Monks work on themselves and enjoy the solitary comforts of not having a woman in your life. (Short Term Relationships with defined borders and clear expectations are fine.)
For you women reading this, MGTOW might be alarming to you and might make you angry. If more and more attractive, good men went MGTOW many women would be “up a creek” since women need marriage to benefit financially and to secure security. But that is neither here nor there.
With me, going MGTOW, gave me so much peace of mind. No longer will I be pursuing women or trying to please women and run the rat race of trying to find a wife. (That isn’t to say I don’t date. I do date but I make it clear to all the women that I won’t pay for their meals, nor will I ever marry and that I will indubitably pass their innumerable “shit tests” that women employ on their men daily. In fact I get MORE interest in women now that I DON’T care about pleasing them.)
MGTOW for this The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8 excerpt is germane to my insomnia resolution. Barring any physical maladies, my life of focusing on the rearing of my children and improving myself in all facets of life is paramount. Not caring about women and not caring in general what people think has relaxed my mind and purged much of that self-analytical neurosis that afflicted me for years, especially in this 2-year insomnia episode. My mind is calm at night and that has allowed me to return to practical sleep normalcy. Is The Sleep Insomnia Chronicles #8 the ultimate excerpt? Perhaps or perhaps not, but it has been one hell of a ride.
Read all previous excerpts.
Excerpt 1: Origin
Excerpt 2: “To Drug or Not To Drug”
Excerpt 3: Placebo Effect vs Legit Treatments
Excerpt 4: Couch or Bed?
Excerpt 5: “How My Insomnia Ended My Relationship”
Excerpt 6: Restoration
Excerpt 7: Relapse