I, like 25 million (or more?) Americans, have insomnia. Mine is the kind where I fall asleep no problem but then wake up at 2am, stay awake for 3 hours, then doze until I have to get up. It typically lasts for 2 nights, then I crash hard, repeat. People "cluck" at me, ask me what I've tried, or give me Advice (yes, tried that too).

For a long time I was in denial. I wasn't like other people, I don't need drugs, I'm not stressed. I can manage on 3 hours of sleep - I may not be kind, but I can still be a solid thinker. Then i caved and began taking drugs, which honestly help immensely.

But I got to thinking: why is insomnia a bad thing? Really, in and of itself, sometimes I do some incredibly creative thinking in the middle of the night. If I actually didn't have to go to work the next day, I might think to get up and jot shit down, or pluck snail from my lettuce, or carve some glass. Then it struck me: I don't actually think I have a problem. Modern society is the problem, not me. If I didn't have to get up at 7am, insomnia would be a complete boon.

I began fantasizing about being born in the wrong century. Maybe I should have been a farmer, getting up at 3am, harvest something or milk something, go home and eat a hearty breakfast, go water something, come back for a nap, repeat.

Or maybe I have the wrong job, I should be an artist or author, someone who lights a candle, puts on slippers and a robe and scribes a new paragraph or two.

So while I certainly can't do either of these things (well, I could be an artist, but I have an SF-sized mortgage), thinking this way made me feel a lot more in control of a so-called problem. I don't take drugs as much, and when I wake up, I let my mind do whatever it wants and refuse to get frustrated. It's possible I may solve a mojor issue or design the best UI ever at 2am. Probably not, but I don't mind it anymore.

This warrants another post, but it relates to my theory about the increase in autism. Some may say, well, there's somethign about innoculations, or better reporting or whatever. I think autism is actually the next stage in human evolution. We are so inundated with information, market-driven clutter, pace of life, I don't think human beings are actually capable long term of handling it. Autism seems like a natural evolutionary mind-protection, a barrier to the overload.

The end.

AuthorRenee Anderson