Saturday, October 25, 2008

Strange: the guy who hasn't slept for ... 37years???

When someone tells me they've had a bad night's sleep, I find it hard to sympathise. I can't believe anyone sleeps as badly as me. On a good night I get three hours of restless catnapping, waking every 15 minutes and then dropping off again. I regularly go for two or three nights with no sleep at all. 

I can't remember any one night when I lost that ability to drift off, but by the age of seven I would regularly be pacing my room until dawn. I wasn't a particularly anxious child - there's no history of insomnia in my family and my mother said I slept well as a baby - so there was no obvious explanation. And no obvious solution: my mother tried everything, but nothing worked.

At school I was short-tempered with exhaustion and would bang my fists on my desk and kick walls. By eight, I was so frustrated and desperate to sleep that I hit my head against the wall in the middle of the night; if I couldn't fall asleep, I thought, I'd knock myself out. The years went by with no improvement - I could barely cope and grew into an irritable teenager, a loner always on the periphery of groups. Yet it felt normal to me because I was so used to being by myself at night. More...

See also:

  1. The woman who lost her sense of smell...
  2. Rhett Lamb falls asleep at last ... after 3 years!!!
  3. Thai Ngoc, the Vietnamese man who has not slept for 33 years!!
  4. The lion sleeps tonight. Beautiful!

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