Ellen K., Denver School of Science and Technology
After a long day of work and stress, people think that everyone looks forward to sliding into a warm, cozy bed. Yet forty-eight percent of Americans report insomnia occasionally, and twenty-two percent of Americans report insomnia every night (Ohio State University). This means many people can’t indulge in the luxury of falling asleep.
Tanya rushes home after a long day of her boss barking at her about her inadequacy as an employee. She rubs her temples as she enters her small apartment, in hopes of undoing her developing headache. She trudges to her bed, and collapses onto her mattress with delight: awaiting a night of blissful sleep. But the sleep doesn’t come, instead Tanya’s stress envelopes her mind. She thinks about the fragility of her job situation right now with her new boss. She thinks about the friends she hasn’t hung out with in weeks. She thinks about her disappointed parents, waiting for their daughter to visit. Her worries buzz through her mind, causing Tanya to fidget and turn on her bed. A feeling of restlessness overcomes her as she begs her body to turn off. She rustles her sheets for about an hour before finally falling asleep.
Tanya wakes up groggily in the morning, wondering if she forgot to set her alarm. To her surprise, her clock read five a.m.—an hour before she was supposed to wake up. She goes through her work day drowsy and exhausted, and receives her boss’s endless critiques with silent frustration. So when she finally gets home after tireless hours of work, she rushes to her bed thinking that she’ll fall asleep instantaneously with this sense of exhaustion. But once again, her stress begins to overtake her thoughts. She thinks about her unfriendly coworkers. She thinks about her inability to get a new job. She thinks about her ex-boyfriend Tommy getting married, while she lies in bed alone. Although she can feel exhaustion coursing through her body, she cannot will herself to go to sleep. She spends most of the night rustling in her covers, and only falls asleep two hours before her alarm clock rings. She wakes up dreading another exhausted work day. Correspondingly, she completes a series of boring work tasks, and tolerates her menacing boss with a sense of utter drowsiness. She feels like she didn’t sleep at all last night. Fortunately, Tanya is able to finally go to sleep right after she collapses onto her covers the next day. Her exhaustion finally catches up with her body’s ability to sleep. Yet a couple weeks later, the same sense of insomnia takes over her night once again. Tanya goes home fearing the days where her insomnia will strike like a menacing monster, and prevent her from getting the rest she so desperately desires.
Tanya experienced acute insomnia so it didn’t last long, but many people experience chronic insomnia that can last up to three months (Ohio State University). Acute insomnia is caused by stress of work, relations with people, or traumatic events. Chronic insomnia is caused by medicinal problems or other sleeping disorders (Ohio State University). People like Tanya don’t appreciate their necessity of sleep until a sleeping disorder can take that necessity away. So after days of long, tireless work, Tanya slides under covers with gratitude for her ability to escape from reality by falling asleep.
“Insomnia Treatment | OSU Wexner Medical Center.” Insomnia Treatment | OSU Wexner Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.