Insomnia vs. Somnia

“Somnia” is not a word; “insomnia” is. That’s just English. Non-native speakers (like me) beware. There are as many exceptions to the rules as those that follow the rules. Not only many words starting with “in” don’t have corresponding antonyms that lose the prefix “in”, but also some “in” and non-“in” pairs completely disregard the convention that they should be contradictory to each other. For example, “valuable” and “invaluable”, “sure” and “insure”, just to mention a couple of them. Sometimes one can’t help wondering if the rules are entirely necessary. With the exceptions to the rules being so numerous, what’s the point of setting the rules?

I’ve been having this insomnia for more than two weeks and I am bewildered with this new development. I used to sleep so well. Sometimes even before my head touched the pillow, I would be gone to a dream of oblivion. I could also sleep at my desk during lunch time if I had not had sufficient sleep the night before due to various reasons. My friends are often amazed at my power of falling sleep and I suspect that I am remembered and will be remembered as the person who can sleep, though I’ve never made the inquiries. It would be weird to ask people, “are you going to remember me as the one who can sleep.”

Now I can’t sleep anymore. At midnight every day, I don’t feel that usual sleepiness, though my body feels tired. I guess my limbs are ready for bed but my brain is not. I don’t understand. Can’t the limbs communicate with the brain and send the “ready for sleep” message?

I have been taking melatonin for the last five days. Here’s what I do. I went to bed at 11:30 and try to sleep naturally. If I can’t do that by midnight or ten minutes after midnight, I will get up and take a pill of melatonin 10mg extra strength. Half an hour later, the drowsiness will come and I will fall sleep. In the morning, I still feel a little bit of the after-effect. A little bit of motion and visual impediments is still lingering even though I feel that I’ve already had enough sleep. After 10AM, I will be back to my normal self.

It is said that the incomplete wakefulness is helpful to writing, but I haven’t experienced that so far. Not yet. It is claimed that this is discovered by Freud–in our dream, with our consciousness gone and restrictive social rules not applicable, we behave more naturally and think more naturally. I wish I can write better before 10AM when the remnant of melatonin is still exerting its power over my consciousness. So far it is still in my wish. My writing seems to be impervious to the wonderful opportunity opened up. It’s still as unsatisfactory as before.

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