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Insomnia creative writing

Insomnia – creative writing

Insomnia There seemed to be no place to escape the rush of the busy city. Tall, medieval buildings defined the heart of it and, paradoxically, it was there where people could enjoy an oasis of relaxation. The pub was situated on the first floor of the ancient block structure which took up most of the area of that boulevard. There were no signs or banners to indicate the presence of the pub. You’d have to enter on the left in a space which looked like all the other ones along the street, and go up circular stairs covered in thick dust and which were neglectfully decorated with drops of fresh concrete. . read more.

A thick layer of smoke kept swinging from room to room and in the toilet. A tall, skinny child was dragging its drunken desperation out of it. Her bones protruded the worn out clothes and her mumbling words resounded as wolves’ howls in the woods. “Sophie, where. where,” I looked at the girl trying to figure out what her problem was. Her tiny eyes, hidden under huge saggy eyelids, hinted she must have drunk up the pub’s depo room. I knew I would find her here, the little b***h. After looking around for a minute longer, she saw me. I was her Sophie. . read more.

I named her Angela in the lustful blind hope that God had offered me an angel of a child. How ironic, I thought, as I turned to look at the person I still couldn’t help but call my child. “Hey, chica!” a husky voice said. I muted. The moustached young man before me was a mere stranger. I stood up hastily, ran down the stairs in the dark and quickly lost myself in thoughts and the ever so busy city. I was being haunted and it was me who desperately needed all the help that I could get. The crowds of people surfed upon my head and I just wanted silence. But God knows that was the only thing I had been after since then. . read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.


I went to bed at 11pm on 04 June 2019 but somehow I won’t slip into sleep. It is 3am now but I am still wide awake. I don’t know what’s happening but I don’t want to try sleeping as of now. I will read a book to pass the time.

I went for work as usual. I dozed off heavily for an hour or so and only woke up when my boss woke me up. He scolded me for dozing off at work and asked not to repeat it. Throughout the day, I felt fatigued.

I don’t know what to write, it’s second day in a row. I hope this problem ends tomorrow.

I didn’t doze off at work as I was very busy. My boss looked at my eyes and asked whether I have had enough sleep. I shook my head. He got surprised at my reply and asked me to get a good sleep tonight. The fatigue was more intense than it was yesterday.

I slept well from 10pm to 1am and again I see the same thing happening. What exactly is wrong with me? That’s it! I am fed up. I am getting sleeping pills tomorrow.

I didn’t sleep at work but I wasn’t much busy either. I went to a doctor and he gave me the pills which would help me sleep. However he advised me not to use it more than once a week. I just had my dinner and now I am ingesting a sleeping pill.

I am waiting for the pill to show its effects.

I just woke up and brushed my teeth. The pill worked in a fantastic way. I feel much rejuvenated. I hope I will have a good day today.

It was a busy day in the office but as in previous days, I didn’t feel fatigued. My work got completed way before time. I was home by 4pm.

I thought this problem would get solved by the pill. Now I have to wait for another week. I don’t know what is yet to come.

I was again fatigued at work. I did doze off for 10 minutes after having lunch. Nobody found out that lacked sleep.

I just had a heavy dinner so that I fall asleep as soon as lie down on the bed. Let’s see what happens next.

It was fine till 2am when I woke to go to the bathroom. After coming back, I wouldn’t fall asleep again. I fell this problem is going to be there with me for a while.

There wasn’t any fatigue at work; however dark circles were visible under my eyes. I am going to have a heavy dinner again and take a pill. I know that I am violating the doctor’s advice but I have to do it. I can’t stay awake like this anymore.

I woke up at 9am today; as a result I was late for work. I received an earful for the same. I came home late. I actually slept for 13 hours yesterday. I just can’t believe that I slept for such a long time. I am going to have a heavy dinner again, take a walk and then go to sleep.

I came out of sleep at 1am but didn’t go back since then. I don’t know how I am going to manage this in days coming up ahead. I actually think it is better to apply for a leave for a day or two. No I will stick with two days. I will just stay at home and sleep after taking a pill.

I came home late today. I had to impress my boss by working harder than usual so that I get a leave for 2 days. I got the leave now. Yes, I succeeded in getting a leave! As usual, I am going to have a heavy dinner and a pill.

I just woke up and brushed my teeth. Wait a minute! New record! I slept for 15 hours in a day. That’s not something I would be proud of. I want to try something new. I will go for a jog in the evening. May be heavy physical exhaustion might help.

I jogged for around 3 hours. I am damn tired now. Let’s hope for a good night.

Finally, I had a good sleep. I am going to give this a trial of 1 week.

I have done jogging for around four hours today. I am just being extra cautious. Let’s see what happens tonight.

I had a good sleep again. I just hope that it works out well for the next five days. Ok, I need to get ready.

I have had a good day at work today. No fatigue, no dozing off at work today. Finally, I am back to normal. I think I can end the trial now. I learnt a lot in the past few days. I wasn’t physically active for the last couple of years. I resumed it now and so I will continue it. My eating habits also improved significantly. I used to eat unhealthy foods earlier. I have stopped them now. I get less irritated now when things don’t turn up on time. I actually started enjoying roaming in and around greenery. It is a bit far from where I live but that’s fine. I will see to it that I go there at least once a week. I want to plant a sampling so that when it grows to be a strong tree, it will catch somebody’s attention and make them enjoy the greenery as I am enjoying now. Wait a second! I didn’t use the pill since 3 days. That’s great as heaven.

Deeply Trivial

I’m planning to write some posts on sleep deprivation in general and what that might look like, but for today, I thought I’d focus on insomnia, as I see it come up a lot in books and it’s not always accurately portrayed.

The word insomnia itself simply means lack of sleep, so in that sense, many characters in books might experience insomnia – being unable to sleep well due to anxiety or excitement, for instance. But the diagnosis of insomnia refers to habitual sleeplessness, with diagnostic criteria usually specifying that the patient should have had difficulty sleeping for at least a month before it can be considered insomnia, and that it should be interfering with the person’s ability to function normally (that is, if the person doesn’t get much sleep but feels fine, they don’t have insomnia – they might just need less sleep than the average person).

  1. Difficulty initiating asleep – It’s considered “normal” to fall asleep within about 15 minutes of getting into bed. For people with insomnia, it can take many minutes or even hours to fall asleep.
  2. Difficulty maintaining sleep – Waking up multiple times in the night and/or waking up early (e.g., before the alarm) and being unable to go back to sleep.
  3. Restless or nonrestorative sleep – Feeling tired, even after getting sleep, likely because the person was unable to go through full sleep cycles and get sufficient amount of sleep in each stage.

A person may be unaware that they fell asleep, but one tell is that they may have sudden dream-like images – this may happen, especially in a person with insomnia, for a couple of reasons:

1) The lightest stage of sleep is very similar to the stage of sleep in which we dream. In fact, if you look at brain activity of a person in the lightest stage of sleep and in dreaming sleep (REM or rapid eye movement), they’ll look surprisingly similar. (Fun fact, they’ll also look surprisingly similar to brain activity of a person who is awake.)

2) People with insomnia likely have a deficit of REM sleep. When a person has a deficit of REM sleep, an interesting thing happens that doesn’t happen for other sleep deficits: they’ll go into REM sleep more quickly and spend more time there. This phenomenon is known as “REM rebound.” A person with insomnia may nod off and immediately have dream-like imagery and experiences. This, in fact, is a great explanation for people who report hearing voices, as well as for supernatural experiences; it’s no coincidence that people are more likely to report seeing ghosts at night. Auditory and visual hallucinations are very similar to dreams, and are likely the result of the same processes that give us dreams.

The big question, of course, is what causes insomnia. One cause is that a person may be predisposed (genetically) to poor sleep. For instance, I recently did 23andme, and one of the things they look at in their health analysis is whether a person has genetic indicators of being restless during sleep. It makes sense, then, that some people simply don’t sleep as well as others for no reason beyond what’s written in their genetic code.

Of course, a person may also be genetically predisposed to other conditions that impact sleep, such as depression and anxiety. Insomnia caused by one of these conditions usually occurs because a person is unable to “turn off his/her brain” to fall asleep; instead, they may lay awake worrying or ruminating. But the direction of causality could be flipped, with insomnia causing depression. Sleep is one of the times your body replenishes important neurotransmitters. If your body isn’t able to carry out those processes normally done during sleep/rest, they’ll experience deficits that could manifest in a variety of conditions.

Among women, hormones can exacerbate insomnia. Many women report having insomnia during their period. (It’s likely that hormones affect men’s sleep as well, but unlike women, fluctuations in men’s hormones are less predictable.) This is more likely to occur among women who have insomnia the rest of the time; it may simply be more severe at certain times in a woman’s cycle.

Insomnia is also a symptom of post-concussive syndrome; that is, a person who had a concussion may end up experiencing insomnia. For some, this is short-term until their brain heals. For others, this is a long-term/permanent condition as a result of a head injury. (There are other symptoms of post-concussive syndrome the person may have, such as depression and tinnitus – ringing in the ears.)

Lastly, insomnia may be behavioral. Lack of good sleep hygiene could lead to insomnia. And people who have programmed themselves to be awake at night or to wake up easily at night (e.g., they care for a relative with a chronic illness and have to be awakened multiple times at night) may also end up developing insomnia as a result. However, people who have been diagnosed with insomnia and are working to deal with it tend to have the best sleep hygiene: they avoid things like reading or watching TV in bed, and often won’t even have these distractions in their bedroom; they have a standard bedtime routine; and they tend to very thoughtful about what they consume, especially caffeine, close to bedtime. So if you’re writing a character who has insomnia, this is one characteristic you could give them: an almost obsessive attention to sleep hygiene.

People with insomnia are also more likely to experience an unbelievably terrifying sleep disturbance: sleep paralysis. I could write a whole post (or two!) about sleep paralysis, which also explains many supernatural experiences. In the meantime, there’s a documentary about it available on Netflix. I see insomnia used all the time in books; I rarely see related sleep disturbances like sleep paralysis. So if you’re writing a character with insomnia, you might consider adding something like sleep paralysis in as well.