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The 5 Stages of an Insomniac Night

Sleep is a precious commodity. Especially during this busy time of the semester. Recently even though my body has been craving some serious shut-eye I’ve been struggling to get even a taste those sweet dreams. If only we could add up all the naps, we fought when we were kids and redistribute them in our adult lives.

Lately, insomnia has become a good friend of mine. A friend that I want to part ways with. Personally, my insomnia normally reveals itself during times of stress. Sometimes I’m completely aware, other times the thoughts are implicitly keeping me awake. For many individuals’ anxiety is a common cause. One thing is for sure. Falling asleep and staying asleep has become a burden. There’s nothing worse than lying in bed when your body feels exhausted, but your eyes lay wide-open. This one goes out too all my insomniacs who are probably reading this in the wee hours of the morning.  


1. Bracing Yourself for Bedtime

Finally, the day has wound down, and just like everyone you’re determined to try and squeeze in at least 6-7 hours of sleep to fuel your day tomorrow. As you get ready for bed you’ve shut off the lights, scroll through social media, and perhaps you even send a few goodnight texts. Except when your head hits the pillow. No matter how hard you squeeze your eyes shut you are still wide awake. Even if you did manage to fall asleep for a little while, it doesn’t take you long before you find yourself staring at the clock. You tell yourself that it’s okay you’ll fall asleep soon. Deep down you know the bedtime battle has only just begun.


2. Frustration

Almost two hours have passed, but not only are you fighting sleep, you’re extremely frustrated that the one thing you have to do- the easiest task of the is to rest, and you can’t even seem to accomplish that. After arguing with yourself as to why your body seems to be allergic to rest, you rage. Even though you know that media isn’t the answer, you turn to your phone with the hopes that it will distract you- if not at bore you to sleep.

3. Deep Thought

After tossing and turning you decide that clearly you efforts to drift of are failing yet again. This is usually the time where I dive into the 3 a.m. thoughts. If you’re on your phone you may have entered the weird side of the internet. Others may start to think about suppressed memories, even start questing your values. It’s just all too much. Alternatively, you may start googling all the ways to try and fall asleep faster. Normally this is the point when the worrying mixed with deep thought turns into stress that just propels you further into a sleepless night. For me, I often think of all the time that was wasted trying to fall asleep. Minutes that I could have been using to be more productive… this leads me to stage 4.


4. Acceptance

At this point, you try (but ultimately fail) to convince yourself that maybe your body is just special and doesn’t need sleep to be a fully functioning human. By this point, I’ve usually convinced myself to get up and do something. I completely get out of bed, do some homework, or even have been known to clean. Since you’ve accepted the fact that no amount of sleep is going to save you from having an exhausting day, you try to put the hours of the night to productive use. As the clock nears wake-up time, you have fully accepted the state of misery you’re going to be in tomorrow. Sometimes I even contemplate just staying awake.


5. You Finally Fall Asleep

Finally, the moment has come and you’re out like a light. After fighting the war you body had drifted off into a sweet slumber. The only thing is that it’s nearing 5 a.m and your alarm clock is soon to start ringing. When you 7 a.m alarm sounds, you can’t decide if you should celebrate fitting in 2 hours of sleep, or start stressing about how you’re going to sustain your energy. Either way, you mentally prepare yourself for the rest of your day to be spent in a state of fatigue. No amount of caffeine will remedy that fact most of your day will be spent fighting to stay awake- yet you drink several cups anyway.


Hopefully, this isn’t an experience that you can resonate with often. But, for those of you who have experienced insomnia one too many times, at least no that there are other awake with you somewhere!

Samantha is a fourth-year student at, Simon Fraser University, pursuing a double major in political science and communication. When not keeping up with what's new in pop culture, Samantha can often be found sipping on Starbucks drinks, or enjoying one-too-many YouTube videos. Aside from writing for Her Campus, Samantha's passion for fashion, fitness, and nutrition is what keeps her going through the week. She's self-motivated, friendly, and never turns down a cup of tea and a nice chat!
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