(image via John Champlain’s weblog)
Everyone who knows me knows i suffer from insomnia but refuse to take medication for it. It’s not only out of fear for potential dependency on it; i don’t like to take medication or supplements of any kind, not even vitamins. I just try to eat healthily and opt for natural remedies whenever possible. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so for bouts of severe insomnia, i take melatonin, or when i happen to be sick, too, ridiculous amounts of acetaminophen, neither of which helps at all. They actually make it worse by making me even sleepier but not helping me fall asleep. My usual causes of insomnia are:
1. overusing my mind
You know when you’re extremely sleep-deprived, and during the day, you eventually come to a moment when all stimuli in your surroundings fall away, and whatever voice(s) you hear suddenly sounds like it’s coming from far away, and everything seems to echo? It sounds so distant yet at the same time, so internalized that it sounds like a voice echoing inside your head. Not unlike what it might be like to hear your mother’s voice from inside her womb. It’s happened to me many a time in lectures. Do you know what i’m talking about? I’m not talking about how when you focus really hard on something, every sound around you gets muffled. That happens all the time. This happens only when you’re too sleep-deprived to function properly.
I’m just curious as to what processes in your brain might have to do with this. Does this have anything to do with the sleep cycle? Is the brain, at that moment, somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness? How exactly does sleep or lack thereof affect perception and information processing?