SOLC Day 29: Insomnia

March 2023 SOLC–Day 29
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

Sometimes I fall into patterns of disturbed sleep. I will fall asleep with no problem, but wake in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep again. For hours. Or I feel like I’m just floating on sleep, still too alert, not fully resting.

One of my go-to strategies for dealing with this is to write acrostic poems as I’m lying there. It beats tossing and turning and often, if the word is long enough, I’ll somehow lose focus and drift off again. My go-to word is “insomnia.” It seems to fit the bill.

Last night, I feel asleep early, sitting up in bed with my cell phone in my hand, listening to a new pod cast I’d just heard about. Yes, I was that tired. I woke as the cell phone slipped from my grip, put it on the table, turned out the light and fell immediately back to sleep. For about 3 or 4 hours. Then I awoke. Alert.

Uh oh.

First I tried to focus on my breathing. On the softness of the sheets and blankets. On the steady warmth of the cat curled by my side. On consciously relaxing each part of my body. None of that worked, so eventually I turned to acrostics. I composed one after another in my head. Sometimes I lost track of where I was–perhaps I’d slept a little? Still the clock bore witness. This wasn’t working. I knew I’d feel the full impact during the day to come.

Eventually I moved to a different bedroom, turned on the light and read for a while. Finally, I drifted off to dreams of bleeding wounds, melting electric wires and pet injuries. Maybe staying awake would have been a better choice? This morning I’m pulling together the drifty remnants of some of my half-remembered acrostics.

It’s 1:27
Now it’s 1:34
Sleep eludes me
Once again I fret, pick at thoughts
Minutes flow as slow as pitch
No respite in sight
I dread the

Or here’s another one…

It’s like a sneak attack
Nothing and then…
Slam! I’m awake.
Mind awhirl
No sleep in sight
Instead a steady barrage of
Ambushing thoughts and worries


It’s futile, my
Never-ending efforts to
Subordinate my thoughts, to
Overwhelm and dominate them,
Manhandle them into submission
Night-time is their territory
Ideal for their advance
A battle ensues

Ugh. You can see, perhaps why this wasn’t working.

Maybe I need to pick a different word…

14 thoughts on “SOLC Day 29: Insomnia

  1. Sherrie says:

    My go to is counting backwards from 100. It’s amazingly surprising how many times I never get out of the 90’s, then I’m right back up starting at 100. It’s very rare that I make it all the way to 0. I hope you know you are part of my morning routine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      You reminded me of that strategy. I’d forgotten about it, although I think someone told me to start at 1000. I might need the extra numbers! lol And it makes me so happy to know I’m part of your morning routine! Thank you!


  2. cindaroo42 says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you are so creative in your half sleep! Those poems are so good! My favorite line is “still the clock bore witness”. I feel like I can’t even look at my clock when I’m up in the middle of the night- it just compounds my stress and urgency to get to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those are impressive thoughts and poems for the middle of the night and half-awakeness. Not sleeping is a form of torture. I’m always grateful when I have a solid night’s sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. amyilene says:

    I hate insomnia, but it has never gifted me poetry!! I love these

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lynnedorfman says:

    Oh, my! Maybe try an earlier dinnertime and don’t eat or drink anything after 7:00 p.m. is your bedroom completely dark? I know you are a busy person. Put all your devices away.
    I loved your insomnia acrostic! Great images and word choice! I am not sure that writing about insomnia is helping you! I wish I had some really good advice to help you! Wishing you a restful sleep…Lynne

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks for all the ideas. I’ve gotten a couple of good ones as comments. I’m hoping I won’t need any of them! Here’s hoping tonight offers a better night’s sleep!


  6. These are my first go-to strategies – “Focus on my breathing. [slow breathing through my nose] On consciously relaxing each part of my body.” Then I sing the Peace Song to myself. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…” Got a song you like and know the words to? Lastly, I don’t look at the clock when I wake in the middle of the night. I just don’t. Though this isn’t a solution for you in the short term, I slept better once I retired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks for the ideas. I’ve definitely tried a few of those, though not the song. I’ll add the latter to my growing list of possibilities while I hope never to have to use them. I have learned not to look at the clock when I wake…but sometimes I fall back into bad, old habits.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kd0602 says:

    I’m quite impressed that you can remember the insomnia poems that you write as you try to fall back to sleep! Luckily I seldom have trouble sleeping…but was awake in the middle of the night–processing parent conferences and remembering all those little to-dos that keep getting shoved back because of the parent conferences! Wishing you restful sleep tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I think I’m in the parent conference week hangover phase! Also, I certainly didn’t remember all of these in full, but remembered phrases, bits and pieces. Thankfully last night was a better night’s sleep. Here’s hoping that was the case for you as well!


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