You’re Not Alone!
Join the Celebrity Insomniacs’ Club
When I would sit on the stairs at 3 in the morning, wondering if I would ever sleep again, I would find this, cripplingly, the loneliest time of all. I imagined, begrudgingly, that everyone else would be safely asleep in their beds (my husband included) – hence the sitting on the stairs bit. I’d then find myself thinking that I was the only person awake and alone with my darkest thoughts, berating myself for not being able to do something that should be second nature (which once WAS second nature – what happened FFS?) Do you feel like that too? These drawings captured it all for me – number 7 is pretty much it – except I now know not to look at Twitter (blue-light interferes with sleep!).
By the way, if you are awake at 3am regularly, this trick Sophie suggested to me, helped. It might help you too.
So, who to talk to and what to do at 3am when the brain is definitely ruling sleep out of the equation? I have often toyed with the idea of setting up a website for insomniacs to chat through their worries and, if nothing else, to reassure them that we are not alone. And we are very much not alone as a quick Google of famous insomniacs shows:
According to The Week here’s your starter for ten:
Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post
She once got so little sleep that she passed out from exhaustion, breaking her cheekbone. Since then, Huffington is a fervent anti-insomnia crusader, declaring lack of sleep a feminist issue. She has even installed napping rooms for employees in her workplace.
Vincent Van Gogh, painter
Don’t try this at home, kids, but Van Gogh treated his insomnia by dousing his mattress and pillow with camphor, which is related to turpentine. Historians think this may have slowly poisoned him and factored into his suicide.
Bill Clinton, president
The former president of the United States, who famously slept just five hours a night, partly blames his heart attack on fatigue.
Marilyn Monroe, actress
Her insomnia, which may have been linked to her emotional turbulence, was treated with sleeping pills. The day before she overdosed and died, she was reportedly enraged when she heard a friend had slept for 15 hours.
Abraham Lincoln, president
Lincoln didn’t fight his long-suffering insomnia. Instead, he took long walks at midnight.
Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone, dished on his famous sister, insisting that she blames her insomnia on an “unbridled desire for fame and fortune.” Madonna treats it with medication.
Judy Garland, actress
When she was only a teenager, the movie studio demanded she stay thin. Garland became addicted to amphetamines, which she says caused her insomnia–keeping her awake for three or four days at a time.
Groucho Marx, comic actor
Marx says it was the 1929 stock market crash that triggered his insomnia. When he couldn’t sleep, he would do one of two things: call strangers on the phone and insult them or he would write jokes. One such joke, written in the middle of the night:
Q: What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an agnostic and a dyslexic?
A: Someone who stays up all night wondering if there is a Dog.
Margaret Thatcher, politician
As the British prime minister, Thatcher slept just four hours a night, saying, “Sleep is for wimps.”
Tallulah Bankhead, actress
This early 20th century film star and libertine solved her insomnia by hiring gay “caddies” to sit with her and hold her hand until she fell asleep.
You see, you’re not alone. Small comfort, I know.
By the way, if you’re struggling to sleep – and I’m guessing that’s why you’re here – give our all-natural, anti-aging, bedtime drink a try. It really works on us and our network of insomniac clients.
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