My New Friend, Insomnia


InsomniaI live a very busy life (I know you can all relate). I have a full-time job. I am raising two young girls. I am involved in the community. I like to stay busy. I like to be on the go. I like to fill my free time with activities, trips, and social events.

However, I also enjoy my rest.

I love sleep. I need a lot of sleep.

I am an excellent sleeper. I can sleep anywhere.

I sleep hard. You might say I am a world-class sleeper.

My family and close friends know about my sleeping talent (and my love for a good nap on a Sunday afternoon). A friend of mine recently gave me a pillow that said, “I’m great in bed. I can sleep for days.” My Mom, who has always struggled with sleep, frequently comments on how envious she is of my exceptional abilities.

For my entire life, I have never had trouble sleeping. I took this ability for granted.

This all changed when I was recently introduced to insomnia.

All of a sudden, I find myself waking up at 1am, 2am, sometimes 3am. No matter what I do, I cannot go back to sleep. For a while, I was trying every trick in the book — melatonin, limiting screen time before bed, sound machines, a weighted blanket (which I do love!), and even counting those pesky sheep.

Nope. Still wide awake. Frustrated. Anxious. Tired all the time.

But then, all of a sudden, I found myself enjoying those waking hours. Instead of fighting Insomnia, I decided to embrace her.

Overnight (literally), insomnia became a guilty pleasure.

Now, when I wake up and see it is 2am, I feel a sense of relief, almost excitement. This my “me time.” It is time to myself. It is quiet. It is peaceful.

My world has slowed down. I have started really focusing on my surroundings. I have begun noticing the faint creaks of my house, the blinking lights on the cable box, the rustle of the wind, the sound of the ice maker.

Some nights I lie with my thoughts and give myself the time to think. Think about the past day. Think about tomorrow. Just think.

Sometimes I go and sit on the edge of my daughters’ beds. I listen to their breathing. I look at them. I take in their innocence. I wonder what they are dreaming.

Other nights (like tonight), I get up and write. It is calming. It is therapeutic. No one interrupts me. No one needs my help (if I am asked one more time by my daughters to find something that is right in front of them, I may lose it!). During these rare moments in the middle of the night, I can fully concentrate without distractions.

Then all of a sudden, I feel it. It is time. My old, loyal friend is back. As I find myself drifting into the arms of sleep, I know I am ready.

But I realize I needed that awake time. I needed that escape. I needed that calm. My mind needed that solace.

And I know tomorrow I will need that nap!

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Robin Zimmern
Robin Zimmern is originally from Boston, MA arriving in Pensacola in 2008 via Nashville and Birmingham. Since moving to the south, Robin has embraced her inner "y’all," learned to wear pearls, eat grits, and knows the words to every Garth Brooks’ song. Robin is a proud girl mom to two precocious, creative and sassy girls: Emma (9) and Charlotte (6). They keep her on her toes in their never-ending desire to become YouTube stars, survive on a diet of pizza and chicken nuggets, and always trying to have the last word. Robin received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Vanderbilt University, and her specialist degree from the University of West Florida. Robin serves as the director of development at the University of West Florida. In Robin’s spare time (is that a thing?), she is a passionate community volunteer. Robin sits on several local boards, including the Pensacola Little Theatre, Manna, Junior League of Pensacola, Fiesta Pensacola, Valerie's House and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.


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