10 Things You Should Never Say To An Insomniac

I’ve been working really hard with my therapist on my sleeping issues. I’m doing a bunch of CBT exercises, meditation and pre-sleep rituals. Things have gotten a little better because I’m falling asleep more easily, but I’m not sleeping full nights. I wake up way too often or sometimes I wake up super early and then fall back asleep without realizing it. It has not been fun.

Insomnia is a real issue, and we’ve already talked about how serious it can be. Not sleeping can really affect your health, which is not good. I’ve dealt with sleep problems before, but this is the first time where I’ve been dealing with them for this long. It’s really annoying when people who have no idea what insomnia is like try to weigh in on it. If you know someone with insomnia, please do not say these things:

1. “Have you tried cutting down on caffeine?”

Don’t you think I’ve worked on my caffeine intake already?

2. “Just take some melatonin!”

Melatonin doesn’t necessarily make you fall asleep. It helps regulate your sleep rhythm so if you’re having trouble falling asleep, it might not help. Also, yes I’ve tried it. And ZzzQuil and all those other sleep aids.

3. “I’m so tired.”


4. “There’s this stuff called Sleepytime Tea!”

Don’t even speak to me.

5. “You look tired.”


6. “There’s no way you don’t sleep.”

Yeah, I’m just making this up.

7. “Take a bath before bed. It’ll help you relax!”

If baths were the solution, I’d sit in the bath until I pruned.

8. “Count sheep!”


9. “Pretty much everyone has trouble sleeping.”

Yeah, no. Insomnia also isn’t just trouble sleeping. It’s literally not sleeping.

10. “Have you seen a doctor?”

What? I never thought of that!
Do you have insomnia? Do people ever say these things to you? Tell us in the comments!

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  • chainsaw-doll

    Insomnia is recognized by the quality of sleep you get and how you feel after you eventually fall asleep. Not by *how much* sleep you get. Now, instead of posting up a whole bunch of your amaroidal experiences with people who innocuously (& obliviously) offer advice or ask about this and that and whatever, don’t you think it would be freakin amazing to view insomnia as an *opportunity* ? An opportunity to ameliorate any areas in your life. An opportunity to brighten your mind? To gain insights about life? To work on something world-changing? From one insomniac to the next, I would really like to spread my two cent’s worth by saying, hey, do something productive in all those hours! Don’t let that time be wasted by thinking about posting all the things that people said to offend you or annoy you. But if you don’t wanna, just sit with a can of pringles and cottage cheese and look out your windows at the stars. #perfect setting. (**oh, by the way, no matter what anyone says, NEVER NEVER GIVE UP ON COFFEE!! )

    • Ascent

      Maybe you’re not an insomniac. There are people in the world who actually need less sleep than others and can function very well with 4 or so hours. From your post, you don’t sound like someone who has ever been laying in bed for the umpteenth night in a row, with every muscle in pain from severe fatigue, your heart pounding and body shaking, thinking of just cutting your wrist because at least the hell would stop, crying out to God to help you just get a couple hours in or to let you die. Insomnia, causes so many issues like depression and high blood pressure to name a few. An opportunity? You have not got insomnia. You sound like a dip who can’t fall asleep from time to time or maybe didn’t get enough REM last Wednesday.

  • Dann

    OMG yes I’m an insomniac and people tell me these things all the fu**ing time. I have not currently slept in about 18 days, as of 5/23/2014