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9/19/09 Insomnia

A few people have noticed me referring to insomnia on Facebook, and been asking about it, so here's my answer for you all:

Firstly, sorry for worrying you. One side effect of sleep deprivation, at least for me, is that I tend to lose my "filter", and just share freely whatever is on my mind, without much thought for consequences. If I'd thought about it more, I wouldn't have brought it up.

But to answer the question - why is Kauthar awake at 4am?

Honestly, I've been struggling since my return from America. Lots of medium-sized things piled together to become big, hairy, fanged things. So perfectly ordinary concerns, like organizing workshops and trainings, combine with questions of what I'll be doing when I finish my service (a question I was peppered with in America, and which is therefore weighing more heavily than it did before). Then some personal issues came up, in part stemming from conversations in the US, and in part just unburying some old baggage, and that help keep me up at nights.

And of course, factor in the jet lag; I just spent a week living 8 hours behind Moroccan time. :)

The time-slip is exacerbated by Ramadan, which I'm observing here in Morocco. The requirement that you only eat when it's dark out means that many people stay up much of the night, just to space out our chances to inhale some calories. ("OK, it's 8pm and I just finished my first meal in 16 hours. I probably shouldn't consume 2000 calories at a single sitting - though after all those cookies, I feel like I might have - so I should eat again in a few hours. I might as well stay up till midnight and have a real meal." "Well, now it's midnight, and I just ate dinner. I could go to bed and then wake myself up at 3:30am to make breakfast, but maybe I should just stay up till 2 and eat something then, and then sleep through the morning." "Whoops, I got caught up in [whatever] and forgot to eat at 2, but it's 3 now, so I'll go ahead and make some pancakes." And suddenly it's 4am.)

So between the stressing and the eating and the jetlag, I'm not getting normal amounts of sleep. Hopefully this will change soon.

[9/21 Epilogue: I'm doing better. I got so tired that I literally swayed as I walked down the street, but the cumulative exhaustion finally knocked me out and let me get many, many hours of sleep in a row. I'm now reapproaching a normal sleep schedule; the end of Ramadan and its midnight dinners should help, too. Last night I slept from 11pm till 8am, lhumdullah. Tonight I hope to do the same. Many, many thanks to all who expressed love and concern.]

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