On insomnia food

10/05/2018: Lifestyle. Sometimes, it just gets swept into the background. Especially when there are urgent matters to attend to. Or just when we give up on ourselves. Get out of it while you've got time.

So, I had quite a hard time recently. Worked on a dissertation about the convergence of European post communist nations toward the west, which I thankfuly managed to submit on time at a quality level I am not particularily proud of, but of which I am not too ashamed, still waiting for the results to come in. Once that happens, I will know what degree class awaits me and will be getting ready for my studies in Amsterdam, on which I will have to write an entire reflection.

A month before the dissertation deadline, I took a trip back to Prague to see my family, firends, and my colleagues at work, which has left me socially exhausted and resulted in slight increase in my medication dosage. Running all over this massive city, from one end to another, traveling 80km a day on average, most of it by public transport, to see all the people scattered around. Switching to Czech language as a primary talking language, which I sometimes have difficulties identifying the right words in, using an anglicism in its place, and having to repeat the phrase again to make those who do not speak my linguistic mishmash understand.

Coming back here, I had just a short time left, most of which I spent either playing League of Legends, reading research articles, twisting a piece of code in RStudio, sleeping, or walking down to a corner shop to buy another pack of biscuits. I couldn’t write, though. I did the analysis, I tried hard to adjust my original proposal to sufficient form, but there was still at least 4000 words missing. The very last two days, I had lived on Snickers, Diet Coke, and chocolate. Managed to sleep a little, but with 24 hours to go, I still had to chase at least 2500 sensible words and truncate the paper of about 1000 less sensible ones. And I did it. And then, I spent 16 hours in bed, straight.

With that, my daily regime had passed and chaos reigned. I didn’t really have to do much, so I didn’t. I didn’t go anywhere, didn’t see any people, was stuck in my room with my thoughts. I couldn’t sleep at night and stay awake during the day. When I woke up at 20:00, I had a chance to briefly interact with my housemates, but I already knew that my inner chains had started to shackle me within. Over night, long depressive periods had siezed me, and the pills didn’t help much.

Not sleeping, one could figure, could be potentially fixed by taking sleeping pills. And so I did, at a reasonable time, too. But I didn’t properly get up the next morning. Or during the day. Or, thankfuly, over the second night. I totally slept all the way through entire day and 8 hours on top. That is where 2mg of clonazepam gets you. It is a good sedative indeed, takes all thoughts away and puts you in peace, huh?

I guessed I was saved and started living again, slowly. Going out, seeing coursemates in the library, walk around the city, and so on. But then it started twisting yet again, mainly because I just couldn’t make it until the late evening, but dropped off late afternoon, only to wake up 4 hours later and failing to resume sleeping until early morning hours. And so I clearly had to do something about it, not being properly able to figure out what exactly should it be. Most methods were exhausted, really.

Thankfuly, a dinner with a briefly acquainted friend of mine from here helped. I basically overfilled my stomach with decent food and went to bed, feeling drowsy and heavy. Was it that simple all along? What does food really have to do with ability to sleep? Magnesium? Energy? Or its effect on mind in general? Am I eating properly, or am I getting on the tripping edge of the eating disorder on the other side of the spectrum from what I really worry about? It’s not like I’m superskinny, my BMI holds within the norm, sometimes just above it.

I guess I should be paying more attention to that for some time. Maybe ever. But it’s not like I have endless amount of it. Anyway. I’ll go to bed now.