Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Insomnia, yeah, I hear you man. Last night I was up until like three in the morning. I’m a total insomniac!” Sorry, but staying up late isn’t the same thing as insomnia. And no, the all-nighters you used to pull in college don’t count either. I’m talking actual insomnia. It’s a serious problem, and there are a lot of factors you have to consider if you’re about to start a relationship with an insomniac.
1. If you sleep over, there’s not going to be too much sleeping
Once you start dating an insomniac, there really is no such thing as a sleepover. It could be super annoying, because at two or three in the morning, you probably just want to snuggle up and go to sleep, right? Yeah, well, insomniacs don’t sleep. So if you do wind up catching some Zs, it’s just going to be you, all alone in someone else’s bed. Your insomniac significant other is going to be up in the living room eating cereal and watching TV in the dark.
There are some cases in which this situation could work to your advantage. Like, say your parents are really old-fashioned and don’t want you spending the night before you get married. Well now you don’t have to lie and say you’re staying over at your cousin’s. You can just say, look, my partner doesn’t sleep, so it’s not really sleeping over, it’s just like hanging out, but in the middle of the night.
2. If the insomniac sleeps over, it’s still weird
Sure, you’re not going to have that weird out-of-place feeling you get sleeping alone in someone else’s bed, but it’s similarly unsettling trying to fall asleep in your own bed knowing that, just outside your bedroom door, you’ve got an insomniac wide awake in your living room. Because how well do you know this insomniac? Is it serious yet? If it’s not, how do you know he or she isn’t taking advantage of the time you spend sleeping to snoop around all of your stuff? That’s what I would be thinking about, and it would prevent me from falling asleep. And so sure, maybe insomnia isn’t physically contagious, but in this case it’s almost like a shared sleeping disorder.
It’s even weirder if you have a roommate. What if your roommate wants to stay up late and watch TV? What if your roommate comes home late at night and finds some random insomniac sitting in the dark listening to podcasts and eating Funions? No, if you want to get involved in a serious relationship with an insomniac, you definitely have to have your own place. And even then it’s still borderline creepy.
3. Your insomniac significant other is going to get resentful of your nighttime routine
Do you wear comfy pajamas to bed? Yeah, well, say goodbye to your comfy pajamas. Sure, I guess you could keep the comfy pajamas if you really want to be a dick about it. That would be like dating a diabetic and drinking a two-liter bottle of Coke every single day. You’re just going to go around flaunting how much you enjoy getting a full eight-hours of sleep every night?
And it’s not just pajamas, it’s seriously everything that celebrates your nightly date with Mr. Sandman. Like, are you one of those people who drinks a cup of Sleepytime Tea before bed? Better kiss it goodbye. Do you have really nice silk sheets and a set of ultra-luxurious memory foam pillows? How could you be so insensitive? That would be like dating a dyslexic and holding a spelling bee every single night. Or dating someone with a peanut allergy and insisting on eating Thai food every day for dinner. Or dating someone who’s gluten insensitive while constantly sharing articles on Facebook about how you don’t think gluten insensitivity is really a thing. You see where I’m going with this?
4. You can’t take advantage of an insomniac’s extra free time
You might be thinking that dating an insomniac has its perks, like maybe you could put your insomniac to work during those nightly eight hours where you’re asleep and he or she is not. Like, come on, can’t you just fold my laundry? I mean, if I could stay up all night and clean the kitchen, I totally would. It’s just that my body needs to rest, I’m not physically capable of organizing my sock drawer at four in the morning.
But trust me, if you ask an insomniac to maybe put some of that extra free time toward something a little more productive than sitting around on the couch and watching Netflix, they’re going to get all pissed off. I don’t get it, because, like I said, if I could stay up all night, I have a long list of chores I’d rather not be doing during the day. But insomniacs are always like, “You think I want to be awake at this hour?” And that’s something you’ve got to consider if you want to make that relationship work.
5. Insomniacs never want to hear about your really cool dream stories
The other night I had this crazy dream. I was staring out the window at the moon, but the moon wasn’t white, it was red, and I could see lightning on its surface, and then my mom called, but it wasn’t my mom, it was this kid that I went to school with in the third grade, and I said hello? And he said, “Woof, woof, woof!” Because it was a dog, and then I was driving, and I got pulled over, but now I was in space, and then my grandma was hovering over my bed, and the next thing I know, I was eating this huge bowl of spaghetti.
Crazy dream, right? Yeah well if you’re dating an insomniac, they’re going to be all like, “Listen, will you please stop telling me your boring dream stories? They don’t make sense and they never go anywhere.” And you’ll be like, “Shut up, you’re just jealous because you don’t know what it is to dream because you can’t sleep. You don’t have to be a jerk about it and take it out on my awesome dream stories.” And whatever, you’ll never really see eye to eye, because yes, you’re dream stories are totally awesome, and yes, your insomniac is super jealous.
Insomniacs are going to be driven insane with jealousy every time you so much as yawn in their presence. And you can kiss midafternoon naps goodbye. Dating an insomniac isn’t just tough, it’s exhausting, which is like a catch-22, because the more exhausted they make you, the more they’ll make you feel bad about needing to catch up on some sleep. Is it worth it? I can’t say. I’d tell you to sleep on it, but that might make the problem worse. I’m just trying to give you something to think about before you and your insomniac get serious.