We got into the mattress game for one reason: to help people get better sleep. That’s why we’ve always seen it as our responsibility to educate people about the dangers of insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.
But articles about the dangers of insomnia are already all over the Internet, including our own blog. It’s a topic that’s been discussed to near-death.
While we certainly do not condone leaving chronic insomnia untreated, we just thought you’d like to read something that goes in the opposite direction for a change. Because believe it or not, insomnia’s not all bad.
In fact, there are several reasons why insomnia can sometimes be a good thing.
1. It Could Make You More Creative Than Usual
A 2013 study has found that insomnia had a slight but positive effect on a person’s ability to think creatively. Specifically, insomnia leveraged divergent thinking – the ability to figure out various possible solutions to a specific problem.
When you’re stuck with either a personal or work-related problem that keeps you up at night, the best use of that extra time awake may be to try and think of several creative solutions. It’s one of the biggest reasons why writers, artists, and musicians sometimes prefer to work during late nights and early mornings.
If you steer your mind in the right direction at the right time, the slight bump to your creativity could provide you with answers that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to figure out when you’ve had adequate sleep.
2. It’s a Gateway to a New World
Everything is different in the wee hours of the night. Most people around you are asleep. The eerie silence of late nights and early mornings could provide you with an interesting and new perspective on life.
Instead of spending your insomniac hours at home or in bed, you could venture out into a world with a lot less people and traffic, more available cabs, strange establishments that only open during ungodly hours, and everything else that comes with sleepless nights and early mornings.
Take a walk outside and see a whole new side of your neighborhood. Discover new and interesting bars, restaurants, clubs, and cafes that take on a whole new life the moment most people go to bed. You might even discover like-minded people who prefer being up and awake during these ungodly hours.
3. It’s Time for Uncensored Television
Welcome to the unfiltered airwaves of late night broadcasting.
Turn on the TV and treat yourself to the couple hours when even the big networks are less totally unobliged to censor their media. This means uncensored stand-up comedy (no bleeps, no cuts), graphic violence, sex scenes, and everything else you usually have to go online to see.
Microwave your favorite brand of instant popcorn, sit back in your own living room, and prepare your mind for some debauchery.
4. It’s the Perfect Time Lose Your Mind In a Great Book
Being awake during the quietest hours of the day means that you get to be alone with your thoughts.
While everyone else sleeps, you’ll be able to enjoy a couple consecutive hours of zero interruptions. Imagine: no calls, no emails, no one to interrupt your solitude – nothing but a good book – an entire world – to get lost in.
Also, a night of zero sleep has the added effect of heightening a person’s emotions. This means you’ll be more susceptible to the intents of the author – a great way to digest any genre that taps into you innermost feelings.
5. It’s One Way to Get Inebriated Hallucinations
Depending on how long you’ve been awake, chronic sleep loss dulls the senses as much if not more than alcohol does. If you make it to 17 straight hours of zero sleep, it’s equivalent to the inebriation of having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. Make it 21 hours and your blood alcohol content ramps up to 0.08%.
Push your waking hours even further and you might even experience vivid and captivating hallucinations. Chronic insomnia is a hard and prolonged assault on the mind, and sometimes, it can lead to intense visions and sensations not that different from the effect of certain psychedelics.
So, go ahead and enjoy the effects of zero sleep as you would enjoy a good alcoholic (or psychedelic) buzz – just don’t try to drive when you haven’t slept for close to a full day. Sleepless driving is pretty much the same as drunk driving.
6. Catch the Sunrise for the First Time in Years
One of the small but fulfilling joys of getting zero sleep is being able to see stuff that you otherwise won’t see on a regular 9 to 5 work schedule. If you’re starting to feel dull after ignoring some much-needed sleep, a good view of the sunrise is exactly the pick-me-up that your insomniac brain needs.
Additionally, the heightened emotions that you can get from a night of insomnia is likely going to make that sunrise even more breathtaking. If you can’t catch some sleep, catch some inspiration.
7. It’s a Great Time to Finish Some Extra Work
Your cognitive mind may not be at its best when you haven’t had any sleep, but it’s still extra time awake. So instead of lying in bed and failing at trying to sleep, get up and do something productive.
As mentioned above, sleeplessness can sometimes provide a boon to creativity. A night of zero sleep could be the best time for you to return to a problem that you’ve been stuck with for weeks or days.
You can also try working on the more boring tasks that you never feel like doing while wide awake. The mental numbness of insomnia might just be the cushion you need for doing rather mundane tasks.
Just don’t try too hard to work on stuff that rely on high cognitive function and memory. These capabilities tend to suffer when the mind gets zero rest.
WARNING: We Do Not Recommend Not Treating Your Insomnia
While it’s true that insomnia can sometimes be a good thing, we can’t help but remind you that it’s ultimately unhealthy in the long run.
So get your kicks and have your fun. But after that, don’t forget that untreated insomnia can translate into some pretty horrible consequences. Enjoy it while you can, but don’t let your insomnia last too long. Get some sleep, and if you can’t, get some help.