When I was a kid, I stayed up all night and was exhausted every morning. I lay in bed, wide awake, waiting to sleep.

Now I don’t know for sure if it is a result of chemicals in my brain, anxiety from some trauma I have long forgotten, or just a natural state for me, but at night I am wide eyed and alert. I think clearly, I work better and harder, I thrive. When the sun comes up I begin to yawn, and I would, if I could, sleep always on a late-afternoon wake-up schedule.

I think there is some kind of name for this. I don’t know if it’s delayed sleep phases, or what. But, also, over time my sleep gets a tiny bit later, and later, and later. until I have come full circle and I wake up at 8 AM! I have tried every means to control this sleep mayhem and haven’t found a way yet.

Right now, I take ambien one night- lunesta the next- temazepam the next, then start over. I don’t want to get tolerant of my sleeping pills, I want them to keep working for me.

I guess the only reason I even try to make a day schedule or any normal one is that I like to be able to go to work and tattoo people! And I can’t wake up at 5pm and do much of that…

So I keep trying for a somewhat normal schedule. I’d love to go to sleep at three AM, wake up at noon. That’s nine whole hours. I usually get ten hours, but I could do with nine, right?

I mean, the hours I am awake I work, I do all the things anyone else would do in the daytime, in the morning.

If I could survive just selling non-tattoo artworks, I could stop fighting my sleep schedule, and maybe that would make a difference. But I don’t know for sure, I’ve never done that.

Well, here’s to all of you wide-eyed people under the stars. You’re not alone. If you have any advice, ideas, or experiences of your own with insomnia (especially lifelong insomnia) feel free to overload the comments below, I would love to hear about your sleep struggles.

It’ll be more fun than counting sheep, I promise.