It usually lasts about three weeks and after leaving me bleary eyed, mind-befuddled and cranky for that long, it suddenly disappears as quickly as it came and with the same lack of validity in reasoning.
When the first night's lack of sleep hits me, I start googling to see if any new hints for insomniacs have surfaced since last year. I try it all, watching old Dr. Oz shows and following the rules. Same bedtime every night-check. No food or drink before retiring-check. Room cool and dark, no electronics on-check. Cut the coffee after lunch, no booze-check. It never works. I have tried valarian, melatonin and herbal teas. Nope.
One year, in desperation, I downed a rather large portion of Bailey's Irish Cream, having decided that abstinence wasn't working and looking for oblivion. Miracle of miracles, I fell asleep. (Not quite in an alcohol induced coma) The next night I decided I'd better not repeat the process or I might end up with problems more worrying than the insomnia. And-I fell asleep. Not instantly, not all night, but the insomnia was on its way out.
Next year, I thought-ok insomnia, I've got your number. Where's the Baileys? Didn't work. It was either a one shot miracle or just a coincidence that I was on the way out already when I tried the desperation cure.
I'll soon be ready to start my yearly google in the hopes of a new study or a new idea or a new Dr. Oz show. But, I think I'm going to stock up on Baileys just in case.