Saturday, January 12, 2008

Gratitudes and sleep

There is a meme that caught my eye the other day. There are actually two that are related. I found the first one, a list of 25 things you can't get enough of, here. The second is a list of 25 things that shit you to tears (a phrase I've not encountered before but apparently means something along the lines of "bug the shit out of you"), here.

Generally speaking, I love doing memes. I think it may be that they are like those little personality tests you can take that will tell you all about yourself and what your career should be. Anyway, at first I was mostly interested in the negative meme. The first one seemed kind of smarmy to me, but later that night as I was trying to fall asleep it popped into my head. I started thinking of things, and I suddenly realized that thinking of a list of things you like, when you are trying to fall asleep does not cause anxiety! Stop the presses! What?! That's right. The reason this is earth shaking news is that I have trouble with initial insomnia, meaning it takes an age for me to fall asleep; a good night takes 30-45 minutes, a bad night 5-7 hours. The game I used to play in my head was "what if I won the lottery." For example, the lottery that week might be worth 20 million. Divide that over 25 annual payments, and multiply that amount by 60% to estimate the amount left after taxes and you have $480,000. Ok, so that is enough to pay off all bills and the mortgage and live quite comfortably, but what about your friends and family. So I could go on for quite a while figuring out who would get how much, how I would give it to them, how often they might get a stipend, etc, etc, etc. My aunt thinks of this as a sort of advanced counting of sheep. Money has been causing me anxiety lately, so thinking about winning the lottery just isn't fun any more. If I just lay there in bed with nothing to think about, I end up thinking about things like someone taking all the children in my daughter's preschool hostage, or the bridge I'm driving on collapsing in an earthquake while Fiona is in the car with me, etc, etc. You can probably see why I might be up for a while. So, I am rather excited that I have come up with a new way to relax and fall asleep.

Just in case you are curious, chocolate and coffee have become regulars on the list of things I can't get enough of.

p.s. If you have any sleep inducing ideas, I would love it if you would share.

p.p.s. It is also de-lurking week, so please leave a comment if you stop by.


Elsewhere007 said...

I find breathing slowly and counting each breath helps. But much better are Radio National podcasts, our equivalent of NPR. You need someone with a very soothing voice, preferably speaking on a less than stimulating subject.

Diane Fay (littlealma) said...

Hi, I just came across your blog tonight for the first time - I love your name!!! Maybe I could use "lifedabbler" for mine - I can't think of a good one! I also just wanted to tell you I use Sonata to help get to sleep. But for years I used Benadryl (diphenhydramine-the real ingredient, which I would use and is the same thing as Waldryl). Neither one is addictive, and I struggle with sleeping at the right time, I perk up about midnight, and can easily still up till 3, or 4 AM, then sleep till noon - alas, the world doesn't work that way!

Anyway - just wanted to say hi, goodluck with the sleeping business!


Strikkelise said...

Me, I don't care much for memes, I'm too fussy about what I want to write on my blog.

I got some advice on never to drink coffee, coke or tea after 3 p.m.
I never thought one needed to be that careful with caffeine, but I think this helps me sleep better. I sometimes break this rule, but only if I don't have to get up early.
Earplugs also tend to help, even in a reasonably quiet room.

CelticMommy said...

Sleep was one of those elusive and coveted things I had to actively grasp a hold of, so this is how it worked for me.

1- 15 minutes Before bed, I write down everything I need to do the next day. Even it doesn't get done, it's out of my head. Phone calls, errands, blogs to look at, something to look up, find that yarn for that thing, etc. This is also when I write letters to my boys if they've said something funny or had an accomplishment of any kind.

2- 7 minutes before bed, I wash my face, brush my hair, brush my teeth and drink a small glass of water or finish the caffeine free tea I've been drinking. (No caffeine after 4 to go to bed by 10)

3- 4 minutes before bed, I check on the boys, cover them up and check the doors, lights, etc.

Bedtime I smooch the hubby and am out like a light! If for some reason I am not out like a light, it is usually because of a headache or I forgot to write something down... in which case I'll write it down then.

Now, getting to sleep is one thing. KEEPING asleep is another. Once I'm up at 5:45 or so, that's the end of it. It stinks but that's what happens. I'll attempt to go back to sleep for only about 5 minutes and then I just get up and start doing whatever woke me up to begin with. This especially stinks on the weekends when all I really want is to sleep in, but the advantage is, I can take a shower and get ready all by myself and usually get a blog or some crochet work in.

Sorry, that was a bit long, but you asked. :-) I hope to hear an update of what you found that works for you.