'Clear your mind and do your best / To try and wash the palette clean'

"My hands are locked up tight in fists
My mind is racing, filled with lists
of things to do and things I've done
Another sleepless night's begun"

- Barenaked Ladies, "Who Needs Sleep?"

I think this is the third night in a row that I haven't been able to sleep until sometime after 3am. I just lay there with my eyes wide open, grinding my teeth in such a way that at least 9 out of 10 dentists would disapprove. I'm thinking about things that I can worry about but do nothing about, things that I have to do, things I didn't get done today, things that I could be doing with my time instead of wasting it sleeping (or trying to sleep) and wondering How can I be so tired and yet not at all sleepy?

Does anyone have any sheep for me to count?

srah - Wednesday, 27 July 2005 - 3:23 AM

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Comments (13)

gravatar Not Your MOM - July 27, 2005 - 7:51 AM -

Have you tried making lists? Sometimes to write it all down is a release.

You and Mr. B****** have so much in common. I thought I was reading his poem and comments( especially the one about sleep being a waste of time). :-)

gravatar Cheryl - July 27, 2005 - 8:57 AM -

After your trips, you'll be surprised with how well you sleep. I didn't sleep well for two months while writing my thesis, but after the defense I actually slept all night through and then after I turned it in for good, I slept all night through AND grew nine inches taller!

gravatar katie - July 27, 2005 - 9:19 AM -

I agree with Not Your MOM. When that happens to me, I get up and write down a long list of everything that's on my mind. Make the list as exhaustive (no pun intended) as possible. If you lay down and keep thinking more stuff, get up and write it on the list until your brain is empty.

gravatar Aunt Pam - July 27, 2005 - 9:46 AM -

You my dear are suffering from stress . . . so let the "relaxation expert" give you some things to try.

1. Take a 30 - 60 minute walk before 6 p.m. Avoid a strolling pace, swing those arms, and get your groove on. Speaking of groove . . . if you don't want to walk . . DANCE for 30 - 60 minutes. Just do it before 6 p.m. You'll be relieving a lot the stress that has built up in your body and releasing those beloved endorphins!

2. Abraham Lincoln once said "To ease another's heartache is to forget your own." If you are feeling sorrowful about something and can't do anything about it, reaching out and doing something for someone else is a great balm.

3. Yoga, meditation, prayer, mindfulness, are all great practices that ground and center our emotions. Worthy of trying anyways. Pick what works best for you. Start in small bites, say 5-10 minutes. Jon Kabat-Zin's Where Ever You Go, There You Are is a great primer on mindfulness & meditation.

4. Massage is great for relieving stress and enhancing sleep. :-) Even self-massage can be beneficial.

5. 10 - 15 minutes of Isotonic and Isometric exercise 60 minutes prior to bed enhances sleep. I'll betcha your sister can show you some you could do.

6. Eat turkey and mashed potatos for dinner! LOL just kidding, but it would help make you sleepy!

7. Go to bed prior to 10 p.m. or prior to 12 p.m. According to Ayervedic medicine if you aren't in bed prior to 10 you won't sleep well until 12, if you aren't in bed by midnight you don't sleep well until 2 and so on.

8. According to Fung Shui, check what's under your bed. If you have stressful items under there you may not sleep well. As far as the rest of your sleep enviroment, put away all those bills, applications, work, or other stress reminders!

9. Aromatherapy enhances sleep. Essential oils of Lavendar, Chamomille, Marjoram, Clary Sage (be careful it's a mild euphoric, don't drink alcohol or drive if you use this e.o.) are just a few. A couple drops on a cotton ball to sniff prior to lights out can help. The essential oil of peppermint rids a space of negative energy. :)

10. Avoid Caffeine after 3 p.m. Most Soda, Tea, Chocolate all contain Caffeine.

11. Breath work: Most people have very shallow breathing. "Belly Breathing" is very beneficial. rest your hands on your belly, as you inhale let your breath raise your belly first, then continue the inhalation til you feel the breath rise in your chest.

12. Tense and Relax: As you lie supine on your bed and starting with your feet. Tighten the muscles of your feet and ankles as tight as you can for about 3-5 seconds, then relax fully. Move up to your calves, thighs, back muscles, abdominal muscles, chest, neck, arms, hands cranial muscles, facial muscles.

13. Watch a comedy or hang out with someone who makes you laugh. You'll be releasing endorphins that will relieve stress and enhance sleep!

Well, this is getting far too long, but I hope some of this helps.

gravatar Not Your MOM, but sound like her - July 27, 2005 - 10:15 AM -

I agree that you may have some bad chi going in your bedroom. Do you have a computer or other electrical apparatus in there? Get them out or cover them up. They radiate negative chi. You need a calm, peaceful place to sleep with no distractions.

Clutter is bad too. Clean out under the bed as you aunt suggested and also organize the closet. Maybe toss a few pairs of shoes. :-)

Also if you find you can't sleep after lying there for an hour then get up and read a bit or write down your thoughts. Most likely this will bore you and make you sleepy and you will want to go back to bed to sleep.

This is just a bad blimp in your life and you will get through it and achieve your goals and then wonder why you worried so much.

gravatar Aunt Pam - July 27, 2005 - 10:26 AM -

I have heard about appliances sending out negative energy. Supposedly bee's wax absorbs a lot of this energy. I had blocks of it on my TV and Fridge, but I can't say I noticed much differnces.

gravatar chrisusa12345 - July 27, 2005 - 1:12 PM -

Ha ha! Sheep! Funny!

gravatar katie - July 27, 2005 - 3:11 PM -

A bad blimp!

gravatar not Your MOM - July 27, 2005 - 3:18 PM -

Sorry, I meant blip. :-)

gravatar Nathro - July 27, 2005 - 10:44 PM -

I've had trouble sleeping in the past... laying wide awake in bed when you know you need to wake up in 3 hours is a pain.

One thing that I found helped me allot was something amazingly simple.

Close your eyes.

I know it might sound a little silly, but when you're laying awake in bed you always have your eyes open, close them. Not tight/clenched just closed. Actually made an enormous difference to how long I remain awake after going to bed.

gravatar Smuj - July 28, 2005 - 7:58 AM -

I left for work at 7:00AM yesterday and didn't get home until 2:00AM that night. 16 hours in front of a computer and 3 hours behind the wheel of my car, and it still took me an hour in front of the TV to unwind enough to fall asleep. My problem was caffeine. I needed some to keep me awake for the long drive home.

Aunt Pam's suggestion #10 (caffeine) is all it takes to keep me up to an unreasonable hour. I usually let myself sneak in a Pepsi as late as 4:00PM, but any later than that, and I'm going to be fidgeting when I want to be sleeping.

gravatar Cheryl - July 28, 2005 - 8:32 AM -

I like the looking under your bed suggestion. If nothing else, that's fun. Except, remember when you hid that scary book under there? That might actually keep you awake longer, if you see some other scary thing under there :).

gravatar katie - July 29, 2005 - 9:05 AM -

The close your eyes comment is good. My problem is that those crazy thoughts still find a way to race around my brain whether my eyes are closed or not. So I lay reeeeeeeally still and try to imagine my muscles atrophying.

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