Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Perils of Using Common Sense to Combat Insomnia

  • Go to bed only when you are sleepy. Get up at about the same time every morning, no matter when you go to bed.
This is good advice but what if I have to visit the bathroom? I’m too young to wear adult pampers and doing your business on the bed is so Pre-K. 

  • Do not go to bed until you feel sleepy. If you go to bed and do not fall asleep within 20 minutes get up and do something else until you feel sleepy again. 
My suggestion for this one is that you listen to soft music.  Although your best bet will be if you happen to have an audio of your most boring college professor.  My thinking is if he put you to sleep in a room full of people, why not in the privacy of your own home?

  • Keep your bedroom quiet and dark. Earplugs and eye shades may help; light comes in even through closed eyelids.
I love the quiet and dark part.  My question is: what do we do with the barking dogs?  I don’t condone hurting animals and I believe shooting them with a pellet gun is a no-no.  I can’t sleep with gadgets on my body so this one’s tough for me. 

  • If you wake up at night and can't go back to sleep, remain quiet and relaxed. Be patient; sleep usually returns.
Great! I’m a horror writer.  Once I’m awake, my dark side starts shooting scenes at me.  It’s not easy falling asleep in the middle of murder, especially something involving carnage or explosions. 

  • Have a light snack (a piece of toast or an apple are good.) or read for 10 minutes before you turn out the light. You may have trouble sleeping if you are over-stimulated by activity or watching television just before bedtime. A quarter hour of quiet conversation, light reading, or soft music may make a big difference. Instead of just listening to music in the evening, sing. Singing is a wonderfully enlivening activity that increases happiness and inner peace.
Okay, this one’s challenging.  If I eat a light snack, I’m sure I’ll end up running to the bathroom by 3 or 4 in the morning.  As for reading, I’d have to read a slow scene, otherwise I’ll get into it and ignore my heavy eyelids and keep reading.  If I try to wake someone who’s successfully sleeping because I want to have a quiet conversation, I’ll end up in the emergency room with a black eye. Which brings me to singing: super, if I don’t soundproof my walls, the neighbors will either look to lynch me or let the air out of all four of my tires.  Told you this’d be challenging.

  • Laughter is a powerful way to defuse stress and anxiety. Watching humorous movies or reading humorous books or comics can cheer you up and get your mind off your troubles.
Maybe there’s some truth to this one.  I suppose laughing hysterically will exercise some body parts, belly included, and maybe makes you more tired than you were before. The problem is I don’t laugh quietly so once again I’ll have problems with other humans who are already sleeping. 

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine for several hours before bedtime.
Why not just knock me in the head with a bat? Define several hours.  This one’s causing more anxiety and I suspect I won’t be able to sleep well tonight, again.  Hold on a second while I grab a beer.

  • Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex-not for reading, working, eating, or watching television.
I love the first part of this but I live in tight quarters.  I live in my bedroom which means I work, eat, watch television and think about sex, in the bedroom. I wonder if these could be interchangeable like actually eat dinner at the dining table, watch television in the living room and have sex in the … well, never mind.

  • Set an alarm clock and get out of bed at the same time every morning, no matter how you slept the night before. Once normal sleep patterns are reestablished, most people find that they have no need for an alarm clock.
This one’s depressing for me because lately, I’ve been waking up three minutes before my alarm clock goes off.  I’m cheating myself out of three minutes which I have to add to the hours I lose waking around three times a night with at least one of those times to eliminate body liquid. 

  • Exercise regularly in the late afternoon or early evening- but not right before bedtime. 
Hey, maybe we have something here.  I believe my irregular exercising or inconsistent routine just may be the culprit for my current sleep woes.  I’ll reestablish a routine and post the results in a later blog post.

If you want to read more about common sense remedies to deal with insomnia just click on this link here

If you want to know if I can at last get back to a more acceptable sleeping cycle… stay tuned. (Note: I am not a medical expert or a doctor.)

See you on the dark side. 

Nomar Knight

© Copyright Nomar Knight 2010. All rights reserved.
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