>Insomnia has plagued me throughout my life. Even as a 7 year old, I remember not being able to fall asleep because I was fretting about some homework assignment. Staring at the white ceiling bathed in the dim nightlight, it would start off with homework then tumble into other vague fears of which I could do nothing while lying in bed, much less because I was only a child.
I’m not a pill taker. I only have three over the counter drugs in my medicine cabinet that are probably about to expire. So, to cure my sleeping problem, I try natural remedies. Chamomile tea is great, but who the hell wants to drink tea every night? Then of course, I’m afraid of building up a tolerance to whatever magical substance helps me fall asleep, so I only drink that stuff when I realize that I’ve had some caffeine too late in the day.
Finally, I figured out that two things need to happen for me to fall asleep easily. First, I have to trick my brain into thinking about something mundane. Instead of fretting about completing TPS reports at work or cleaning the garage, I think of something boring like what I’m going to wear to work tomorrow…or say a positive affirmation. Yes, that’s silly, but getting control of my thoughts is better than tossing and turning all night.
Second, I need to be in a routine. I have to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day…including weekends. This kind of sucks.
Since I wake up at 5:30 during the week, I have to get out of bed by 6:30 at the latest on weekends. Of course, I don’t DO anything productive before 9:00 am. But on the days like today when I slept in until 8:00, I feel guilty. I know I’m going to be wide awake at midnight and that it’s going to take at least 3 days to reset my internal clock. It’s worse than jet lag.
So either I don’t get to sleep in during the weekends or I don’t fall asleep during the week. I usually choose the first option and just sit on the couch during the weekends staring at the TV at an ungodly hour. Well, ungodly for a Saturday morning, anyway.