Wednesday, December 11, 2013

5 Things To Do When You Can't Get Back to Sleep

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?”
― Ernest Hemingway

I woke up this morning at 2:21 a.m. after dreaming that a man knocked on the back door of my house.  Even though I couldn't really see his face, I figured I should open the door because he must NEED something if he came to the back door instead of the front like a normal person.  And so, like the chick in horror movies who makes stupid decisions that will get her killed, I opened my back door.  In the dream, the man rushed in and asked me for a piece of paper.  I was confused and backed away.  He was obviously a close talker and came rushing at me through the living room.  I whimpered because he seemed kind of odd and threatening (I don't know where I GOT that because he did come in through my back door in the middle of the night).  Anyway, within 30 seconds of entering my house, he had put his hand over my mouth and told me not to scream.

That's when I woke up.

I immediately determined that I had been dreaming (sometimes I'm not sure if I'm experiencing real life or life is JUST THAT WACKY) and tried to snuggle back into my covers.  That's when my brilliant mind took over.

I'm hot.  I wonder where the thermostat is set.  Heat rises in the winter.  Blurred lines.  You know you want it.  I wonder if that's where the dream came from?  Gosh, I'm glad the Dream Man didn't say that because then it would be obvious, wouldn't it?  So, if someone broke in, would I be able to yell to the boys to call 911?  I wonder if they would lock their doors.  How strong are their doors anyway.  If the Bad Man knew that the kids were locked up in their rooms, would he try to break the door down?  If he was distracted trying to get to THEM, I could push him down the stairs.  Maybe he'd break his neck.  Do people break their necks falling down the stairs?  I wonder what the statistical probability of that is?....

You see where that went.  And so, here I am. Once again.  In the middle of the night.  Wide awake. I decided to figure out a few solutions for myself. 
  1.  Drink milk.  Did you know that milk contains tryptophan?  Yep, it's that same stuff that makes Uncle Joe snooze off in the recliner after a big turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.  Granted, it has tryptophan in very, very small amounts, but it still has it.  And if you think something works, honestly, it is more likely to work.  Personally, the idea of warm milk makes me want to hurl but...whatever floats your boat. I like my milk with a little chocolate syrup for delicious goodness.
  2. Do NOT lay in bed for hours.  There is nothing more frustrating than tossing and turning in bed.  You have to train your mind to SLEEP when you're in bed.  If you're not sleeping, you're training your mind that bed is just a place to be frustrated.  (And I'm not touching THAT last sentence with a ten-foot pole.)
  3. Do something mundane.  You probably shouldn't do as I do and blog.  That just gets me fired up.  There is a little something to be said for counting sheep.  It's boring.  Sheep are boring.  Counting is boring.  My challenge with that was always "OOH! Let's see how high I can count!"
  4. Make a list.  A lot of times we can't sleep because our minds are so engaged with reality that dreaming ends up getting shoved aside.  Write down all the things that are bugging you...and let them go.
  5. Call a fellow insomniac.  Because if you can't beat 'em...join 'em.  
At some point, I'll probably follow my doctor's advice and ingest less caffeine which will, in turn, probably help me stay asleep at night.  But becoming a decaf coffee drinker is going to have to wait....I'm brewing a pot right now.

Good night, Gracie.

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1 comment:

  1. Darling, 3-4 Benadryls before bedtime and your sleepless nights will generally go away. Trust me on that one. My doctor prescribed it. No long or short term harmful side effects. On these dark mornings, I am used to dread as I reach for my phone to see what time it is (I got rid of the clock radio). 6:32 this morning. I love that. Try it. Promise. Better than giving up coffee.