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January 23, 2007 / missknowitall

Tossing and Turning

 Dear Little Miss,

I can’t seem to sleep at night. I have tried prescribed sleep medication, OTC medication; I have tried holistic and natural remedies.  I have even put in many hours of mental meditation and calming techniques in order to try to help me to sleep.  I have even sought spiritual help… all to no avail.  Nothing I have tried or that has been suggested I try has worked for me. I am beginning to think this is an unfortunate way of life for me now.  What would you suggest I do?  

Dear Sleepless in Wherever,

I will try not to repeat anything you have probably already heard or read.  Here are a few things to try (I say “try” to be polite, I really mean DO IT). 

  1. Before you go to bed, accomplish something.  People often suffer sleep problems because they lie in bed thinking of all the things they’ve left undone.  Pick something that can be finished in 30 minutes (after all, you don’t want to loose sleep over it).  Pick something that you often choose to put off for another time.  Whether it be washing a load of dishes, spending some time with a child, reading from an inspirational book, or making sure that you have everything ready for the next day, start it and finish it in 30 min.  This will allow you to lie down with a smile and a confident feeling
  2. Make sure that your sleep area is peaceful.  Often we mentally relate sleep to cozy, frumpy, snuggly, lazy feelings and all too often we allow our sleep area to become cluttered with these descriptions.  Sleep is actually a cleansing, purifying act and your sleep area should support those feelings.  Make your bed before you get in it.  Pamper yourself with clean sheets at least once a week.  Remove any unnecessary “fluffy” or “pillowy” items from your bed.  If you love to snuggle in tons of blankets and pillows for comfort then set up a separate “snuggle zone” and “sleep zone”.    If you have ever found yourself easily falling asleep on a clean couch or in someone else’s pre-made bed then you will know that this is an issue for your sleep area.
  3. I always recommend reading yourself to sleep.  The trick is finding the right book.  NEVER try to put yourself to sleep by reading the latest mystery novel, or action adventure fiction.  Your body will actually produce adrenaline during the exciting parts and you will stay up late because you are enjoying the story so much.  You need to find a book that is interesting to you but that isn’t all that “exciting”.  Self help books, scriptural books, and historical books are great for this.  But make sure it is a book that you do want to read because it only works if your mind is interested enough to block out all your other mind racing thoughts.
  4. Last, but certainly not least, you need to make a “worry free evening routine”.  If you find yourself lying in bed only to wonder if you remembered to lock the front door then your brain will keep you awake until you drag yourself out of bed to check it.  As you worry about checking things, make a list.  Then, before you go to bed the next time, check everything on your list.  Mark it off as you do it and lay the list next to your bed.  Now if you start to worry you can look at your list and know that it is o.k.  And if you wake in the middle of the night with a feeling that you should check something, i.e.: checking on your child, checking the oven switches, checking the window locks, etc.  Then GET UP AND CHECK.  Don’t try to fight your worry away because that mental fighting process will again produce adrenaline and keep you awake until you can assure your brain that all is well (and then put that item on your list to check tomorrow).

If this fails, you could take up an evening hobby, like raising nocturnal pets. 

Now if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go take a nap.

Miss Knowitall

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One Comment

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  1. Sam / Mar 26 2007 11:15 pm

    Hi,

    Have you tried some traditional remedies for insomnia have included drinking warm milk before bedtime, taking a warm bath in the evening, exercising vigorously for half an hour in the afternoon, eating a large lunch and then having only a light evening meal at least three hours before bed, avoiding mentally stimulating activities in the evening hours, and making sure to get up early in the morning and to retire to bed at a reasonable hour. I had cure my insomnia by reading Dr.Samantha Hement informative Insomnia (http://www.yourinsomniacure.com/blog)

    Blog Wish You have a good night sleep tonight.

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