Saturday, September 27, 2008

Awake, Alert, Alive, Wholly Unenthusiastic

I cannot, for the life of me, sleep through a night. 

I know insomnia isn't rare - some of my best friends are consistently awake at 3 a.m - but I've never not been able to sleep. I've tried everything - switched mattresses, flipped mattresses, bought a new pillow, a new comforter, worked out more, napped less, cut my caffeine intake, prayed more regularly. 

For a while, I fought it, forcing my eyelids back together, reigning in the mile-a-minute false-connection making activity of my brain (think a combination of David Foster Wallace, Philippians, and Aaron Sorkin - incredibly unhelpful for sermon-writing), and willing myself back to sleep. It doesn't stick. I wake up, 12 minutes later, more disoriented and angry at myself than before.

So, I'm starting to give in. I'm awake, so I might as well act like it. At least then I avoid the worst-case scenario whining my brain tends to default to when I try to make her do something she doesn't want to do (violent intruders, midnight coffee-maker fires, aforementioned false connection making). 3 a.m. sounds like a perfect time to decline some Greek nouns, don't you think?

Seriously, any suggestions, either on how to sleep through the night or what I might do while I can't?


Anonymous said...

drink a bottle of wine...

and your brain doesn't have a gender..

Anonymous said...

Ok ok. This is my trick I learned from another BVS-er. Lay in bed. Close your eyes. Wait. Re-open eyes. Close right eye. Close left eye. Now. Imagine the number 100 in your head. Imagine a paint brush in your left hand. Slowly paint that 100 in a perfect way. Go slow on the curves. Think of the color. And so on. After than do 99 and so on. I can usually paint my numbers to 50 and I zonk out. It works and quiets my ticker tape running mind. Jaimus also doesn't fight that she can't sleep through a night. She gets up, eats ice cream, looks for an aquarium on craigslist and come back to bed in 10 minutes. She doesn't get frustrated. She gives herself a couple minutes and then head back to bed. Cheers! Cal

MaryPaul said...

take a shower an hour or so before bed time so that your body temp. drops slightly. also cool off your room by opening a window or using a fan. people sleep better when they are cold. also get in the sun when you wake up. have your coffee outside or in a sunny window -it helps set your internal clock.

Cat said...

how late do you work out? Any later than 8pm and I can't sleep. Dont sleep with socks on--keeps you too warm.

If its more of a brain needs to shut the hell up issue, well then you know i cant help you there.

Bekah said...

Make us a batch of cookies then go back to bed. As long as the smoke detector doesn't go off it will exhaust you and make all of the roommates happy :) (unless you're too loud in the kitchen or if the cookies aren't gluten free)


Anonymous said...

someone once taught me to lay in my bed with my eyes closed take a deep breath and mentally tell your big toe on your right foot to relax. Then your other toes. Then your foot. Then your left foot. Then your legs. And go through every part of your body. If you make it to the end, you'll feel much more relaxed and ready to sleep!