Three nights this week, I’ve woken up at 2 or 3am, and PING, I’m awake.
It’s very annoying. I used to get wound up and upset about not being able to sleep, now I realise there’s no point, and I revert to some ‘strategies’ I’ve learned over the years to deal with it.
The last few nights it’s happened, I’ve got up and been up for an hour or two, trying to think of something different, take my kind off not sleeping or I write down the thoughts that are in my head (that might be keeping me awake). Things that are maybe gnawing at me, or things I need to do.
There’s no point in worrying about why it’s happening, or thinking, ‘oh my, I’ve only had 4 hours sleep.’ But I know that at the moment a big thing in my life is a little uncertain, and it’s been that that’s been gnawing away at the back of my mind. I’m confident it’ll all be rosy soon, but I know I’m unconsciously unsettled with it.
Anyway, I’ve written about insomnia before – Ping! 2:36am !! Waking up, wide awake and thinking, oh no, not this again!
Over the years, I’ve got to know what works for me, so here are my top strategies to help me get back to sleep:
1. Get up, go downstairs, keep warm (top / PJs on).
2. Write down any thoughts, get the out of your head and ‘park’ them for another time. Don’t be precious with them, just get rid of them.
3. Sometimes eat a sugary snack if I’m hungry, (snack sized mars bar ideal). I’ve read that you shouldn’t do this, but it seems to help me.
4. Drink water. Not sure why this helps, but it does.
5. Stay off electronic devices (before 8pm and when you get up). Or if you do use your phone (like I do to write stuff down, put the blue light remover setting on).
6. On that – stay off social media, if you must go online, read news websites or stories that take your mind off things.
7. Read a book…maybe.
8. Or even better, get my iPod, and get a good audiobook to listen to. (Either in the dark wrapped up warm, or back to bed.) I lie with one earphone in and try to REALLY concentrate on the words / story.
9. Try to exercise the next day if possible, and be careful to have good sleep hygiene and an early night if possible, the next night or 2.
10. Other options other than audiobooks are to count numbers backwards, and don’t worry about not being able to sleep. Try to relax or try meditation / clenching muscles through your body.
When I listen to an audiobook after doing a brain dump… before I know it I’ve nodded off, and wake up, sometimes feeling a little groggy, but the audiobook really works. (Although I have made the mistake of listening to a strange audiobook, then having really strange dreams about the subject, so watch that!).
Here are my top 3 audiobooks which help me get to sleep:
Night School by Richard Wiseman
– The theory behind why getting enough sleep is so important. And how not getting enough sleep can affect your health, along with other research, stories and information.
Lucid Living by Timothy Freke
It takes you into another reality and makes you think a little differently, and live for the moment. It’s only 45 minutes long, so if yo don’t put it in loop it usually ends when you’re asleep. Quite an alternative little book, and good to make you concentrate on a different concept to take your mind off everything else. (It’s read in quite a soothing voice too).
Winnie the Pooh stories
Takes your mind off what you’re thinking about and injects a bit of fun in your life. True bedtime stories with a laugh.
Right, I’d better get back to bed!! I was only up for about an hour and a half! 😉