Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No sheep, no sleep

I couldn't get to sleep last night. Or the night before that. My brain has been swimming with different projects I'm working on, and there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to process all the input. So I lie awake in bed at night as a random succession of previously ignored questions wander through, demanding my attention:

Do Presidential candidates pick their own outfits?
If you let your cuticles grow, would they eventually cover your whole fingernail?
Could I make sushi?

I tried counting sheep, but stopped pretty quickly. Sheep are odd animals; they sort of freak me out. (I kept picturing them with goat eyes, which didn't help their cause.)

My four year old niece makes the most of her late nights when she can't sleep: she sings Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, she teaches her stuffed animals to swim. I admire her spirit of carpe diem (or carpe noctem, as the case may be). But singing would wake Steve, and THAT DOG doesn't swim under any circumstances, imaginary or otherwise.

So I checked my pulse, because I couldn't think of anything else to count. It didn't make me fall asleep, but I have a new gratitude for my pulmonary system.

I'm not sure I can do that for another three hours tonight, though, so I'll ask:
How do you get to sleep?

21 comments:

Patti said...

when i am at my wit's end and sleep is off having drinks with my good mood, i pray a rosary. works every single time.

i think the repetitiveness is key. and when i wake up the next morning and realize i fell asleep before finishing the prayer, i think of what my dearly departed grandmother used to tell me: the angels finish all unfinished prayers.

Em said...

oh, I'm so sorry! You must be exhausted. ...it hasn't affected your writing, however, very funny, as always:) I've never thought to count my pulse.....you amaze me.
This may appall you, but reading always puts me right to sleep when I'm having trouble. ...nothing exciting or suspenseful, but something mellow....I'm gone in a few pages. ...or I could just come and sing lullabies to you, that always helped my sister sleep (we always shared a room growing up). You just let me know if ya need me.;)
sweet dreams tonight!

heidikins said...

Ugh, I hate not being able to sleep. Typically I read until the book falls out of my fingers and I can't keep my eyes open any longer. Sometimes this takes 30 minutes, sometimes it takes 5 hours... so it's a hit and miss strategy.

Otherwise? I take a super hot bath and then drink hot chocolate... apparently the heat and the milk are supposed to make you sleep... or something. (goodness, I sound like my grandmother!)

xox

Michelle said...

if you find out the answer let me know because i toss and turn for about a half an hour every night. the only way i fall right asleep is if i stay up really late and am exhausted beyond belief by the time i finally crash.

Dawn said...

Bring on the Benadryl!

Surfergrrl said...

Yeah, I'd like to know too!!

Paige Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
L Sass said...

I usually try to leave the bed and read something when I can't fall asleep. Sometimes, though, it's just not meant to be!

1218Blog said...

I'm usually so tired by time I get anywhere near my bed I immediately pass out. I rarely have trouble falling asleep. If I do I just turn on the tv and kind of does it for me.

Anonymous said...

Cup of hot tea, and reading a bit of a good book.

Eileen said...

Ugh. I hate when I can't sleep. I spend most of the time calculating how much sleep I would get if I fell asleep right now, how about now, or now....

Susie said...

I stay up till 4 a.m. so by the time my head hits the pillow, I'm out.

I used to have a relaxing sound machine clock that I used when I couldn't fall asleep (summer's rain was the best), but I spilled water on it and now it only plays "city traffic." And that's supposed to help me fall asleep how???

Two Date Diva said...

I have a relaxation meditation that usually works. I lie flat on my back in dead man's pose and I bring all of my awareness to the bottom of my feet. I slowly work on bringing my full awareness to each part of my body on up until I reach the top of my head. I usually don't make it to the top of my head before I'm out.

Beck said...

I haven't slept well either lately, and when I CAN sleep, I have a sleepless two year old who wants my luv. Sigh.

Larramie said...

Have you read Tish Cohen's TOWN HOUSE, Trish? Her protagonist is an anxiety-ridden fellow trying to stay calm and save his medication for emergencies.

His Dr. encourages him to silently count from 1 to 31 by use of only odd numbers and then count backwards the same way. I've don't this to fall asleep and it works every time!

Larramie said...

the above, I don't should read: "I'vedone..."

LEstes65 said...

Ok, the goat eye pix freaked me out. I will thank you in advance for my lack of sleep tonight.

Last year, I had many nights like that. The only thing that consistently worked for me was praying. Because it's a win win. If you stay awake for any length of time, at least you're talking to God and being productive. And if you fall asleep mid chat with God, well, you reached your goal. I fell asleep mid sentence many nights.

Good sleep to you, my wonderful friend.

Swishy said...

I am the WRONG person to ask about that ... I am terrible, terrible, terrible at getting to sleep. Warm bath? That works sometimes. When all else fails, I turn on the TV. Oprah's on at like 2 a.m. :)

JenKneeBee said...

I always do a quasi deep breathing exercise. I pick two words and say them over and over to myself as I'm breathing in and out slowly. Sometimes the two words are simply "in" and "out." This usually works, but if it doesn't then I go do something for an hour and then go back to bed.

Barrie said...

I battle insomnia off and on. Lately, it's been a lot more on. :)

Anyway, here's the thing that words for me. Over-the-counter sleeping pills. I generally don't take them. But I know they're available in my cupboard if the going just gets too rough. And it's somehow knowing that I have them that helps. I threw out the last bottle because it'd expired. Last week was not good for sleep. Time to make a trip to the drugstore.

Hollie and Mary Beth said...

Melatonin. Not to much or it keeps me awake. I also like to play sudoku while I am waiting for the melatonin to kick in(about 30 minutes). Focusing on numbers instead of words helps clear out the brain's rambling. When I realize that I have been staring at the page for the last five minutes I can't keep my eyes open, I turn out the light and I am out!