100, 99, 98, 97, 96 – Hey, I bet you know what I’m doing. Lying in bed, very tired and ready to go to sleep. At least my body is ready. My mind, on the other hand, has other things going on. Now, where was I? I don’t remember, I’ll just start over.
100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95 – Maybe I should start at a lower number. I’ll try to start at 90 next time. But since I’m still awake, I’ll make a mental note of the things we need at the grocery store. I probably won’t remember them in the morning, but here goes anyway. Milk, eggs, flour, fruit – wait, I need to make banana bread with the bananas we didn’t eat this week. They’re way too ripe for me to just eat. I don’t know when I’ll feel like baking, so I’ll put them in the freezer tomorrow. OK, let me try this again. Starting at 90.
90, 89, 88, 87 – If I go to sleep now, I’ll have five hours before I need to get up to go to my appointment. Ugh, the dentist. Although I like my dentist, it’s just the dentist. What are they going to find this time? I brush like I’m supposed to, but it seems they always find something. Umm, trying again.
90, 89, 88, 97, 96 – Wait, that’s not right. I’m so tired I can’t even think straight to count sheep backwards. I guess I could try counting up, but that’s not worked in the past. Let me try the relaxation exercise I learned at the seminar. Lie still and envision a peaceful place like a meadow and a warm light is flooding over me as a healing hand. This healing light is working its way through my system calming my nerves. Yeah, that helps some. Oh, I wish it would really work on my neck and shoulders. That’s what has really been bothering me for the last month. Oops, now I’m tense again. I wonder what time it is now. I’ll bet an hour has passed. Nope, just a few minutes and I’m still wide awake. OK, one more time.
100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, uh 94, 93 – It might work this time. Oh man, why did I even think that? This counting thing isn’t working for me tonight. I should just get up and write the story that is keeping me awake. I’m sure others will be able to identify with this one.
So, you know how it goes. You lie in bed tired and hurting from the day and can’t find a comfortable position. It takes a while, but one finally works. You lie there waiting for the sweet release of sleep, but it evades you. Why? During the day (if you’re like I am), ideas do not come easily. It’s a struggle to keep focused and get the chores done. But the minute you lie in bed, your mind goes in all directions with things you want to do. Perhaps you’ve seen or heard the comic where ideas are running from you during the day but running to you at night when you’re trying to sleep. That’s me.
This is my definition of insomnia:
It’s not much fun and I know you agree with me. Whether your insomnia is a symptom of fibromyalgia like mine, depression, anxiety or other issues, it affects us all in similar ways. We grow weary in body, spirit, mind and emotion. How can we divert this weariness?
I wish I had the answers. If I did, I wouldn’t be up in the middle of the night writing this article. Ha! However, as always, I’m learning how to deal with it in my own unique way. Like tonight, I figured I should just get up and write what was going through my head. It’s kind of therapeutic anyway. Some nights, I’ll get up and read or explore Pinterest for that next project I probably won’t actually do. Other nights, I talk to God and pray for my family, friends and the issues that are going on in the world. I remember positive things that happened throughout the day and things that brought a smile to my face.
What ways can you find that peaceful sleep without tossing and turning? Write a letter to a friend, draw a picture of how you’re going to plant your garden, read a book, color or simply meditate on positive things in your life. It will probably take a few things to help you avoid insomnia but keep looking. If one doesn’t work, try another. You’ll be more refreshed and hopefully you will eventually overcome it on a regular basis.