Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Insomnia (Part Two)

The worst part of insomnia is the fact that you stop looking forward to bed.

When things are all good and I don't have trouble sleeping, I bloody love my bed! Mmmm: soft cosy feather duvet; hot water bottle; big mug of tea; that feeling you get when you've had a busy day, and you're knackered out and can't wait to just drift off and dream...

But when I've got a lot on my mind, I fall out with my bed. I don't like it very much at all, and it doesn't seem to like me either. The pillows won't go comfy, the duvet cover gets tangled round my legs, I'm too hot or too cold. And no matter how long I lie there trying to daydream, or practicing my yoga-breathing, I just can't relax enough to sleep.

I start dreading night time. That's the worst bit of all. I can't seem to help myself- I just get the old sinking feeling that instead of slipping comfortably into unconsciousness, I will lie for hours listening to the inside of my own head. It becomes almost like a fear of bedtime!

Its a very difficult thing not to become your own worst enemy when it comes to things like insomnia. I get frustrated at myself for allowing a fear to develop, because once it's there it's self-fuelling. You're afraid to go to bed because you don't want to lie awake thinking, but now you're aware that you're likely to lie awake thinking, so you do. You might not have if you hadn't been worrying you would!

But I think we need to go easy on ourselves. Brains think- it's what they do. Try telling your brain not to think. Let me know how if you manage it.

Sometimes I can't sleep and that's just how it is. It's horrible but it's not every night, just a few patches here and there and before long I WILL be able to sleep again. It's only temporary, and that I can cope with.

So in the meantime I'll drink a chamomile tea, get my book out, do some menial task that will take my mind off whatever it's stuck on, write a list, plan what I'm going to do next week... maybe even write a blog. Whatever it takes to shift concentration from inside my head to outside. That usually does the trick eventually. Not a cure, not a magical remedy, not even particularly comforting, but it's the best I've got.

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