Sleep

I’m going through one of my semi-regular bouts of insomnia. This is one seems especially bad & I’m now going to bed expecting to be (a) unable to get to sleep and (b) waking in the night & having to get up for a couple of hours. I’m trying to take action and last night I managed to sleep through.

Here are my “Dos and Don’ts” so far. More ideas welcome.

Early bedtime and bed-time is for sleep: at home, be in bed by 10:30 & lights out by 11:00 (DLW is very much an early turner inner — falls asleep almost immediately); away, bed by 11:00 lights out by 12.

Coffee only in the morning (preferably only at breakfast or work arrival) (I only drink coffee at breakfast when I’m away, staying at a hotel. At home I have a pot of tea, much nicer).

Every day achieve something — it can be a small thing, but by the evening I must sincerely believe I have achieved something. For better or for worse, household chores do not count with me as achievements — however delicious was the dinner or however far the ironing mountain has diminished. Best if that achievement can be clinched first thing in the morning, or as early as possible.

Every day go for a walk in the fresh air, and do some exercise (yoga is my exercise poison).

Temporary total ban on screen time after dinner. Reading and writing on paper only. Medium/long-term I want to relax this ban. I don’t think screen time per se is aggravating, I think it is the expectation of stimulation or interruption (another tweet to read, another alert arriving). Longer term it will be better to control the alerts, rather than concede that the alerts are controlling me.

Linked to that: Total (and long-term) ban on online surfing of any kind (my two weaknesses are Twitter and music). Approach Twitter mindfully as a news source (or source of inspiration for my Christian twitter account). Take it off my phone and have something else to read on the bus/train (a novel, a book of poetry, even a little pocket Bible I like and mean to write about one of these #write28 days). That surfing mindset is both enervating and unsettling. It’s not at all relaxing.

Most of all: going to sleep is an action. It is an activity and I should approach it consciously. Bring in breathing exercises and meditation from yoga. Pray to release the day and offer myself to God. Use Scripture as an anchor to return to when my mind starts wandering or racing — either a new passage or better an old favourite. I have worn smooth a passage from James 4 (7-10) that I used last night:

Submit yourself therefore to God
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you;
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you;
Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve been enjoying this series. Paying especially close attention to your tips here since I also suffer from insomnia. I think I’ve tried most everything. I like your focus on going to sleep as an activity to be conscious of. Meditation has probably helped me the most. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dear Lisa, thank you for your comment. Meditation has certainly worked well in the past. Last night I slept soundly, partly I think because I left things undone after I arrived back late after a concert (didn’t have an evening meal; didn’t write here). I should probably take notes.

      Reply

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