Monday, March 30, 2009

toss, turn, repeat.

one of the things i have prided myself on my whole entire life long is my ability to sleep.


it's pretty impressive.

i can basically sleep anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances for pretty much any length of time. this includes on airplanes and during rehearsal dinners. i feel no guilt when i snooze until almost-noon on a saturday. i am pretty much permanently on the outs with morning. my family used to draw straws to determine which unlucky soul was in charge of waking me up.

like i said, i can sleep.

except for last night. and, actually, a couple nights last week as well. even though i was drop-dead, prop-your-eyes-open-with-a-toothpick tired, i simply could not fall asleep.

i tried everything.

i fluffed my pillows. i listened to soothing music. i put on more blankets. i took them off. then i took off my pants. (what? sometimes that helps.) i ate a girl scout cookie. i went to the bathroom. i tried to read.

no luck.

i was so frustrated and exhausted i wanted to cry. ok, ok. i did cry. i wanted to sleep so bad! i must have finally headed to dreamland around 3 a.m., because that is the last time i remember looking at the clock.


what is going on here? what?

this insomnia thing is a totally new experience for me, and i am ill-equipped to handle it. given my aforementioned sleeping skills, i am crossing my fingers and toes that it was just a random fluke. but, just so i am prepared, any remedies you have would be much appreciated.

for now, i have a stack of really boring reading material at the ready.

just in case.


Kate said...

I run across this a lot while working, and the doctors always recommend good sleep hygiene. Basically it means going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday, and not reading, eating, watching TV, or working in or on your bed - which sucks, I know.

Oddly enough, I had an intense case of insomnia when I saw in SLC in February, but I'm chalking that up to the time difference.

Maybe you and Baby Harry can come up with something together, since he hasn't made it to bed within two hours of his normal bedtime for the past month.

Anna said...

Okay. So I struggle with insomnia more often than I'd like and the best cure for me (aside from sleeping pills, which I sometimes resort to) is concentrating on my breath. I just sit there and think about my breath going in and out of my nose. It keeps my mind from thinking about other things and just sort of lulls me to sleep. Way more effective than counting sheep. Try it.

Natalie said...

I wrote a paper on insomnia one time. all the experts say to use your bed only for sleeping and allow yourself the same amount of time to sleep each night (no more, no less).
I disagree. I'm a sleeper (like you), and if I can't sleep, I watch the clock and count the seconds between minutes to see if I can keep a steady count. If that doesn't work within a few minutes, I turn on a movie and watch it. One night I couldn't sleep at all and stayed up til 5am watching movie after movie.
Really, you'll be tired the next day, but at least you didn't waste 6 hours in bed trying to go to sleep!

Evan and Holly said...

I love my relationship with insomnia. Which is not the truth. Besides sleeping pills, which I had to resort to even while pregnant and some times still didn't work. Try melatonin, a natural supplement, turn your clock around so you can't see it, I like to design my dream house while trying to fall asleep, Evan takes long detailed walks to help him fall asleep (although he is also an amazing sleeper). Other than that, the harder you fight to fall asleep the harder it is. It is better to accept fate and relax. If you cry hard and long enough it will put you to sleep too :) Try deep breathing techniques. Often if I can't sleep, I get up and do something: clean kitchen, organize clothes, work on laundry. They say if you can't fall asleep within thirty minutes do something else until you're tired again. Good sleep hygiene supposedly works, but it sucks so bad it is not worth it.

Joelle said...

Natalie does this same thing! If you find a cure, pass it along because they don't make baby ambien.

audrey said...

I recommend a bath. Or lighting candles and doing something relaxing and mindless. I had insomnia for a while several years ago and developed a keen appreciation for PBS.

CL said...

Sleep...oh that glorious thing that really can't be FORCED. The more you try, the more you fail. I turn my clock around always. Maybe I should get rid of it all together. Mostly I try not to stress about it. When I had this problem as a kid, my Mom would tell me that being ultra relaxed was practically sleeping so I tell myself that. Reading doesn't work for me. Even something boring will suck me in when I should be sleeping. Watching boring TV can work. Mostly I sing songs to myself and try really really hard not to think- without thinking too hard about not thinking.