I just finished closing up the business and it was getting late.
It was a cold winter’s night, the type in which you look forward to the comfort of a warm bed.
The last several hours of work were dreadfully slow and the night seemed to drag on forever.
The clock finally struck midnight and I quickly finished up.
My commute was about thirty minutes to and from work.
Sometimes I looked forward to the drive as a chance to clear my head, but the drive home on these late nights I usually dreaded.
From so many repetitions of this route, I often didn’t even remember much of the drive at all, sort of like I was on auto-pilot.
This particular night, I was struggling to keep my eyes open.
I could feel myself being lulled into a meditative state.
I turned up the radio and put my window down a little so the cold air would keep me alert.
I finally made it home, happy to be there after this marathon day.
I jumped into the shower, grabbed some clothes and went straight to bed.
Three hours later I was still wide awake……..
Have you ever dealt with yourself or have been close to someone who has battled insomnia?
You do the math.
“If I fall asleep now, that will give me 4 hours of sleep.”
You make promises.
“I swear I will never drink coffee after 10 a.m. again!”
You try mom’s advice.
Maybe a glass of warm milk.
You may even revert to the childhood game of counting sheep.
I struggled with improper sleep for years and while none of these ideas are groundbreaking, possibly one of them may do the trick if you find yourself wide awake when you should being counting zzzz’s.
- Turn off the T.V and actually all electronic devices. This can be difficult for some that fall asleep with the T.V. on each night. Every so often I forget and have my phone nearby and a 3 a.m. text confirming my paycheck has been deposited wakes me.
- Find a sleeping schedule that fits your lifestyle and stay true to it as much as possible. It can be tempting to stay up late to watch a movie or sporting event, but your real time attention will not have any impact whatsoever on the outcome of the game. This is why DVR was invented.
- Discover what your body likes in term of “firmness” in mattress, pillow etc. Something kind of out of the box that works nearly all the time for me if I’m really struggling to get to sleep is to actually throw a blanket down on my bedroom floor. It is a hardwood floor, very firm and usually sort of cooler in temperature. I throw down the blanket and a pillow and I am almost always out cold in less than ten minutes.
- Drink a glass or two of red wine. (red wine as a supplement.)
- Possibly try a natural sleep supplement. There are a ton of great ZMA (zinc-magnesium) products that have been helpful to myself and others that have struggled with sleep.
Please post any any insights or distinctions you may have discovered in the comments.