27 August 2010

The Bit I Forgot

I remembered what the third thing was!  (please see previous post) 

I heard of what seemed to me a rather good insomnia suggestion that I had never heard before.  Happily, I'm not suffering much from that particular problem these days but I'm ever on the alert for new ways to deal with it when it does arise.  True, the fact that I'm typing this at 12.22am might seem to belie this assertion but I'm staying up all night on purpose, which is dangerous, I know, but I haven't done it in an age and I don't want to stop working when I am so damn close to being done.  The end is tantalisingly close and I really, really childishly want to be the next person to put 'dissertation finished' as a facebook status update.  I know how silly that is.  I'm also terrified that I won't finish in time - I've been having a horrible time trying to work for the past two weeks and I really want it to end.  Tangential self-excusing over now.

The suggestion is this: if you cannot sleep and you know you're not going to sleep, try to spend some of your time meditating.  The meditation is not meant to relax you so that you can then go to sleep but rather as an obviously inadequate sleep substitute that is clearly a hell of a lot better than pacing, poking around on the internets or watching television.  That way, you can have some rest even if you can't have sleep.

Whilst it's not a viable option for all and any kind of sleepless night, it really appealed to me as a positive option.  I like that it is something that is not intended to lead to sleep but rather to ameliorate sleeplessness.  It's perfectly possible to follow all of the good, long term habits for sleep and still not be able to sleep: I'm pleased to now have sleep-loss amelioration suggestion.


  1. yes i try this one and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. There are times when my anxiety is so acute that any amount of stillness would seem to increase the volume and no matter what, I can't - or just haven't mastered the technique to quiet it. I think there's alot to be said for simply resting your body and mind in the absense of sleep. There's nothing worse and more exhausting than tense, fitful sleep.
    Anyway, I'm glad insomnia isn't a problem for you at the moment and good luck with the all night dissertaion vigil. It reminds me of mine when i stayed up a borrowing my brother's computer on the other side of London and then cycling into uni at break neck speed in the morning to hand in about 30 seconds before the deadline (and even then, at 75 pages, i hadn't quite concluded).
    I think I slept very well after that, and I hope you do the same. x

  2. That's so what I fear, too: running up the stairs to the fourth floor at 4.55pm, it would be in my case. I want very, very badly not to do that.

    Of course, if I want to succeed in not doing that, I should leave the blogging alone! Yikes.

    Hope the insomnia isn't plaguing you at the moment, either!

  3. Excellent suggestion ... and I find that gentle movement (like restful yoga, slow stretches, soft and loose dancing) can get my body *just* worked up enough to realize it's tired. That wee bit of exertion sometimes breaks the spell of can't-sleep exhaustion, moving me into a desire to lie down, breathe deeply, and close my eyes ...

    At all times, if I can't sleep, a warm bath with certain scents (lavender, melissa, pine, sandalwood ... whatever "grabs" my nose at the time) and some candles does the trick ...

    I've also become, through many years of chronic insomnia, more accepting of it ... I don't freak myself out any more if I lose a night's sleep. There are so many glitches and natural processes going on in my body right now, including menopause, that I figure I'll sleep when my body says SLEEP. Half the battle is won if I don't get myself into a lather ...