Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 Tips for Coping with Insomnia - Because it Sucks

I am a little sleep deprived today so I am definitely lacking for inspiration on what to write. I have many an idea floating around in my head, but they are all slightly out of reach. My mind just doesn't want to go there right now, and I have decided to not fight it for now. Instead of rambling on incessantly about  nothing, I want to share some tips a friend gave me on dealing with insomnia. Kind of random I suppose, but the tips are actually pretty decent, and she manages to put a funny spin on it all. She has dealt with severe insomnia herself since she was 12, so I guess she would know.

Her rules are in red, and my own thoughts are in teal:
  1. You MUST go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning. Regardless of whether you sleep or not.     I suck at this one. I am terrible at sleeping on a fixed schedule. The whole kids thing doesn't necessarily help since their various moods and ailments change up their routine fairly frequently.
  2. Do not eat, watch TV, or read in bed. ONLY go to your bed for sleep.     Yeah, I suck at this one too *sad face*. I always check my email from my phone and often facebook before actually going to sleep. Bed time, is the best time for me to get a book read too. The only part I follow is the no TV part since we haven't had a TV in our room since we bought our house.
  3. Move your bed so that the head is to the north - unexplained phenomenon.     OK, I am super skeptical about this and briefly googled it. I don't think there have been any legitimate studies on this so I'm going to go ahead and cry "old wives' tale" on this one -- I do, however, very much believe in the placebo effect. The couple of sources I did see online specifically said to NOT face your head north though so I think there has been some mixing up of the OWT here. Either way, my head faces west when I sleep and that won't be changing while we live in this house for logistical reasons.
  4. Exercise regularly. Eat healthy. Less caffeine. LOTS of water.     Yay, I am proud to say that I do all of these. Go me!
  5. Take medicine only as needed. Avoid things that disturb your sleep patterns like cold meds with stimulants in them, antihistamines that make you drowsy etc. Avoid alcohol.     I don't take meds pretty much ever, unless I absolutely have to. I have never taken cold medication in my life so I suppose I'm doing well in that department too. The alcohol part I don't do too badly on either. . . if you don't count last night.
  6. Relax! Have the hubs (or a friend) rub your back - get a massage.     My hubby isn't the best masseuse in the world. . . that means I must book a massage! Yes, I'm starting to like this list more and more.
  7. If you haven't tried yoga, try it. I think it sucks, but it is supposed to help you learn how to gain control of your mind and body. Lots of insomniacs "mind f#ck" (have racing thoughts).     I definitely have the racing thoughts. I just can't get into yoga though. I have tried it a few times and I don't ever really relax that much. Maybe I should keep trying.
  8. Make some good lovin' in the mornings (or exercise) - this gets your endorphins running and makes you very happy. The happier you are, the less likely you are to get down. Down leads to depression. Depression leads to mind racing. Mind racing leads to sleeplessness.     That would require me getting up earlier than I do to coordinate schedules, and that ain't happening. I don't think my mind races because of depression though, because I tend to be pretty happy and not anxious about most things.
  9. CRY like a baby. Laugh like an idiot. Both crying and laughing releases tension and endorphins. Watch Grey's Anatomy on a daily basis (you have NO heart if you don't cry after watching 3 episodes). Also watch Maury Povich. In the case of Shanee'qua and Christopher. . . you are NOT the father!" (girl runs off crying. Guy jumps up and down shouting that she's a skank. This is the 5th guy they've done a DNA test on, and for some reason, she is "110% positive" that this IS the guy (each time) --- You'll laugh so hard you might pee your pants.     I must have no heart because Grey's anatomy is the LAMEST show I have ever struggled to watch a whole episode of. It is too sappy to be genuinely moving - My sincerest apologies to my many friends that really like the show. Maury on the other hand is pretty funny. Random side story - Little Dude turned the TV on when he was 18 months old or so and Maury was on. He proceeded to boo and clap with the audience for a few minutes. I definitely couldn't stop laughing then.  
  10. Talk. You must express your feelings and get them out - You can't bottle them up. So, unfortunately, you'll have to find a kind soul that will listen to you bitch. Most of the time, a close friend, a counselor, a doctor, or a journal will not roll their eyes and think you're a whiny baby. If praying works for you, then do that too. Voicing your issues, makes them easier to tackle.     I am actually really good at this. This blog is a big part of this - self reflection and all. I write a lot that I never actually post because it is either too personal or too boring for public viewing; so that works like a journal for me. Lucky for me, if you roll your eyes, I don't have to know about it. Hubs is a great sounding board; there is honestly nothing I can't talk to him about. My family and friends are always there to lend an ear when I need them too. There isn't much bottling it in for this girl!
I'm lucky enough that I only get the occasional bout of insomnia and it always goes away fairly quickly. I know several people who aren't so fortunate though, and I can only imagine how much it sucks.

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