Blog All Is in Your Head

My Struggle with Insomnia

I have insomnia. I have had erratic sleeping schedule for years and years. I have trouble falling asleep. One to two hours before falling asleep is common for me. There were even quite a few nightmarish moments when I could not fall asleep at all. The more I want sleep to come, the more agitated I feel.

As a result of this discomfort I feel exhausted during the day. Of course, all of this has had a negative impact on my life. Most of the time I am easily irritated, distracted, not one hundred percent productive.

But there are periods of time when my pattern of sleep becomes almost normal. For a couple of weeks or even months at at a time, I drop off to sleep almost immediately, compared to usual nights.

I use the following techniques adapted to my own personality for falling asleep:
  • The old advice of counting sheep works for me w/o the sheep. I count things that I'm familiar with (with sheep I am obviously not), and like; such as fruits, books, clouds, flowers, trees, etc.
  • I visualize in vivid details something good happening to me. I prefer to picture myself in a more sedate situation. The ultimate goal is to calm myself, not to get overexcited.
  • I imagine myself laying on the ground and staring at the sun (don't try this in real life, you could easily damage your eyes) and the clouds at day, and the stars and the moon at night. The unreal spot for holidays of my imagination could be a sandy beach at the ocean, or a warm rock in the middle of the desert.
  • A recording of natural sleep noises (birds chirping, water rippling, the wind ruffling the leaves of the trees.) It has a soothing effect over preoccupied minds.

    Beware of sounds of flowing water. They could provoke some people to lose control of their bladder.
  • Reading a book. For the purpose I read something boring. If the text is interesting I am bound not to let the book down until dawn and that's the opposite of my intention.
  • I do something very tiring prior to getting to bed - a workout followed by very hot shower. It has this effect on me.
I alternate the use of these methods because they work well only for a few days in a row.

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