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This is a topic I know many of you can relate to. I know you are out there with me, in the deep dark night. We wonder together who among us, who is awake? I see you online late at night. We commiserate together, sleepless in that silent house on that dark street in that quiet town or city. We send sad and frustrated messages back and forth, "ME TOO!" 😡
I can usually figure out why I can't sleep. Last night, I worked out late but I'm usually OK with that. I can still fall asleep at a decent hour after exhausting myself at the gym. Some people recommend that you shouldn't work out so late, gives you too much energy. I've never had a problem. I sleep like a baby.
Last night was different. I stared at the ceiling for an hour. Closed my eyes for an hour. Opened them and then BAM! It was already 2:30 AM. I got up, hit the head, checked the house, petted the cats for a bit, then got back into bed to try again. I know I dozed off at some point but it was a restless sleep.
My alarm went off at 6:30 AM. Sure... I was in a deep slumber at that point! It always works out that way. You finally fall asleep and the damn alarm goes off. If I had the sick time I would've called off for the morning. Instead, I dragged myself outta bed and hit the coffee hard. And the day drags on...
So why the insomnia last night? I looked at what I drank and there was nothing out of the ordinary. I don't drink caffeine after 5 PM for this reason. I know it keeps me up. Even a soft drink has the tendency to keep me awake. If I am out having a drink at a bar, I won't mix it with a soda other than tonic or club soda due to the effects of the caffeine.
I couldn't figure it out and then it hit me, I took my new gym supplement too late! It was just after 7 pm but was enough to keep me full of energy until late in the evening. I didn't even realize it until I thought back. I hadn't taken it that late before. Again, usually I won't take it after 5, 5:30 at the latest! Chalk one up for the lesson books.
I also get insomnia due to an over active mind or bouts of anxiety. My mind races on things I have to do the next morning, the next week, the next month! I have learned to calm myself down for the most part but sometimes it just doesn't help.
I go through the motions of relaxing my body, regulating my breathing, and meditating. I learned this waaay back in school from my teacher and mentor, Elaine Arbo. I still use it this technique today. I start at the tips of my toes and tense then up as much as I can for a good 5-10 seconds. I usually can't get past 5. I then release the toe muscles. I move on to my feet, then my ankles, then my calves.
I keep going up throughout my body, tensing up each muscle and then relaxing. All the while, I breath deeply in and out. I focus my breathing, regulate it. I mentally focus on a small pinpoint of light inside my mind. All the while, tensing up and relaxing, moving up my body. Whatever is weighing heavily on my mind eventually subsides. It definitely helps me. Hopefully it can help you if your try it..
Last month I was up at 3:30 AM and just couldn't fall asleep. So what did I do? I got up. I figured as I had off the next day (weekend) I might as well be productive. I folded two baskets of laundry. I swept the hallway floor. I wrote for awhile. I washed the dishes. Got the coffee ready for the next morning. I basically tried to wear myself down. My cats Max and Moxie followed me from room to room wondering "What the Hell is going on?" I got more done in that hour and half and by 5 AM was ready for bed.
I slept until 11 AM that Saturday and that was the best morning sleep I ever had! The cats slept the entire day away. Lucky pains in the butt!
*** I did not even realize this but this is my 400th PUBLISHED BLOG POST! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog!