Monday, June 06, 2005

Insomnia Ramblings

Stupid insomnia. Brain won't shut down. It may spew weird stuff, but it won't shut down. Maybe if I write stream of consciousness stuff on my blog, my brain with get bored and pass out.

I need humour, dang it. Why don't I have more humourous things in my apartment? I've read Calvin and Hobbes 217 times already. And Dilbert, Our Dumb Century, and America: The Book are too cynical for 2 am. My book on the English language is fun and all, but I need more laughs per page and less thought.

I'd take the opposite tack and read something totally unentertaining like one of my electronics reference dictionaries, but if I get bored of a book and turn out the light, I go right back to thinking about the things that were distracting me from sleep before I started.

I did a sleep study once. They hook you up to all sorts of wires and monitor your breathing and brain activity during the night. They look mainly for things like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. I got maybe an hour and a half of sleep that night. Their diagnosis - delayed onset of sleep. No $@* Sherlock!

It takes me 1-2 hours to get to sleep typically. I actually fall asleep later if I go to bed before I'm sleepy. Also, there is a difference between sleepy, tired, and exhausted. Tired means I'd like to sleep but my brain won't necessarily shut down. Exhausted means both my body and brain don't want to function, but I still can't lose consciousness. Sleepy means I'm having trouble thinking and focusing, but my body may refuse to relax enough for sleep. Looking at "exhausted", I have to wonder what else has to shut down for me to sleep. It's like my body or brain or something is afraid that if I go to sleep, I'll never wake up again. Stupid body, that's only the case when I'm driving! When I'm in bed, it's okay to be unconscious.

I have tried:

cutting out caffeine - I am merely irritable and sleepy during the day and have no more luck getting to sleep at night

exercising - temporarily made my sleep problems worse; once I got use to the activity, I went back to old sleep problems

getting up the same time every day, even on weekends - got to sleep no earlier in the evening, even after two weeks, and was falling asleep on my feet at work. Incredibly not good.

white noise generator - that 1-2 hours is with a white noise generator; it would be 3-4 without it

rotating my sleep schedule - going to bed 1 or more hours later each night until the desired sleep time is reached; tried it four times, never worked

moving to Hawaii - oh, no, wait, I wish

camimille (sp?) tea and sleepy time tea - I hate tea, and it didn't help me sleep

Tylenol - works occasionally, not good to take when you're not actually in pain or for extended periods of time

antihistamines - irritability and restlessness; if I do sleep, it's a drugged sleep, not nearly as restful as it should be

not eating within several hours of bedtime - nope

eating a bedtime snack - nada

reading - see above

writing down the things that are bugging me - you see how well this is working now; I started this at 1:30 am, it's now 2:15 am

purposefully getting a song stuck in your head - now, not only can't you sleep, you have a song stuck in your head

counting - my brain can think about numbers, whether I remembered to do everything I was suppose to do today, whether I should do something I was planning to do, whether I should have done something I didn't do, and whether I should not have done something that I did do all at the same time; multitasking brains are not always a good thing

reciting lists - reduces the number of other things I can think about, but same problem as with counting

and so on...

I've had insomnia since the day I was born, with no exaggeration. Sometimes, it's worse than others. Tonight is worse than usual. Though I think I may finally be getting sleepy. (Watch, as soon as I post, turn off the monitor, and go to bed, my mind will start racing again). Goodnight. Or morning. Or whatever.


Anonymous Diana said...

Poor SpakKadi! Fortunately for me, I don't have your problem. I just woke up nice and fresh after eight hours of sleep, and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

6/06/2005 8:37 AM  
Blogger Christiana said...

I notice your list doesn't include self-hypnosis relaxation routines. I don't generally have trouble sleeping, but when I do, unless there is some specific other factor (like it's too hot/noisy/etc.) they always work for me.

P.S. Don't be spooked by "Hypnosis", it's really just a little mental routine you go through.

6/06/2005 6:24 PM  
Blogger SpakKadi said...

Oh, that's not a comprehensive list. I've tried relaxation techniques, meditation, and variations on the theme. Maybe if I run up and down the stairs to my 12th floor apartment several times to exhaust my body, do a crossword to tire out my brain, and find something purely silly to read, I'll be able to sleep.

6/06/2005 7:45 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

How about chemically induced slumber?

Ambien and liquor cocktails... wheeeeee!!!!!

6/06/2005 8:14 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are your 50,000 thoughts a day creating?
Our thoughts create our reality. This is a simple truth known by all people involved on the spiritual path. It is one of the most taught universal principles in the personal development field. Yet it is one of the most misunderstood!
People practice visualisation, affirmations, they use hypnosis, subliminal programming or countless other tools to transform their lives. However they fail to recognise one key area in their lives that hinder these wonderful techniques from being effective.
They sit day after day visualising their perfect scene and yet nothing happens. Why? They have followed all the instructions to the letter! They have chanted and imagined! They have formed a colourful, vibrant scene in their minds and affirmed that this is their reality. Then all of a sudden things get worse! What is going on?
Would you like to know the secret? Would you like to know why these people get no results? Would you like to hear one powerful statement that explains everything?
Good. I will tell you why these people get no results or even opposite results to those they are aiming for -simply because of the following truth. Consciously controlled thoughts such as visualisations do not materialise - ALL thoughts materialise!!!
Most people believe that if they visualise for 10 minutes a day their lives will magically transform. This is not the case. You must change your core thinking. You think approx. 50,000 thoughts a day. How many of those thoughts are working against your ten minute visualisation?
You can control the thoughts that enter your mind by changing the way you view the world. You can decide which thoughts you give energy to and which thoughts you discard.
The thoughts that you follow and give energy to become more dominant than the thoughts you discard. Your subconscious mind records these as your dominant picture on the issue at hand. You then move towards this picture because your subconscious mind starts making your outside world reflect the picture that you have stored internally.
Your mind should be on whatever you want. The picture you need to have is a positive vision of you already having achieved your goal. To realise this vision you need to focus and concentrate. Remember thoughts are real, they create your reality.
Let's say you have been visualising a new house. You spend your ten minutes in meditation picturing yourself living in your dream home. You finish your session and get up feeling positive that you will achieve your goal. Then during the day you get a heating bill through the post and exclaim "Oh no look how expensive this is I cannot afford to heat this house". Where is your focus in the present moment? What are you affirming? You are telling your subconscious mind that you cannot deal with what you have. You are affirming that your life is not how you want it to be. If you knew without doubt that within a week you would be moving to your new home would you honestly be worried about a heating bill? Perhaps other doubts creep in like "I should be happy with what I have", or "I will never get this house looking the way I want it" and so on and so on.
These thoughts that are not aligned with your goal. You are not giving complete attention to what you want. Whilst you are dealing with these other lines of thought your attention is not on your goal.
If you are aware of your thoughts you will suddenly realise that you have spent much more energy on counter productive thoughts than on creating a dominant picture of the goal you want.
Point your focus in the direction of you're the life you want. Think about what you want NOT what you don't want. It's that simple.
Your focus determines your reality. Change your focus and you change your life. self hypnosis

6/01/2006 1:22 PM  

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