The older I get the less I sleep. I'm sure we have all noticed this pattern in older folk. This steady decline began with having babies and interruption of sleep inherent in that. As the children got older, it seemed one ear was always listening in case something was needed. Now in my fully acknowledged middle age, I couldn't sleep past 8:00 a.m. if I wanted to, which I don't. I also have bouts of not being able to fall asleep, and definitely not staying asleep. There are multiple trips to the water closet each night with varying success of returning to REM's. Last night I just knew at 3:00 a.m. it wasn't going to work and I got up and puttered around for an hour or so and fell right back to sleep. Some of my somniferous friends from least to most effective are melatonin, Sleepytime tea, two bowls of cereal, Benadryl, and as a last resort, Rx drugs.
Did you ever wonder where the term "falling" asleep came from? I recently discovered the answer. I have several techniques I use to go to sleep particularly during day naps, and they increase my awareness of the process my body goes through. One sensation I have as I am dozing off, is that of falling. As long as I am not jolted totally awake, it's very pleasant to experience, and MUST have been where someone long ago got the phrase 'falling asleep.'
Instead of complaining about insomnia, why not embrace it? Here are some good points about not sleeping well or long:
- it makes time slow down- if you are constantly waking during the night, it lasts longer. Haven't you noticed if you do sleep all night, it has just rushed by in an instant? Why not luxuriate in the feeling of time standing down?
- you can look forward (schedule allowing) to a great nap the next day
- you can get stuff done like wrapping presents, writing blogs, or catching up on Facebook although the pundits agree exposure to screens before bedtime will disturb your sleep quality
- some of your best ideas will be hatched in the middle of the night- then again, you may look at them less adoringly in the morning