It’s pretty much a scientific fact that everyone’s sleep is messed up right now, with explanations including circadian rhythms and heightened anxiety. But despite science validating our lack of sleep, it’s probably not helping us actually go to sleep.
Then there’s the dreams, whether they be more about potential catastrophe or green monkeys dancing on a plaid ceiling and your high school English teacher singing opera, chances are all this REM isn’t helping you want to sleep or stay asleep either.
Being in my apartment I have the added stimulus of street noise. You would think that when the roads have been apocalyptically empty that wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m hearing as many sirens as ever.
So as your resident insomniac, I’ve put together a list of things I’ve tried and tested, when it comes to catching some zzz’s.
Clear your mind and breathe slowly and deeply (insert long uncomfortable silence here). There is a lot of evidence that suggests meditation is very good for us; or mind numbingly boring enough to make you snooze, depending which camp of thought you’re in. As someone with a whirring mind and a healthy dose of cynicism. I’ve never been particularly successful at mediation. But I have found that if I’m likely to actually get to the end of a meditation recording, a beginner’s guided meditation works best and on a couple of occasions it has sent me off to sleep. So if you can get on this bandwagon, it definitely has potential for finding peace, calm and SLEEP!
Soothing music is supposed to gently lull you to sleep, but personally I find it just makes me wide awake and feeling like I’m stuck in a horror movie where SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN…
But hey there’s music out there for everyone, so you might be able to find your sleep jam. For me, the closest I’ve found is lightly classical music sung in foreign languages. I become too engaged in the music if I understand the lyrics. But if you’re hoping it will speak to your subconscious and teach it the language, I can promise you it doesn’t.
If You’re Not Tired – Get Up
This is actually the one I’ve found most effective. If I’m still lying awake at 1am and not really tired, I get up and start the morning’s work, then if I can, sleep in slightly in the morning to make up for it. I’ve found if I put myself to work, when I get back to bed I often fall straight asleep. If you can’t sleep in the next day however, that can also be to your advantage for restoring your circadian rhythm. Expert advice suggests getting up and doing something relaxing under low light, but personally I find productive activity works better for me.
Seriously, does this work for anybody?
But hey give it a go, you could be the first.
Read A Book
Most people swear by this one, but I get too wrapped up in the book. I have on one occasion, finished a book at about 3am, but the cliffhanger was so intense I started the next one and couldn’t make myself put in down till about 4.30am. (I never said I was the queen of good decisions.)
If In Doubt Self Medicate
Preferably with a glass of vino and accompanying cheese board…but a sleeping tablet works too. I do of course have to disclaimer that this one isn’t actually a good idea on a regular basis. But you do you.
If you’re still struggling to sleep and would like some expert advice check out this link. And stay tuned for my next apartment diary, coming soon.