There appear to be three types of insomnia: transient (occasional); acute (short duration); and chronic (long duration). All result in sleep deprivation which can (after longer duration) have serious health consequences. I fall asleep easily – and quickly – but there are times when I will wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. thinking about this or that. I’m familiar with the usual RX’s for getting to or back to sleep: a cool room; no meal immediatly before bedtime; easy on the alcohol; no caffeine; no chocolate; a glass of warm milk; no afternoon naps; keep regular sleep hours; exercise but not before going to bed; read something boring – or soothing – before turning out the lights; and so on.
However I have three further remedies that work for me that I’ve never read about. They are:
1. Clenching hands — When I wake up in the middle of the night, I sometimes find that my hands are clenched. I simply unclench and lay them flat. I suddenly feel relaxed;
2. Deep breathing — I will breathe in through my nose, hold the breath and then exhale. Slowly. Deeply. Through my mouth. I get exhausted doing it. After 7 or 8 times, it’s pretty much back to dreamland; and
3. A pad of paper — I will often wake up thinking (you wonder – what could this man possibly be thinking?). So I have a pad of paper by the bed. And a flashlight. I jot down whatever random drivle comes into my small brain and I can then forget it. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . . .
And if these remedies don’t work, call me and I will start singing “Oh Shenedoah” (see post of August 14, 2011) . That should do the trick. . . . .