On March 19, 2012, I offered some counsel for those with trouble sleeping. Like me. There are three types of insomnia: transient (occasional); acute (short duration); and chronic (long duration). I fall asleep easily – and quickly – but there are times when I will wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. thinking, worrying, solving, praying, innovating. . . . I’m familiar with the usual RX’s for getting to or back to sleep. However in that post I shared three further remedies that work for me that I’ve never read about:
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 — Just contemplating each – deep – breath; and
3. A pad of paper — I often wake up thinking about what needs to be done. So I have a pad of paper by the bed to jot things down.
On January 3, 2016, I observed that watching phosphenes – the light show that we all “see” in darkness – can help us sleep. Recently I note another phenomenon that keeps me awake. When I am laying there – thinking of work, handyman projects, cooking, writing this blog, etc. – I sense that my eyes – while closed – are squinting. It’s like my face is tightened as one is in deep contemplation. So, I’ve been relaxing my shoulders and letting my jaw drop a bit to relax my face. I think of it as adopting a “lazy face” (see March 13, 2014). And then of course there’s the “bent ear” phenomenon when I find myself laying on my pillow with my ear doubled over. . . . . .