I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the National Sleep Foundation. I received a promotional item for my participation.
It’s two in the morning and you’ve been listening to the ceiling fan rattle for forty-five minutes. You’ve got a big test or presentation tomorrow and you can not stop thinking. About anything, about everything. You are totally alone in the world, miserable, while everyone else heals their body with deep, dreamy sleep. Remember when everyone had light up radio clocks in their bedroom and no matter when you woke up during the night, you always knew what time it was. You had no choice about knowing and that was harder for some. You kept looking over, watching the minutes tick away, and realize, really, how little good sleep your going to get. I don’t keep my phone close to my bed. I don’t want to know what time it is. All I know is that I’ve been awake all night and I have to get up in two hours. Please kill me.
The Reasons Why You’re Not Sleeping
Thoughts: While bad thoughts can always keep you awake, any thoughts can do the same thing. It just doesn’t suck so much when they’re happy. When something comes along in your life that is so painful and sorry that it keeps you up at night to think about it, that’s tough business. Your only hope is that it doesn’t happen that often. Try and fix the problem or get over it. That takes a ton of time and never goes away completely, but it always gets better. It has to. The only fires that burn that long are fed from internal sources like coal mines or natural gas. Those fires do, in fact, burn forever and can be seen from space. Metaphorically speaking, lets stay away from that kind of fire.
Physical Pain: Nothing can get around pain if that’s what you’re dealing with. Most pain is given to the unlucky and elderly but many folks, like myself get themselves into unique situations where they are reminded how fragile the human body is. It’s well documented that these ankles are made of thin glass and cardboard. Perhaps you need drugs which can help with both pain and sleeping. Two birds, one stone. It gets scary when drugs are needed to mute constant pain, whether it mental or physical. I struggle with sleep when I have back pain, which just may be another word for getting old. I don’t take drugs for it because it’s my fat that makes my back hurt. Imagine if you had to carry me around all day. It’s amazing.
Environment: Is it better to sleep too hot or too cold? Can you handle mosquitoes singing in your ear while you sleep on a concrete slab in the jungle or is it possible for you to dig a shallow hole in the snow and camp under the cold stars? Maybe you have trouble sleeping while the sounds of the city bounce against or window or you lie awake in the barn listening to those blasted crickets and frogs sing their songs. Is your bed comfortable or does it matter? My sister could sleep in the back of a Buick for three months if she had to. Once I witnessed her sleeping in a potted plant.
Insomnia in New York City is a different bird altogether. As you lay awake in bed you see light from Grennich Villiage sneaking through the curtains or music leaking up from the coffeehouse downstairs. If you find yourself in the Bowery with insomnia, you may decide that sometimes it’s better just to get up.
Some cities have special places that don’t ever go to sleep. Their windows are darkened and everyone sits talking and smiling in soft, muted tones. The night can feel a little brief with the sun showing up early for work. Maybe you can outlast your insomnia. Make the stance NOT to sleep. Perhaps you can catch some winks at your place of employment. If you’re a teacher this means your specials time needs to butt up to lunch. Most personal sleep challenges can be overcome by a simple work meeting. If it’s a full day of professional development lectures you may well slip into a coma.
After one or two days of not sleeping, the hallucinations begin and sight and attention can no longer be trusted. The individual that can’t sleep is neither completely awake or asleep and begins to resemble Marty Feldman. They exist in a constant state of suspended reality, that is twinkly but viewed through a dull filter. Visit beyondtired.org and find out more about the reasons this happens and what can be done to help. They can point you in the right direction for solutions. You’ve been up since Thursday. What do you have to lose?
The last time I visited the island I went down for a nap at 7:00pm (so what can you do? I’m a sissy and I’m old) and woke up at 11:00. While this is not a great strategy for everyone, it really helped our program as we were both full of get up and go. The point is, take sleep where you can get it. Think like a cat and take what you can get. Allow yourself some extra time to relax. Watch a bad movie or read a bad book. These always help me to get some rest. If you already live in NYC, disregard this article as you likely wont enjoy the tips that come with attacking the city nightlife every time you can’t sleep. You may not think that insomnia in New York City is even funny. Sorry Gabby.
Take a look at this video that shows what it’s like at night when you can’t sleep.
The website is a great resource for people who suffer from insomnia as it brings to light the journey of four individuals, all from different backgrounds and leading busy lives, working towards getting more sleep. Get help if you need to. I need you in the fields tomorrow and we’re gonna be workin all day. So you get some rest tonight, you hear?
Visit the National Sleep Foundation website and visit their social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the fun and interactive stuff on Sleep.org and don’t let the bed bugs bite.