Monday, February 9, 2015

Flirting With Sleep

I don't know about you, but even when I am completely exhausted I have trouble getting to sleep.

My brain doesn't want to shut down.

I obsess over details of the day or projects I want to tackle or something that a high school friend said about me that made me self conscious as a teenager.  I think about sounds in the house and wonder what time it is.  Then I look at the clock and concern myself with why on earth it is taking me so long to fall asleep.  If I hear Andy's breathing change I wonder if my tossing and turning woke him and if he'll be tired and grumpy in the morning.  Basically I think of everything that can keep me alert and awake and miserable.

I found a breathing excercise online that a blogger swore put her to sleep so fast that she couldn't remember falling asleep or finishing the excercise each night.  It went like this:

Breathe in through your nose for a count of 7, hold your breath for a count of 8 and exhale completely through your mouth for a count of 12.

When I first tried it I thought I was going to pass out.  I didn't enjoy the feeling of completely emptying my lungs.  It burned and made me feel anxious and like I was choking.

Andy said "that's not going to work.". When I asked him why he said "because you're going to keep yourself awake worried that you're breathing wrong".

He was, of course, completely on point.

I'm trying Melatonin.  It is something I know works for me, but also something I often forget to take until it is practically too late for me to take it and still function.

I've tried lots of other things.  Magnesium (bad and made me jittery), Benadryl (good unless I take more than one in which case I can't wake up), Z-Quil (no effect other than a rash from the saccharine which I didn't realize was an ingredient) and Valerian Root (couldn't get over the stinky feet smell and bitter taste).  When I was a kid I drank warm milk but as an adult milk makes my stomach hurt.  Anyone have any great remedies that will help me zonk out?

(P.S. - I really need a "zonk out and stay out" solution because I often wake up at 3 AM and then obsess over every tiny noise in our house.  I think I watch too many scary movies!)

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