#868: Insomni-omni-omni-a

GETTING MORE TALE #868:  Insomni-omni-omni-a

It happened again.  Insomnia.  The battle rages on, win some lose some.  I’m so wired on Friday nights.  Fridays, being the last night of the work week, are the only night I allow myself to enjoy a couple cups of coffee.  That’s part of it, but what really gets me wired is this burst of creative energy that comes with the weekend.  That’s been amplified recently with the Friday night live streams.  Those who have participated know what it’s like.  You get this charge; this burst of adrenaline after a good show.  I’m up for four hours after a decent one, let alone a great one.

Eventually I go to bed but my head rattles all night: ideas, worries, creativity.  The next day is Saturday.  That’s my day to have fun, work on enjoyable projects, and spend time with my wife.  I’ve had problems sleeping in on Saturdays since I was a kid!  It’s a real thing.  I get too excited to get up and at ‘er.

It’s especially unenjoyable when I’m tossing and turning in bed with a song I dislike stuck in my head.  Radio often repeats songs I don’t like.  The Cornell version of “Patience”, or The Wild.  Or even J.J. Wilde.  (I know, I know, she’s local, I shouldn’t say bad things.  I love her voice, just not her song.)  The best thing for me to do in that case is get up and listen to something else.  I have to think carefully about what to listen to, because it’s likely going to be the next song that will be stuck in my head for the rest of the night.  Something old and familiar that feels like good times will work.  It has to be familiar though.  If not, my brain will skip like a record when it can’t remember how parts of the song go.

I have a few strategies in my war against insomnia.  One is to burn off some energy by going for a late night walk, although in recent days this is…not the best option.  Not anymore.  Not since Covid.  A shelter was opened down the street.  We’ve seen an uptick in crime and drug use.  A few weeks ago, a car was on fire in the middle of the night.  I’m not kidding.  This is across the street!

Instead of a walk, I’ll go out on the porch, watch some Youtube, listen to some songs, and eventually go back to bed.  I try not to rise before the sun does.  If the sun is coming out, then I give myself permission to get up.  This does not always work out, but it’s a guideline.  I have also tried turning my clock around so I can’t see the face.  That keeps me from counting the minutes until it’s a good time to get up.

Maybe I’m not the best one for giving advice, but it’s important to talk about this stuff.  I’ve said it multiple times — we are all in this together.  Interrupted sleeping patterns is part of living through a pandemic.  Maybe you can give me some advice.  I’ve tried a few different earphones for sleep but nothing has been comfortable enough to wear longer than an hour.  Do you have any sleep earphone recommendations?  Leave in the comments.  Must be wired — no Bluetooth.  Helping each other is the way we’ll beat this pandemic and the war on insomnia!

 

57 comments

  1. Not much I can offer on this I’m afraid. I get to bed at a very reasonable hour and wake up a little early. But I hope you can find a way to beat it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It never works for me, but both my mum and brother can knock themselves out in any situation by massaging their wrist, just around where you would check your pulse.

      Another tip I’ve heard is to do abdominal breathing where instead of lifting your chest in and out, you move your belly up and down, and mentally concentrate on the movement of your abdomen. Its meant to turn off adrenaline and fight or flight responses.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t give you much advice Mike cause I also have trouble sleeping sometimes. My brain has so many thoughts running through my head that I can’t go blank enough to fall asleep. Once I wake up, I can’t go back to sleep because my mind is already awake. Some people have suggested listening to soothing music on youtube to help you fall asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cutting back on caffeine has helped me a lot. Not just with sleep but with anxiety too. I still have a couple of cups of coffee in the morning and a tea or two in the afternoon. But that is it for the rest of the day. It all affects us differently and at different levels. So maybe try doing the Friday show without caffeine? I don’t think you really need it. You bring plenty of energy without it, lol.

    Also, Insomnia… the worst Megadeth song on their worst album. Never do that again, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely their worst album, definitely one of their worst songs. I like a couple on Risk. Breadline is softer rock but catchy. They are just not the kind of band to do softer rock, not with Dave’s voice.

      I will never do it again. Promise.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And regarding Friday without the caffeine. I have no doubt you’re right. I have lots of decaf that I enjoy for the taste. I’ve also thought about doing a show where I drink alcolhol for the first time a while. I remember I had a beer at Max’s place about a year and a half ago. Half a beer. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. So you are not in favour of a show where I just say “fuck it” and see what happens. You don’t rubberneck a car wreck? LOL.

          OK advice taken. I’d probably just make myself sick anyway!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I can’t promise this is the week. I do look forward to that coffee kick on a Friday. I have lots of decaf though and they are just as tasty. We’ll see. I could even make a show of it! Mike Decafinated. Can You Tell The Difference.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I was thinking about this a bit more. When I come home from work I’m usually pretty tired but a coffee does help me get pumped up for an energetic show. I usually have one — the others are decaf after the first one.

          I’m curious if anyone can tell a drop in energy or not.

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        4. Slept fine thanks! Watched Mando and went to bed. Rosario Dawson killed it man
          …and every bad guy around her too.

          I think the drop in energy was due to the epic nature of this show and coffee wouldn’t have really made a difference. These shows can go an hour or three… I love them all.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I can sleep for 6-7 hours usually. 5-6 of it pretty solid the last hour choppy sometimes. I have been getting up at 5-530 am for at least 22 of my 30 years plus working full-time so my sleeping pattern is set basically. Weekends and holiday if I can sleep til 6-630 is sleeping in lol..
    Like anyone I do have off nights as well in other words shitty seeping nights. lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. haha..the blogs I hit first with my coffee sometimes I’m still zonked and can’t comment until I get home 9 hours later lol
        But yeah I’m pretty programmed

        Like

  5. That sucks Mike. I have a mild case of it where I can fall asleep really fast, but after 3-4 hours, I am up tossing and turning. By 5am I’ve usually had enough and just get up. That has been going on for years and years now. I couldn’t tell you the last night I had 7-8 hours of solid sleep. No recommendations for you, sorry about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have no trouble sleeping after a Friday meeting. Must just be your role as host… so glad you’re excited about it though!

    I’ve had bouts of insomnia but that was younger, late teens – early 20s, so I just went with it. You know, I’m not sleeping, so may as well do other stuff until maybe I feel tired. These days, by the time I lay down, I’m out in two minutes. It’s not even having kids, they’re not a factor in this anymore (when they were babies is a different story).

    I might argue that listening to music to aid sleep is counter-productive. Your brain is focussing too much on the tunes and not enough on relaxing and letting you sleep. Maybe go the other way, try white noise (they sell machines), or better, no noise at all – try sleeping with earplugs.

    Another big one is get off your screens (at least) an hour before bed. No TV, no computer, no phone. Not even quick checks before bed. The blue light wakes you up, makes it harder for you to sleep. You can also lower the lights in your place before bed, signalling your brain to get ready to rest.

    Make sure your bedroom is dedicated to sleeping. It’s not an office, it’s not a storage room, it’s a bedroom. Environment is a factor, for sure. Make it inviting, uncluttered, easy to access. Make your bed in the morning so that at night you have a nice, neat bed to get into. All little things, yes, and it might sound stupid, but it helps.

    You could try melatonin, just a low 3mg, sublingual, about ten minutes before bed. That can work well. It’s over-the-counter and fine. Your body produces melatonin naturally to help you sleep. Maybe you need to help it a bit until you get it regulated, you know?

    But. Here it comes. The biggest one is diet and exercise. I know, I know. Here we go, right? But this is the real shit right here. Pop, juice, junk food (especially right before bed) is just loading you with sugar and fat – you won’t sleep. You tell yourself you deserve it, and maybe you do, but then you get the results of it anyway so it’s deciding if it’s truly worth it or not. Friday coffees are your guarantees of a late night, so you are deciding that one. Maybe have one instead of multiples on those special occasion nights.

    But I truly know that part of the reason I sleep like a rock is because I eat (mostly) right, and I get about an hour’s exercise in a day (not counting my early morning walk). I lift weights, hit the heavy bag, ride the exercise bike, I do all sorts of things so long as it makes me sweat the whole time. You have to sweat, the more the better. Better to work out earlier in the day – before bed will ramp up adrenaline and affect sleep too. But the point is to do it. Daily. You will sleep better, science knows so. And you don’t need equipment, you don’t need a gym, so there’s no excuse, really. Pushups, situps, jumping jacks, burpees, planks, all sorts of things that require no equipment at all. YouTube is full of body weight exercise ideas and routines. Start small, build up. Do it. Daily. You’ll feel better and sleep better. Since I re-invested in myself, I’m down 17 lbs and feel great, and now it’s simple to keep that ball rolling. The decision is simple, and easier to keep going once it’s going. It looks daunting at the start, and you might feel silly jumping around in your living room, but who cares? Just decide you’re worth it, because you are.

    Sum: Day – better food, exercise. Night – no screens, no sugar/junk food/caffeine, low light, no music.

    I know, I’m fun at parties. But it’s all there, ready to help you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All brilliant advice and yes exercise is the best. I’m going to resume walking. The neighbourhood is less scary now than when I wrote this a month or two ago. The shelter down the street closed (although another one opened further down) and there have been no car fires.

      Car fires. Jesus I can’t believe there was a car fire.

      You are right and bedroom is just my sleeping quarters. Sleeping and changing, that’s it.

      Music at night has worked for me in the past. When I was younger I would always fall asleep to music. I could usually only make it to the halfway part of an album before I was out like a light. But that’s when I used to listen on a stereo, which I don’t do anymore in the married world. I’m sure I can find a more comfortable solution for my ears.

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      1. Car fires. Man, it’s been 22 years since I lived in your town. What have you people been doing? ;)

        Right on. Walking is a great start. Let it become more, though, too. Do 10 good pushups, see how it goes. Then 10 good situps. That’s it. You could probably knock that out right now. Don’t over-do it, but when it feels like 15 in a row is doable, do that. It’s a long game anyway, everything helps. And yeah, the first couple of days suck and you wanna skip a day, that’s fine, but never skip two days in a row. It’s just that much harder to get back at it. I just go at it every day, problem solved.

        If it must be music at night, I don’t know of a solution. I once tried having a stereo on and all I did was stay awake to focus on the tunes. Good luck!

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  7. I have a tablet so I can watch Netflix until I fall asleep, but that may not be doable sharing the bed with someone. But if Mrs Lebrain is a heavy sleeper check out Connected. It’s a really interesting science show and those knock me out!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I second the melatonin suggestion. Has worked wonders for me. I also go to bed with my tablet and pick shows or movies that are only of mild interest. That usually does the trick.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sometimes when I can’t sleep I’ll close my eyes and let my mind wander in bed. Not with thoughts, but with images. Not consciously thinking of anything, just letting my brain sort of drift from whatever it wants to whatever it wants. It’s relaxing, and entertaining as you’re never quite sure where your head is going to go. Not so stimulating as to keep you awake more than you already are, but fights the bore of just laying there. I find that even if I don’t go to sleep at some point during the process, by the time I get up I still feel rejuvenated. Maybe seeing all that stuff is in someway connected to rapid eye movement sleep and dreams, only I’m still awake? It sort of puts my body and head into a low power mode even if I don’t outright go to sleep. I’d say give that a whirl.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. No it’s not like that…it’s more like a flying dream. Except I’m in a vehicle. It’s not a logical vehicle (I’m lying down) and I’m not even controlling it. I can see look out the windows, see in any direction, and I can steer the plane but I’m not really doing the flying you know what I mean?

          Like

  10. I’m going to be a bit controversial here. First of all, I am not a druggie nor do I advocate drug use but I have found that the best way for me to beat insomnia is to smoke a little weed. I don’t need much and even if I don’t fall asleep straight away, I always do eventually, I feel so relaxed that it doesn’t really matter. Now, I’m keeping an ear out for the DEA kicking down my door.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All good my friend. Not overly controversial here on my turf since this is a Canadian site where it’s legal.

      I don’t talk about weed much here, but I will say it’s here in the house and it does help. And that’s all I’m gonna say publicly. But thanks for that contribution sir!

      Liked by 1 person

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