This post has has absolutely nothing to do with interiors, but this is a blog so I am allowed to go ‘off piste’ sometimes.
So…. I have insomnia most nights now, mainly due to thinking… thinking about the house, thinking about the kids/laundry/parent taxi service/exams/what is for supper tomorrow….thinking about things I have to do, what I may have to do and what I have forgotten to do….
This is how asleep I would like to be as soon as I get into bed…
Most nights I get into bed ready for sleep and then my mind starts churning so much I can almost hear the cogs turning, it must be due to the quiet in the rest of the house at that time of night. The next morning I am pie-eyed with exhaustion, and most of the lists and thoughts that came into my head vanish so I cannot even remember what I planned the night before. So then I spend the day racking my brains, and getting grumpier as I become convinced dementia is setting in early.
This is sort of how I am feeling when I still cannot get to sleep and it’s 4am….
Someone once told me to visualize an empty beach, and imagine myself looking out to sea onto an empty horizon. It used to work, but now things interfere with the vision; paint charts appear through the sand, paperwork I need to finish floats in on the tide and then the whole beach vision is gone and the thoughts start swirling en masse. It is like those scenes in old movies when the dates start flying off a paper calendar in the wind to signify speeding time. I also apparently fidget, huff, turn a lot and tap my fingers on the pillow when I cannot sleep, which also drives the hubby insane.
I have tried all of the usual suggestions: hot baths before bed, warm milky drinks, caffeine bans, lavender, camomile, herbal teas, no electronic technology in the evening, valerian, magnesium, aromatherapy oils, sleep masks, open windows, and tried to drink myself silly with wine to pass out. But alas, none seem to work and the last one is really bad with a hangover to boot the following day.
I decided this week to try a new approach. Armed with a notebook and a pencil, plus a nice candle on my bedside table, I got into bed and tried to fall asleep. Thoughts and plans and to-do’s started swimming about in my mind, and instead of lying there and pretending I was asleep, each time a thought came I wrote it down briefly by the dim but not too bright candlight. I fell asleep pretty fast, (with the notebook ending up in the bed, and thank god I had a pencil and not a pen as my sheets would have been ruined with bizarre markings), probably because I was expecting to stay awake. In the morning I looked at the notebook and found some quite bizarre notes, bizarre as in I have no idea how one thought led to the next. Here they are:
- Fix hole in wall in daughters bedroom and paint it
- Ring godmother and arrange lunch
- Do company accounts
- Where are the tent pegs?
- Are the children really happy?
- Why can’t I just let things go to the charity shop?
- Book vet for cats vaccine boosters
- Do we have any baking soda left in the larder?
- Look into ferries for summer trip
- Must clear the borders in the garden
- Put Point To Point date in diary and call Claire
- Am I ringing Mum enough?
- Actually when is our wedding anniversary?
The last one escapes me, I have no idea what it even means. What bathroom? Where? Do I need to fix something in the bathroom?
But I am quite pleased with a lot of the others, as I can actually try and get on with some of them. So far this has worked for 3 nights in a row, and my daily exhaustion and procrastination, (which I feel is an art form in its own right a lot of the time), have improved. Time will tell if it really works, and my husband seems OK about waking up with a pencil digging into his nether regions as it sure beats me huffing, tapping, turning and keeping him awake all night.
With that all out of my system, I bid you goodnight x