A practical blog, you say? Yes, it’s less philosophical and more helpful. (If this blog were a college degree, grandpa would respect it.)
Fellow insomniacs, if you haven’t done so already, Google “insomnia cures” in the middle of your next sleepless eight.
Amazing. 3,451,890,2340 sites with the exact same useless crap.
Useless Crap Insomnia Tips on the Googles
-Coffee? Sodas? Iced tea? Buh bye.
-Get up and do yoga first thing in the morning! And become a vegan! And use your new-found energy to bring more exclamation points into the world!!!!
-Turn off the TV 1 hour before bed
-Drink chamomile tea
-Don’t sleep with Fido (or anybody else)
-Go to bed at the same time every night
-Don’t use your bedroom for anything other than sleep, naps, bow chicka bow wow, and more sleep
Seriously? Imagine it. You’re wide awake at 4 am. You want some Tabasco Cheez-Its, but opt instead for a tofu and quinoa sundae*.
Betcha a ten spot Mr. Sandman’s still a no-show.
Well. In the spirit of real solutions, here’s what’s worked for me:
Experts say watching TV engages too much of your brain. (You’ll stay awake.) Other experts say watching TV burns fewer calories than… you guessed it… sleeping. (You’ll nod off.)
Since the experts can’t agree, I’m picking, gym class losers, so Chachi and Buddy Limbeck are the new Ambien.
Netflix Instant Watch brings a cornucopia of choices to us insomniacs, including scrumptious “Charles in Charge” reruns, scary B-movies, and all those Very Special Episodes from the 80s. A marvelous throwback to USA’s “Up All Night” and “Night Flight,” now appearing at a laptop near you. Ahhhhh.
Tune into something that’s fun, but not so suspenseful that you watch the entire season to see if the wacky neighbor won the tickets to Def Leppard.
By episode three, you’ll be dreaming about deep-frying your socks. Yes, this method takes more than an hour, but oh, what a totally awesome hour it is.
Chamomile tea? It tastes like chamomile tea. Yuck.
Hot cocoa is comforting, easy to make, and it staves off sleep-interrupting hunger.
Before you know-it-alls whine that chocolate is 104 percent caffeine, experts say most chocolates have no more caf than a cup of decaf coffee. If you don’t believe them, those experts will say you’ve hurt their wittle feewings.
The water pillow.
Remember water beds? A water pillow is a like that, except it doesn’t suck. It’s a pillow that adjusts to your neck in any position and stays cool all night. You can even take it on trips. Just drain it first. Otherwise it’s like packing a full set of kettlebells in your suitcase. And since it’s filled with liquid that’s clearly labeled “water,” the TSA will most certainly decide it is a national threat and grope your hoo hoo.
Experts say exercise is the way to start your day. Gets your blood pumping, makes you sweat, elevates your heart rate.
That also sounds like a great way to start World War III.
Fitness weirdos: we don’t WANT to roll out of bed at 5 am and high-kick our way to the underwear drawer. If you want a good day, start by putting on Thelonious Monk and eating a hot breakfast whilst making your hair wicked sexy.
That said, a challenging post-supper spin or Zumba class burns off worries and mental drama at the end of the day. What an advantage. Most people can’t sleep when they are freaked out about something; you get to cannonball into bed with a monster dose of endorphins to counteract all that bad ju-ju.
Sadly, some people can’t sleep solely because their bedding could scrape gum off the underside of a desk. Get in your car, drive to the nearest BB&B, and buy a set of good Nautica or Ralph Lauren sheets. Open before buying. Feel. (No eye contact with the sales clerk while doing this or you’ll score a stalker.)
Good sheets eliminate that “I just can’t get comfortable” feeling. Also, experts say far too many 38-year-olds currently sleep on SpongeBob sheets, which is uncomfortable, which contributes to insomnia, which contributes to a raging case of what my dad calls “bein eat up with the dumbs.”
-Do. Not. Procreate.
Yeah, you read that right. In addition to smelling like Funyuns, unwashed puppies, and Slurpees, kids are the ultimate wrecking ball to sound sleep. They scream, they sing weird stuff, they puke, they have nightmares about being chased by squirrels.
Ask any parent. When the obstetrician shouts, “It’s a boy!” she might as well have hollered, “It’s a sleep hiatus! Congratulations!”
–Massages and acupuncture.
If you’re in pain–your head hurts, your joints ache, and your muscles are all cattywhampus–you’ll have trouble sleeping. To fix this, find a Chinese doctor to give you acupuncture and beat the crap out of you.
Those needles, which are about the size of a strand of hair, release deep muscular tension and kill off pesky migraines. Acupuncture is the medical equivalent of stroganoff… it looks as fun as dog yack until you try it. Extra points if you man up and ask that your first session involve fire. 🙂
Oh, and have a friend to drive you home after. Yes, you’ll feel THAT relaxed.
–Get on YouTube.
Search for “relaxing videos” and start watching. It’s almost creepy, but some of those massage or whisper videos will put you in a coma in less than ten minutes.
Just try it:
So. What are your tips for catching shut eye?
Inspired by my brother Alan, who once dreamt he was frying his socks.
*may or may not be a real sundae