Have you ever noticed how quickly a cat (or a dog for that matter) falls asleep? They lay down, close their eyes, and within no time they’re off to dreamland. It doesn’t matter where they decide to sleep, whether on a bed, in a chair, or on the floor, dozing off is no problem whatsoever.
With humans, it’s a different story. When my neighbour asked me this morning how I was feeling I felt like telling him that I felt like a soft-boiled egg. I had been waiting for the sandman and by 5:00 a.m. he still hadn’t shown up.
There are nights that I’m off to dreamland shortly after I put my head down, and then there are nights that I toss and turn and eventually give up and stare at the ceiling.
Numerous articles have been written about insomnia and how to treat this condition and I can tell you with absolute certainty they all mean diddly squat.
Drink chamomile tea they said … yeah right, I tried that, even with two teabags in a cup and I was as wide awake at 4:00 a.m. as I was at 4:00 p.m. Not only that, when at some point during the night I finally started to doze off, I had to go to the bathroom. An hour later I had to go again, and an hour later again. Drinking leads to peeing, follow?
Practice the 4 x 7 they said. Have you heard of this insomnia treatment? You’re supposed to inhale and count to seven, hold your breath and count to seven, exhale while counting to seven, and stay without breath while counting to seven. I tried that. When I was finished I wondered what was supposed to happen, was I supposed to fall asleep now? I waited, I waited and waited some more … nope, still wide awake.
Count to fifty they said. With this method, one has to breathe while counting. One … inhale, two … exhale, three … inhale … four … exhale. When ten is reached, one has to start at one again. I tried that. At fifty I was practically hyperventilating, so that wasn’t the best idea either.
Last but not least, people who suffer from insomnia are advised to get a sound machine. Okay, I tried everything else, I would try that. Let me tell you, that didn’t go well either.
The various birdsongs were nice, but one by one my cats came traipsing into the room. They’d heard birds, where were the birds? They walked around the room, and jumped on my bed and the desk, all the while looking around where those darn birds were.
Rain sounds. Also nice, but listening to falling, gushing and dripping water send me to the bathroom again and again.
Whale song. Jeez Louise, what was that? Were those sounds supposed to get me to sleep? Those whale songs were absolutely frightening in the middle of the night. If you need convincing, listing to this …
It’s one thing to listen to those songs in the afternoon, but it’s quite a different story listening to them in the dark. So no good either.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Oh gosh, who comes up with this nonsense? I’m allergic to alcohol and caffeine, so I haven’t touched those beverages for years and years. As for nicotine … lol are they really going to blame cigarettes for not being able to sleep? The poor cigarette gets blamed for everything, whether one has a pimple on one’s chin or an ingrowing toenail, the cigarette is to blame.
Avoid glowing screens. That means, don’t watch tv and don’t look at anything on an iPad or cellphone. What genius came up with that brilliant idea? I know people who read on their iPad and play games on their cellphone in bed and they are dead to the world the moment they put their head down.
Some point out that a too soft or too hard mattress, a too soft or too hard pillow, or a too warm or too cold bedroom might be to blame. Well, in my case, that can’t be the reason. I’m very happy with my mattress and pillow, and the room temperature is set at 18 degrees (65 deg F).
Actually, I know what the problem is with my insomnia. It’s Facebook. If I can manage to stay away from that form of social media, I sleep fairly well, but if I’m tempted to go on the homepage, sooner or later I get annoyed, upset, angry or my blood starts to boil. Honestly, the kind of nonsense you see there, it’s unbelievable. Scams, scams, and more scams, interspersed with religious nonsense, and women coming up with all sorts of silliness.
So, the answer to insomnia is simple. If you want a good night sleep, stay away from social media.
About the Creator
Conny is the author of Waiting for Silverbird, Voice of an Angel, Lily, Kitten Diaries and Debbie. Contributor to various hard copy and online publications.
She lives in Toronto with her son and cats.