It’s 5PM and I am fighting like stink to stay awake.

I think my sleep problems as noted on this blog are fairly notorious. I either can’t sleep or I sleep too much. When I can’t sleep, it’s generally because I can’t turn my thoughts off – what I was supposed to do, forgot to do, have to do. Funnily, I still have these thoughts even though I’m not at work. Weird, eh? Now I’m thinking about things I should do, and what I’ll have time to do, and what I might miss out on doing. For instance, I didn’t get my (and my mum’s!) visa for India yet. I’m leaving in four weeks. Like… four weeks tomorrow. Several nights over the past week I’ve been awake kicking myself for not getting it done. I never printed the form (at work). I never got the photos done (downtown). I looked it up several times and I got my mum’s application, money and passport, so clearly I knew I had to do it, right?

Anyway, I was discussing this with the psych yesterday and how hard it is to get to sleep because I can’t figure out how to turn off the thoughts. And he gave me homework. And man… is it ever going to suck.

First, no naps. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, no naps, at least on a weekday. And, I have to create a low-stimulation multi-hour bedtime “ritual”. There’s a sports analogy here: highly successful athletes always do the same things before they compete. You know, they have a bagel and a banana, doing 10 jumping jacks, listen to one really intense song, and compete. They amp themselves up for a result through the ritual that leads them to success.

So, I need to create a ritual. And he suggested one, which I’m supposed to try. I need to clear my brain of major stimulation after 8pm. Oprah doesn’t eat after 8, and I won’t be watching TV. Successful habits of successful people, right? Uh, right. Anyway, he suggested that I turn off the TV and the computer at 8PM, have a bath (which I’m going to have a hard time with, given my uber-dry skin), read or do something fairly easy (like an easy puzzle, or some origami) while listening to talk radio, a podcast, or some light music. After about 90 minutes of that, I’m to transition to bed and do a guided visual meditation for 30 minutes. At the end of that, I’ll hopefully be asleep. 

It seems kind of weird, but frankly I’m willing to try anything at this time. Once I have this system down, I’ll be able to shorten it up a bit and get it down to about 60 minutes. It’s something you have to practice, though. Otherwise it’s just an extended exercise in frustration.

I’m trying it tonight. I’m so tired right now I could cry. I’m catching up on some saved TV, will have a light dinner, work on a puzzle, and attempt to fall asleep without frustration, and within 40 minutes of the start of the meditation part of the journey.

And tomorrow, I’m going to get the visas. Cause I can’t agonize over it anymore. Know what I’m saying?