If you’ve ever suffered from bouts of insomnia you’d know how much wasted energy is spent trying to fall back to sleep. Making mental lists, warming milk, tossing & turning, staring at the ceiling. And my personal favorite, watching the clock, telling yourself if I just fall asleep now I can get 3 hours of sleep, now 2 hours 59 minutes, 2 hours 58 minutes….
I learned a long time ago that the more I worried about falling back to sleep, the longer I was awake. Stop fighting your busy mind and get productive. I don’t mean clean the kitchen junk drawer busy, I mean collect your thoughts busy.
I love being a mother to four boys. I love my work as a marketing professional. But let’s face reality, being both doesn’t give me a lot of time to reflect. The way I figure it, insomnia is my body’s way of forcing me to focus on myself. After years of perfecting my tip toeing I’ve narrowed down my favorite “me” activities.
1. Read – I mean really read. Don’t pretend it’s going to help you fall asleep. Pick up an indulgent book and engross yourself in the story. Pull out that magazine. You know, the one with the relationship quiz you’ve secretly wanted to take.
2. Write – Jot down your to-do list for next week, edit a blog post, journal – just write. Your mind is amazingly clear at three in the morning. Most importantly your mind is open to new ideas if you let them in.
3. Watch TV – you know you want to. Turn on your favorite cooking show and really write down the recipe this time. Or simply laugh (not out loud – you don’t want to give away you are awake) to an old time favorite comedy you’ve tivo’d.
However you decide to spend this unintended awake time, make it indulgent and make it all about you! It will be our little secret – no one else needs to know.
And I promise, just when you think your body can’t function off of another restless sleep, calm, or maybe better said exhaustion, takes over. And those 8-9 hours of complete and uninterrupted sleep is a welcomed reward for focusing on yourself for a change.