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July 17th, 2018

My Best Insomnia Advice

By G. E. Shuman

I’m a firm believer in generally helping other people if we can, and in spreading information that may be of use to others when we can. I’m sure you are, too. Although I don’t always, if ever, live up to the following thought, I recently read someone’s admonition to “Throw kindness around like confetti.”  I think that’s just a great concept and one which will always benefit the ‘thrower’ as much as the receiver.

Having said that, I’d like to share one idea here that might help you, if you, like me, have a problem with occasional insomnia. It’s not a cure, I’m not a doctor, and it won’t always work, but it is something that might be helpful.  So, here’s my ‘kindness confetti’ helpful-hint for today.

I’m someone who, since my wife and I rarely get enough sleep, almost always goes to bed very tired. Probably because of that, it’s easy for me to fall asleep. She reads in bed for about fifteen minutes and is out. I write in bed or look at a few short YouTube videos, and I can then go to sleep. My problem is that in the early morning hours I often wake up and begin that awful process of middle-of-the-night thinking. I rehearse all that I have to do in the coming day and rehash all the trouble that I got into yesterday. If this ever happens to you, you know that it’s not fun and does not promote sleep.

A few years ago, I did, accidentally, come up with something that likely sounds foolish, but works well for me if I want to get back to sleep. (I always want to get back to sleep.) So, at the risk of sounding absurd, here’s my insomnia remedy.

What I do first is try to relax my entire body in whatever sleeping position is most comfortable for me that night. (For me the fetal position generally works, especially if I’ve had a stupid-crazy day.) Next, although I don’t attempt to force thoughts from my brain, I do try to think on the following, probably laughable one. (Although, please don’t laugh at me. Okay, you can laugh, but not until you’ve tried it.)

I love movies… at least ones that I consider to be ‘good’ movies.  What I think about to fall back to sleep is not any particular movie, but I do momentarily concentrate on the length of most movies, which is about one and a half hours. If it’s three in the morning when I’m awake, I just lie there and say to myself: “I don’t have to wake up until six. Right now, at this moment, I don’t have to do ANYTHING. I don’t have to mooove a muscle… for the length of two ENTIRE movies. No one will ask anything of me, and I don’t have to answer even one question, but can just lie here still, relaxed, for alllll that time. Wow!”  Usually, within moments, I’m sound asleep again.

See, I told you it was probably a laughable idea, and might sound absurd, but it works for me and is cheaper and healthier than sleeping pills. I just thought I’d spread a bit of ‘kindness confetti’ today and give you my best tip for a good night’s sleep.

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