Sometimes I suffer from insomnia and I have no idea why. I manage to get to sleep but, being a light sleeper I suddenly ping awake in the middle of the night and absolutely struggle to fall asleep again – until approximately two minutes before my alarm clock goes off for work.
I have tried several cures for insomnia and to be honest I find that a percentage of them work:
The vast majority of them don’t. I’ve tried them all.
Here are some that I have tried and that have failed spectacularly.
I love reading but I simply cannot read a bad boring book without ranting internally, something which fuels my insomnia. Sadly my favourite genres are science fiction, action thrillers and good old heart-wrenching blood-curdling horror; none of these work.
Science fiction sparks my imagination, something that is a true ally to insomnia.
Action thrillers have the same effect.
Horror books just scare the shit out of me and leave me lying in bed convinced that if I fall asleep a mad alien maniac will take me away and perform gruesome experiments on the most tender parts of my anatomy.
Drinking Warm Milk
Drinking warm milk does not work because the idea of warming milk was conceived in one of the more despicable think tanks of Hell itself.
Warm milk is disgusting and, if I were to survive the foul taste without vomiting, I would almost certainly wake up an hour later, desperate for the toilet and cursing because no amount of minty mouth wash can remove the lingering taste of rancid, stale warm milk.
Whoever thought that counting sheep was a good idea is an oddball. I have tried it but I find myself worrying about whether the field into which the sheep are so nimbly leaping into will be able to accommodate them. And then I start wondering why the sheep are jumping the fence into that field in the first place.
Is it a better field?
And why are they leaping over the fence one by one?
Is there a queuing system?
And are there an infinite number of sheep? There must be – because I have reached 2,345,203,334 – and there were still billions of the buggers left.
And what about the poor old sheep that can’t jump the fence?
Do they cry when they see the youngsters leaping over the fence, mocking their invalidity?
Also to be quite honest, I’ve never seen a sheep jump so I find the whole thing worrying and unbelievable.
And that fuels my insomnia.
Listening to Music
This has worked at least for a short while. I have a playlist on my iPod containing lots of mellow sleep-inducing melodies and they help soothe my raging insomnia. Sadly, even my mellow playlist contains a few, shall we say, more heavy numbers and invariably a loud blast of Judas Priest will wrench me from my slumber with maximum prejudice, making me leap out of bed in terror.
Writing a Novel in My Head
I have written around 2,532 novels in my head and they all have something in common – they are utter rubbish, so rubbish in fact that I beat myself up about how bad my ideas are and how, if they ever somehow find their way into print, people will ridicule my poor writing technique, my incredibly bad plots, appalling characters and extremely poor verbiage.
And that keeps me awake.
I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work. I can’t be aware that I am dreaming because when I am asleep I think I might be awake and when I am awake I think I might be asleep. But I’m not. I’m either awake or asleep and not both awake and asleep or neither awake or asleep. The great Stan Laurel summed it up perfectly for me:
“I had a dream I was awake and I woke up to find myself asleep.”
Confused? Yes – I was and that kept me awake – or did it?
Not Thinking At All
This is impossible. I’ve tried meditation, clearing my mind of all things that might fuel my insomnia but when a random thought pops into my head I end up arguing with myself:
“Will you stop thinking about rubber chickens? You’re supposed to be clearing your mind.”
“I can’t help it. The thought just popped into my head and now I can’t get rid of it.”
“You’re a bloody arse! You can’t even do this one simple thing.”
“Leave me alone – now I’m stressed by your nagging and the rubber chickens are still there.”
Insomnia rubs its hands in glee.
Eating Cheese Before I Go To Bed
Cheese gives me weird dreams so I have tried eating a fair amount before going to bed. When I lie there in the darkness, I contemplate how magnificently bizarre my dreams are going to be and I look forward to them. Sadly, eating cheese before bedtime doesn’t agree with me and I end up having to get up to deal with a mild and extremely irritating bout of indigestion (see Getting Up later).
I’ve tried hypnosis and this actually works. “Great,” I hear you cry. Sadly, Mrs PM recognises my trance state and has started suggesting things to me.
“You have an urge to clean the bathroom on a daily basis.”
“You hate rock music and consider Lady Ga Ga and Rihanna to be the pinnacle of music.”
“You have this desperate urge to spend money on things I want.”
I’ve heard that when you can’t sleep the best thing to do is to get up and watch TV or do something constructive. Sadly, TV in the middle of the night is so awful that I find myself ranting to the cats about the incredibly bland nonsense I am witnessing on the gazillion channels that I can see. I’ve tried writing a blog post – but that didn’t work either:
YOU’RE READING THE POST AND I AM STILL AWAKE!!