Forlorn.of.thee (fa'lo:n ŭv thē), p, my only strength and stay,forlorn of thee, whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
Paradise Lost by John Milton

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Dedicated to the in insomniacs in my life...

O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
William Shakespeare Henry IV (3.1.7-16)

Getting a good night sleep means working with your internal body clock. Getting up at about the same time every morning, and going to bed at around the same time each night helps set your clock to a routine.

An afternoon nap can the dull your need for sleep at night. Except when sick or very very tired, it’s best to avoid afternoon naps.

Good sleep is more likely if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. Relaxing colours (bright red walls and mirrors on the ceiling will not help). Wear earplugs if there are noisy neighbours or barking dogs. A good mattress and block-out curtains are a great investment. Associate your bed with sleep and sex. Not working on the laptop, watching TV and the like.

Turn off that Blackberry or mobile phone. Do not leave it on your bedside table (From personal experience trust me, I’m addicted to my Blackberry).

Cigarettes do not help you relax, nicotine is a stimulant. So is caffeine. These drugs accelerated your heart rate and blood pressure and will keep you awake for longer. Whenever possible, avoid cigarettes and coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) in the evenings.

Alcohol is a depressant drug, which means it slows the workings of your nervous system and may help you doze off. However, this effect of alcohol wears off and your sleep will be disrupted and fragmented. You won’t feel refreshed in the morning (with a hangover maybe).

Sleeping pills may help at the beginning. After a stint of using the pills, falling asleep without them can be even harder. These drugs should only be used as a temporary last resort and under medical advice.

Insomnia is often caused by worrying. If you find it hard to clear your mind when you’re in bed, try a relaxation exercise. You could try to relax every part of your body, starting with your toes and working up to the top of your head. Or you can concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing, or repeat a mantra. Sex, masturbate or whatever can help relaxation ;)

If you still can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something boring and repetitive, don’t just lie there.

No comments: