This week I’m determined to seriously start trying to sort out my sleep.
It’s been messed up for a while. I never seem to get quite enough and don’t feel refreshed even if I do… or I wake up in the early hours and can’t get back to sleep for ages. Either way, not good. I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m existing in this sort of not-fully-conscious state with a haze of tiredness that I can’t shake off clumped around my head. (I have my suspicions about how this started. A few months of receiving abusive texts and phonecalls that you can’t get away from at all hours can do a lot to make you view sleep the way a starving African child probably views food. I think it left me anxious that I’d never get a decent night’s sleep again in my life. But that’s in the past now and it’s about time I stopped feeling that way).
So I bought Paul McKenna’s sleep book. Having grown up watching him on the telly using his hypnosis skills to make people act like chickens and forget that the number seven exists hasn’t actually put me off him too badly as a serious self help author. Some of his suggestions are a bit out there and possibly not backed up by much science. But on the plus side he writes in a very positive and engaging tone that I find more helpful and easy to read than most authors. Usually when I read a self help type book I find myself feeling alienated and thinking “This doesn’t really apply to me, I’m different from the people they’re talking about”. I never get that with Paul McKenna’s books. They have a way of making me feel that yes, this was written for me, so I’m more likely to actually take notice and persevere with the advice.
There are lots of very useful little practical suggestions, some of which I already knew I should be doing (cutting down caffeine, not napping during the day), but some new to me (like keeping a notebook beside the bed so you can write down ideas that come to you rather than have them go round and round in your head keeping you awake). I’m going to attempt to do as many of them as possible for the next few weeks. Multi-pronged attacks are good in my experience. They’re more effort up front, but there’s also much more chance of things changing enough that it feels worthwhile carrying on. There is also a hypnosis CD to help you fall asleep; I’ve tried it three times so far and twice I fell asleep before the end. So far, so good.
One “prong” is giving up alcohol (again) for a while. It may be that it’s fine to go back to drinking in moderation, but for the moment it’s another thing that could be interfering with my sleep, so worthwhile eliminating it and seeing what happens.
I’ll let you know what happens…
(Actually, maybe I won’t. I have a feeling I’ve said that about things before and then probably never did. Sorry).