I used to be able to sleep anywhere, tie a piece of string across a room and I could hang there and sleep happily all night. For the nights I found it difficult to sleep, like Christmas Eve or before going on holiday or when my mind is racing and will not shut up, I have a couple of strategies. You know the sort of thing, reciting something boring in your head until you drop off, the proverbial counting sheep, although I don't count sheep I recite the Kings and Queens of Britain. Yeah, works for me a treat.
Then there's relaxation techniques, I do one I learnt many years ago at a yoga class. Lie on your back, starting at your feet make them feel very heavy and try to lift them up but not actually raise them at all. Slowly move up your body, legs, bum, hands, arms, head. By the time you get to your head you should feel very relaxed if not already asleep.
So with these winning ways what could possibly stop me from sleeping?
1. Unchecked Doors and WindowsI read a bit then turn off my bedside light and snuggle down. Husband is asleep. He said he had checked the doors and windows but I lie there thinking did he check the patio doors? Did he check the study window? Why didn't I just check it? Shall I get up or lie here worrying? I'll lie here worrying until four am when I'll drop off to sleep except I hear strange noises.
2. Strange Noises
Obviously loud noises keep most people up but this is the strange "is that a footstep on the stairs?" type noise, you know the ones. You know all the noises in the house but never heard this before. No-one else is in the house, so I lie there listening for more. Then I need a wee.
3. WeeI went before I got into bed. It's now the middle of the night. It's dark, it's freezing cold and there was that strange noise hours ago..... Shall I get up or lie here for an hour then get up? I'm just about to fall asleep despite the urge to wee when I remember something.
4. Remembering SomethingI remember something with a start. Always something that I can not do anything about but will worry me for ages. Like forgetting to post a birthday card. Even if I get up and post it the next collection is 5pm so it won't get there in time. I lie there wide awake and suddenly there is a loud noise like a gun shot!
5. GunshotsA loud explosion like a shotgun. Except it's in my head, only I can hear it. I haven't had this for ages but it is called exploding head syndrome, honest it really is. The name is scarier than the noise but it supposedly is safe and happens as you are falling asleep. Just as I am falling asleep bam! I fall off a curb or trip over a log, that's a similar thing. Then there's snoring.
6. SnoringNot the husband, that's sorted with a quick kick...or two. No, just as I am dropping off I wake myself up, again and again and again! Snore, snore, snore. Then I have a thought, an irrational thought like my damaged nail varnish
7. Damaged Nail VarnishI damaged my nail varnish on Boxing day, peeling red nail varnish is not a good look but I left it. Then again the next day it got worse but I left it. Then that night, just as I was going to sleep, I suddenly thought, what if I had to go to hospital? (I have no idea where that thought came from) They would think I was awful if they they saw my chipped nails and my husband wouldn't think to remove it. I eventually decide I'm too tired to get up and do something and although I think I haven't fallen asleep I wake up covered in sweat.
8. Night SweatsI'm of that age, menopausal, so I get night sweats. I get too hot with duvet on, too cold with duvet off. I have an expensive duvet that is a temperature regulating one, it's too hot on and too cold off. Night sweats feel the same as sweats from bad dreams, so maybe it was a bad dream that woke me up?
9. Bad DreamsI am such a scaredy cat that everything frightens me. Nightmares, well everyone is scared of those but I have weird dreams too, in the day they would be weird but in the night they are scary. Then every time I drop off I fall straight back into the dream and have to wake myself up. Then I just toss and turn relentlessly.
10. Tossing and TurningSome nights my bed is so uncomfortable and I just cannot find a comfortable position. I toss and I turn until I have the sheet wrapped around me so I can't move.
When I was working I always slept badly on a Sunday night. I am sure it was because I was worried I'd sleep late the next day even with an alarm. Alarms have snooze buttons and I do like to press snooze and go back to sleep.
Thats another problem, I finally fall asleep at a ridiculous time in the morning and the alarm goes off. My bed is warm and cosy, it is the most comfortable place to be. I sneak an arm out from under the duvet and press the button, yes the snooze button. I could sleep for hours.
Do you have trouble sleeping sometimes? What are your tips to get a good nights sleep?