What they say
a) Stop eating at least two hours before bed.
b) Develop a bedtime routine.
c) Avoid unnecessary lights, like TV and computer screens.
d) Use your bed for sleeping. If you know you can’t sleep, get up and do something else.
e) If that fails, do mental exercises that will weary you (not counting sheep)
f) Remove any clocks from your room. It will lessen the anxiety.
g) Drink warm milk.
h) Try to empty your mind.
I) Eliminate any sources of noise.
j) Do not over-stress about sleep. It will come.
What I do
a) Bring a muffin with me, in case I get hungry.
b) I have a routine. Turn on the humidifier, stick the night guard into my mouth, take about six different pills, fill up the water bottle, put on the air mask, stick that bolster under my legs for the back pain, find that most comfortable position after ten tries.
c) Take the iPad to bed, snap it into its holder, so I can read and write laying on my back.
d) If I can’t sleep, read some more blogs and write some more silly poems.
e) Mental exercises include naming the 50 states, and trying to remember the words to
“I am the Walrus”
f) Set my alarm for 7:30 so I can drive my wife to work, then go back to sleep.
g) I tried this, but it makes me pee five times.
h) My mind is already empty. I fill it with ideas of what to write tomorrow, what bills I forgot to pay, whether the car will finally conk out, thinking I have made conflicting appointments, hoping that meeting with the newspaper editor will go well. And, if I happen to get a sudden inspiration to write, I turn the iPad back on and go to town before I forget.
I) Noise? No problem. Close the bedroom door to drown out the wife’s snoring from across the hall, and put those earplugs in for good measure.
j) Instead of over-stressing about sleep, I play a game with myself. I try instead to stay awake.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.