Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sleep, Sleep, You Are Getting Sleeepy...

Dear Cheapskate,

I am so sorry to hear about your insomnia. Are worries about a spendthrift mistake keeping you awake? Did you blow half of your daily $5 budget on a lousy, useless piece of cheese cloth with weave so large the yogurt seeped right though and you wish you had your money back? That's $2.50 gone!  No wonder you can't sleep.

Cheapskate, I've had my share of insomnia and I have ways to beat it. Free! No need to spend money on sleeping pill presciptions, dream doctors, teas guaranteed to ease you into a gentle slumber, aromatherapy, a Chillow (mighty tempting - it's a chill pillow?) or a sheet of magnets to place under you mattress.

Cheapskate's cure for insomnia.

1) No caffeine.
None. Seriously. Not even in the morning. Not even chocolate. Not even if you're one of those people who say, "Caffeine doesn't affect me."

2) Exercise.
Hard aerobic exercise. Ride your bike up and down steep hills. Run stadium stairs. If you already exercise a lot, do that plus something else. Make it hurt.

3) No naps.
Not cat naps, no chair naps. Even a short nap will screw up your sleep.

4) Bed is for sleep only.
Don't do anything in bed except sleep. No reading, no eating crackers (goes without saying), no jumping, no watching movies on your laptop, no singing. If you can't fall asleep, get out of bed. Teach your  body that bed is for sleeping and you won't tolerate anything but.
Cheapskate, I know what you're thinking. And yes, there is another activity that you can do in bed and yes, that activity will help you to sleep. Go for it.

5) Regular sleep schedule.
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. If you go to bed early or sleep in, you'll have sleep trouble again! Even if you didn't fall asleep until 3 in the morning, get up at 7 anyway. Get your internal clock working.

6) No drinking after 6pm.
I don't mean alcohol. (Never drink any alcohol.) I'm talking about liquid, like water, coconut milk,,, Do you want to fall into a delicious slumber only to be jolted awake by a call from your bladder? No, I didn't think so.

7) Temperature.
Open the window, close the window, add blankets, remove blankets. Whatever works.

8) Comfy bed.
If you don't have a comfy bed, get one free on craigslist or freecycle. Rig one up! I pile up blankets under my sheets for extra softness.

9) Reduce stress.
I know, easier said than done. Don't watch a scary movie or call your enemies just before bed. If you can never sleep the night before a bike race, quit bike racing!

10) Pep talk.
Say to yourself, "It doesn't matter if you don't sleep, you'll function just fine tomorrow! Don't worry about falling asleep!"
You know you're totally lying but you fall for it anyway! You sucker.

This is what I do for insomnia, for free!!

What do you do for insomnia?

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