Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Insomniac Productivity




Insomnia would be less awful if one could actually use the time for other things.

Alas, there is no such dividend. It's been going on for half of April, although it got better for a while. I do sleep, but it is the kind of constantly interrupted sleep where waking life begins to feel like a dream within a dream within a...

Tried reading, but found myself too tired to focus. Kept reading the same sentence over and over.

One night, sipping chamomile tea and sitting on the floor of the kitchen, I passed some of the time doing origami, experimenting with different ways to fold a letter so it can be sent through the mail without an envelope.

(Found a neat fold, by the way, here. Try it out -- it's also a neat way to hand someone a note. You can use your junk mail for practice, so as not to waste paper.)

I'm holding myself together for school, and preparing for a film shoot in Las Cruces this weekend. My mind is hamburger though. When I sit, my body feels like it's sitting on a moving platform or a hovercraft floating around; thoughts come in shreds. I had a peculiar waking dream on my cushion where I heard Mu Sang Sunim's voice speaking to me, sounding half asleep, saying, "Don't go to California." That's the sort of phenomenon people spin into metaphysical stories -- I heard a voice! It told me to eat my underwear! I'm not crazy, it was the angels, I swear it! No, kid, you just need some sleep.

Need. Sleep.

7 comments:

Nathan said...

Best of luck man. Have you tried Valerian root? It's an herbal that helps with sleep. Has helped me before.

Adam said...

crappy. I battled insomnia and other sleep issues for about 4 years in my late teens/early 20's. Not fun at all. At least you're doing something constructive. I'd usually watch TV or sometimes read.

Kyle said...

I hate to say it, but two unisomes and I'm out. I know what its like to be up for days on end and it SUCKS. Hope you can get some shut eye tonight.

DeeAnne said...

Those who know me know I really don’t sleep much as a general rule. Sometimes when I am not feeling well, I will sleep like the dead unable to get up to save my life, such is the nature of my disease. Anyway, I get asked a lot about how I sleep when I NEED sleep but just can’t seem to shut off my mind and do so. So, here it is. I don’t remember who taught me how to do this but I have been using this method as long as I can remember even as a small child so it probably was something my grandfather taught me.

First, prepare your room. It should be as dark as possible, comfortable, and with no distractions (turn off the phone ringer, the computer, the TV, and anything else that can catch your attention.) Now that your room is prepared, prepare yourself. You should be dressed in a manner comfortable to sleep in. If that means undressed, fine. If that means dressed, you should not be wearing any tight or restrictive clothing, nothing scratchy, and nothing that might become uncomfortable later (i.e. bunch up, twist, get overly hot/cold, etc). Ok, so get into bed and get comfortable. I find this works best for me if I start flat on my back even though I do not sleep that way but do whatever works for you.

Ready? Now comes the hard part. You need to focus all your attention on nothing. What? I do this by first focusing my mind on a piece of paper. I will find that my mind will very quickly put words, pictures, or other things all over that paper. I simply force my mind to erase all the virtual clutter from that page and then focus on its blankness. It takes some work to be able to hold this so don’t get frustrated just keep calmly erasing anything your mind tosses on that mental page. Once you feel like you have the blank white page focused on you can move on to the next step.

Now, keeping that blank whiteness focused in your mind, concentrate on your toes until you can feel the blood flowing in them. You do not want to control the blood flow, merely feel it moving within you. If you feel the page slipping, go back and refocus until you have it again then come back here. Once you have the page and the blood flow in your toes held move on.

Next you want to focus on feeling the blood leave your toes and flow through your legs. Remember it IS IMPORTANT that you do NOT want to control the flow merely feel it moving within you. So now you should have the blank white paper, the flow of blood through toes and legs all holding your focus. Continue with this throughout your body. Hips, torso, arms, fingers, head…. If you need to focus on smaller groups feel free. The important things are to maintain focus on that blank white page and feel the entire path of the blood. You can not drop the toes to do the legs etc…

If you can do this, I can pretty much assure you that you will be asleep well before you get halfway up your body. In my whole life I can only remember getting as far as my arms ONCE and that was during a time of such stress that it was unthinkable.

Best of luck and happy sleeping.

Kelly said...

Sorry about the insomnia...that's a real bummer. I have fairly frequent bouts of it, but I usually chalk it up to the full moon (I'm a country person and the moon gets VERY bright) or menopause (sorry, you can't use that last excuse).

I just hope if you listen to the voices/angels you at least buy your underwear somewhere like Frederick's and it's a flavor you like!

Pam said...

LOl!!! Underwear with sheep for counting might suffice.

Sorry to hear about the sleep deprivation. (knock on wood) I've never really had a problem with sleeping. Even with arthritis I still manage to get my zzzzzz....

Hal Johnson said...

Excuse what may be a piercing glimpse into the obvious, but I've found as I get older that cutting back on my caffeine intake helped my insomnia. And for some reason, coffee seems to affect my sleep more than tea. Heck, I can drink ten cups of tea in a day, and it doesn't seem to rob me of sleep as much as TWO cups of coffee.

But then, it can be a vicious circle: you don't sleep, so you need more caffeine . . .