It’s weird how loud quiet can be, huh? The buzzing of appliances, the whir of distant cars and even our own breath hammers at the silence of these sleepless nights. Even the volume on the TV seems calibrated differently on nights like this. Insomnia stinks. You don’t need us to tell you that. You’re going through it right now. You don’t need to hear about the ins and outs of this experience because you’re living it. Now isn’t the time for medical advice or the urging to seek our care. Now is the time for a little commiseration, a little something to help while the hours meander on, and a few things to help you snag a bit of rest before the long night is over. For now, if you haven’t already, stop chasing sleep. Get comfy, put on some blue-light blocking glasses, and sit with us for a bit. We have some gentle things for you to try, and if nothing else, can help provide a break from scrolling.
Insomnia can feel isolating, but you’re truly not alone. That’s part of why you should go easy on yourself. Don’t stress about tomorrow. There’s no shame in struggling to sleep and no fault for you to cast upon yourself. A wise man once said, “My life is only one day long.” He went on to explain that yesterday is over and no longer exists; it’s no longer real, so there is no use in dwelling on it. Tomorrow hasn’t happened, so it doesn’t exist yet, either. Again, there’s no use in dwelling on it. The only day of your life is today. You can’t control the circumstances of it. You’re the only person there for all of it, so in each moment, be kind to yourself and give yourself what you need. Right now, you need to feel comfortable and relax. If sleep is not coming, there’s no use in dwelling on that. Simply focus on what is real in this moment. Close your eyes and name the things you know are real. You body. Your bed. The kitchen table. The floor. The walls. You’re still resting, even if you’re restless.
Let’s Do an Activity
Go grab a pencil or a pen and a notebook. Keep the lights dim and the room quiet. We’re just going to draw for a bit. Don’t worry about doing a good job. This is just a gift for your brain and no one needs to see it but you. There is a forest in Utah that consists of 40,000 genetically identical quaking aspen trees with one interconnected root system. It’s considered the largest single organism on Earth and weighs over 13 million pounds. This forest of clone aspens has been around for 80,000 years, quietly swaying in Utah breezes. Take your pencil and paper and doodle with this forest in mind. It doesn’t have to be literal. Just think about 40,000 trees chilling out in Utah, weathering storms, changing colors together, being homes to squirrels. Listen to the scratch of your pen or pencil on the paper. Let it be a little hypnotic.
Let’s Lay Down
You stumbled upon this article which shows you have an awareness of your needs. You should be proud of yourself. Even if you don’t find sleep tonight, you’re giving yourself the rest you’re able to and that is good. So let’s get back into bed. First, consider making it a little cooler in your room. Turn on a fan or lower the thermostat to help you relax. When you lay back down, try laying on your back or in whatever position helps you release the most tension for your body. Take a deep breath, hold it while you tense your face muscles, then slowly release the breath while you relax your face muscles again. Repeat this for your neck, shoulders, arms, abdomen and every muscle group you can isolate, working your way down to your toes. When you’re finished, your body should feel more relaxed. Now just focus on your breathing. If intrusive thoughts come into your mind, just say “thanks, but not now” and imagine some place peaceful, such as the Aspen forest, a beach or somewhere special to you.
When You’re Ready, Reach Out to Whitney Sleep
You don’t need to make a plan of action tonight. In fact, that’s the last thing you need to be thinking about. Just know that when you’re ready to make a to-do list, Whitney Sleep is here to help you overcome your insomnia. Whitney Sleep takes a consultative one-on-one approach to understanding your struggles with insomnia. Our sleep doctors and technicians specialize in helping people suffering from insomnia. Through comprehensive evaluations, we will help identify the root causes of and provide treatment for persistent or chronic insomnia. Everyone deserves good sleep. Reach out to us tomorrow for the help finding the rest you deserve.