Monday, October 27, 2008

Hardly Worth Sleeping

A few nights ago, I had one of those weird, vivid dreams that is like an aerobic work-out. I'd woken up in the night, gone to get a drink of water and settled back into bed thinking, "I still have a few good hours for sleep."

Next thing I knew, I was on the Freeway in my car, driving through the next suburb, and I was completely exhausted. My eyes kept automatically shutting behind the wheel and I had to jam them open every few seconds. My head swam with fatigue. I recall deciding to pull over and park, thinking I'd surely cause an accident if I didn't. But I knew I couldn't stay there for long because I had some urgent appointment I needed to get to, because people were waiting for me. My final thought was, "Oh boy, I wish I was lying down in my comfortable bed, under my nice, warm covers." Then I woke up and discovered that I actually was lying in my comfortable bed under my nice warm covers. I hate that sort of dream! Surely it's a waste of a sleep when you wake up feeling more exhausted than when you lay down.

My oldest son had trouble falling asleep a few nights ago, so my solution was plenty of exercise. There's a great steep hill near our place. I could call it "Roller-Coaster Hill" in a positive mood and "Cardiac Hill" in a negative one. I got him hiking up it, and it was pretty good for me too. It was quite funny because Emma heard me talking about Logan's insomnia, didn't know what it was and assumed that it might be some yucky disease or condition that she didn't want to catch.

I've suffered from the same thing myself in the past, and find it helpful to turn to Dale Carnegie's chapter, "How to keep from worrying about insomnia" in "How to stop worrying and start living." His advice comes down to five things.

1) If you can't sleep, get up and work or read until you feel sleepy.
2) Remember that nobody was ever killed by lack of sleep. Worrying about insomnia usually causes far more damage than sleeplessness.
3) Try prayer.
4) Relax your body.
5) Exercise. Get yourself so physically tired that you can't stay awake.


  1. I went through something like that when I was recovering from surgery closer to my come home date. When the nerves in my back were reconnecting, I was getting tingling in my legs so bad that I could not sleep. So I lay awake watching the Olympics, or surfing the Net.

    Worst thing you can do is watch TV or surf the Net. You are still stimulating the brain. So I got to the point where I wold just listen to our music channels on our TV, but it wasn't until I got some sleep aid medication that I was able to sleep.

    I am now in the process of weaning myself off of the sleep medication and it is going splendidly. I am taking the pills for one day then two days with no medication. Yippee for me!!

    Glad you were just dreaming.

  2. I had a dream like that a couple of weeks ago. It was like I could feel everything that was happening in my dream. It was so real, it was creepy! I didn't feel like I'd hardly slept at all when the alarm went off.

    I'll pray that you all sleep better.