Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Where's my brain's "off" switch?

I've been having trouble sleeping lately. For some reason, my brain refuses to take a nighttime break. So I lie there, with thoughts of work, chores, errands, Dexter, groceries, etc. all prancing through my head. And no matter what, I just can't stop it.

Even when I do get to sleep, I'm having high stress dreams about getting stuck at work until 2 am or my parents' house getting robbed. I will audibly tell myself, "Relax!" and sometimes I'll even count to 100, or down from 100, while picturing the numbers as clearly as possible, trying to distract myself. But even while doing this, the thoughts sneak in and my mind decides to multitask.

Last night was the worst, but I think that might have to do with the fever. I had to take a half day just so I could get some sleep this morning, since my stupid brain kept me up all night.

So what can I do to shut my brain off??? I just want to relax and not think about my ever-growing to-do list. But how?


marzi said...

i have the same problem. it especially happens when i have a new project i'm excited about, or when i'm super stressed.

have you tried writing a to-do list for the next day before you go to bed? that way there's nothing to worry about for the next day because it's sort of planned out already. sometimes it just helps to get it out of your head and onto a piece of paper. keep a notepad on your night table for when it starts creeping up on you.

hope that helps!

Suzie said...

I used to get insomnia a lot. It's no fun at all, you poor thing. I used to find yoga (the class I went to also involved meditation) really helped to relax me. I hope all this passes and you get a good nights sleep soon.

Sky-Doll said...

Try to drink some lime blossom teas throughout the day. It works fine with me. =)

Jeope said...

What font are the numbers in when you count? Perhaps a nice slab-serif could do the trick. I like Rockwell.

Tillybud said...

I go through times where I sleep like a baby and other times it seems I'm on high-alert mode!I really feel for you. I have a little ritual I do each time I feel stressed at night.I make some peppermint tea, heat up a wheat bag, wrap myself in a soft blanket and write down in bullet point form everything that's on my mind. Then I read a magazine until my eyes start to get heavy and either sleep there or go back to bed. Sending you lots of sleepy calm vibes for peaceful nights ahead!

Rob said...

my dearest dudeissa

there's this sleep medication thing called Sigur Ros... pronounced SEE-gore Rosse (or ross)
You can usually get it over the counter at your local record store..

leave it playing ever so softly before going to bed and that ususally does the trick.. if that medication doesn't work, I can prescribe to you some Bon Iver
(bone EE-vair)

-your friendly neighborhood barista

Mary said...

I have this problem as well. I have so many things to do. I've also been having problems with my memory lately...It's just shot! I need a maid and a personal assistant :)

It's funny, I do the counting backwards thing. I count from 10-1 then from 1-10...etc...Trying to focus on what each number looks like. And you are totally right, you can STILL manage to think about everything else under the sun while doing that. Ugh.

I hope you get some relief soon! I always find that it helps me to just knock a good many errands out and then do something FUN to relax. It's hard to manage all these things.

Maggie May said...

hi, just stumbled here and i have this problem often. i take melatonin, which is a natural supplement and puts me to sleep like a baby.
i also meditate or do dvd yoga, which reallly helps.

Anonymous said...

i feel your pain. I have the rushing thoughts as well. Try staying away from Dexter for awhile. That show and "six feet under" enhanced the nightmares. Good luck

lorrwill said...

Sorry chicky but the creative brain has no off switch. According to the "experts" it is also prone to nightmares.

Valerian root tea is kinda nice to mellow out with.

Sometimes working out really, really hard a couple of hours before bedtime is deep sleep inducing.

Anonymous said...

I know it's a late comment, but if you're still having trouble, this works for me sometimes: Imagine in your brain a high shelf with a box sitting on it labelled "TOMORROW." Whenever to-do list items pop into mind, grab them and put them in the box. Eventually, everything is in the box and you're free to sleep.