MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “sleep”

Tired Souls

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Techniques to fight insomnia or to ensure you get “a good night’s sleep” are usually similar with techniques to relax. It’s the things ‘life coaches’/’instructors’ and the likes fill your mind with and they very often center around one thing: letting go of whatever thoughts are troubling your mind.

The idea is to focus on something else if on nothing at all is not possible.

To stare into the star-filled sky, take a long walk, absorb your attention into something different that will also get you tired, and steadily push aside what is causing your anxiety to skyrocket.

Fix your posture.

Breathe.

Relax.

For all of us, there are some nights when falling – and staying – asleep is difficult. The mind is not an easy thing to control. It remembers things at random moments and shoves them right in front of you when you least want them to appear. And it wakes up when all you desire is to shut down.

Just remember, sleep doesn’t help if it’s your soul that’s tired.

And that’s when you need to take care of you first and foremost.

No news is not a fact

https://fcmalby.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/latest-news-headlines.jpgYou know that feeling when you go to bed at night at a decent hour, tired but satisfied with what you’ve accomplished, and then wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to actively engage in a full day ahead? Could you describe what that feels like please? Because in our hectic lives, this all sounds like a luxury. Being able to go to sleep early and wake up having adequately rested.

These current times are interesting in many ways – in the fact that revolutionary movements spur to life, that innovations succeed one another faster than you realise, that societies strive to become more open-minded, that politics reveals just how dirty a game it can be, and terrorism overshadows the entire globe. Everything seems to evolve so rapidly that you sleep-in for a few hours more, and wake up feeling you lost an entire year due to all the things that have happened: violent massacres, gruesome juvenile crimes, train accidents, lost airplanes, mass shootings, explosions, financial crises, political elections, the emergence of radical movements, and so much more than you could ever imagine.

We have reached such a point that when we read fewer than five items of news per day, we begin to worry that we missed something. It’s that feeling when all of a sudden your heart begins to pump faster and anxiety overwhelms you, because you are almost certain there is something you didn’t see or you haven’t heard of. It’s like the restless calm before the storm; when you know that the next day will definitely contain a shower of news headlines to compensate the fewer ones the day before.

But all of this is exhausting. Not only for people who have to cover the news. But for everyone who reads and listens to it. It is physically and mentally stressful to hear all this negativity span our lives. To constantly add to the stress of contemporary living and to know that things will hardly get any better.

So how do you manage this situation? Probably in the only way you can: with a nap whenever possible. Because you may feel strong and able, but after a while, your organism itself will begin to call on you – through headaches that turn into migraines, upset stomach, and drowsiness – sounding an internal alarm that you need to slow down, rest and maybe even hit pause. The news will happen whether you chase it or not. And unless you have some kind of superpower, there is little you can do to change that.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Struggle

Bulletproof

http://1cqgxm3l59yi2wwbnn3qy35h.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/sunroom-on-a-snowy-day-1-16.jpgShe woke up enveloped in her fluffy quilt. It was snowing outside, which resulted in it being freezing cold inside. It is strange, though, how she woke up far sleepier than when she went to bed late the night before. She decided to roll over and snooze the alarm clock one more time. But she had managed to wrap herself so tightly in the quilt that she couldn’t really move. It was easy to fall back asleep in the warmth of a comfortable bed.

The alarm clock buzzed for the third and last time.

Ashley knew that if she allowed herself to sleep through this one too, she would never get up in time. Andrew had challenged her to a cross-fit session that morning. She presumed it would be more fun if she went with a friend, and at least she might even go back for more after this one. Gyms were obviously not her favourite place.

But how do you convince yourself to get up in all that cold?

An email bleeped on her phone. The first thing she thought after reading it was that stupidity is everywhere. She was wide awake from aggravation as the message simply further demonstrated the incompetence of certain people who lack the capacity of comprehending their own limits and faults. She got up instantly and within half an hour was out of the door.

Working out does help your psychology. Because for that hour you are there, you manage to forget everything else. You become bulletproof. You are allowed to take out all your rage and aggravation, peaking your adrenaline levels, and then all of a sudden you feel so calm, as if nothing ever happened to distress you in the first place. It is certainly true what they say, that a healthy mind lives better in a healthy body, because it is not only about being physically fit that is important. It is about being happy about it too. About maintaining the proper attitude to be able to ignore certain things. To not allow trivial stuff to strike at your nerves. It is about reinforcing your organism’s shielding capacity and boosting your own mentality.

That way, even on freezing days, you can find the courage and determination to get out of bed, because you never know what an amazing day may lie ahead for you.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Lesson of the day

sleep deprived owlYou know that feeling you get towards the end of the day, when you realise that going to bed late the previous night was a bad idea? It’s because the tiredness catches up with you and you’re suddenly drained, to the extent that even coffee makes you sleepy now.

It’s nice exploiting to the fullest every waking hour you have. So much, that you are even out of the country and back during the week without anyone realizing. Or to the point that you have taken multitasking to another level with the amount of things you do.

But there is one thing that you need to run all of this: just like an engine needs fuel, you need sleep. And it is not easy. Because when you finally get comfortable and curl up in bed, you suddenly remember everything you need to do and become wide awake again. In a vicious-circle-like phase, you’ll be back to feeling sleepy the next afternoon, right in the middle of all those things you just mentally noted you need to complete.

Whatever the case, we all need to find a few extra hours to catch up on this vital life process. You’ll hear a lot about what sleep deprivation can do – increase your need for food, add extra pounds, encourage wrinkles, diminish your memory. Most of all, you won’t be able to fully process everything you are so actively engaged in, if you are not adequately rested and awake to enjoy them!

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An instant switch

from happy to sadIt’s called rolling back instantly. At least that was what Helga used to call it. Her grandmother told her it was a trait inherited from the women’s part of the family.

It usually came more abruptly during those hectic days, when Helga was multitasking beyond her stress capacity. When she was constantly running around with things to do, filling up her diary with post-its just so she wouldn’t forget anything, and never being able to reduce her to-do list. It was those days when she didn’t even have time to think. But once the storm passed and things quietened down to normal (breathing) rhythms, Helga’s mind began to wander again.

And that is when it struck.

That sinking feeling that switched her mood from feeling like a queen bee to feeling like a homeless pauper. All in less than a second. It all happened so fast, none of her friends ever understood how someone could change emotions so rapidly.

But it happened.

It was because when she finally relaxed – be it after a warm bath or a proper meal – that is the moment when her body began to catch up with her. That is when the tiredness sunk in, when the exhaustion hit her nervous system, and when her brain was calling for a temporary, but immediate, shut down in order to recuperate.

It didn’t last too long – maybe until the next day – but all she could do when it happened was try to relax and simply go to bed. Crawl under the covers and allow herself those few precious hours of literally not thinking about anything else other than what Morpheus brought along.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Mountaintops and Valleys

11 thoughts that keep you awake at night

tom_awake at nightIf you’re not one of those people who fall asleep as soon as their head hits a pillow, then you know what it’s like to toss and turn through the night wondering when you’ll finally fall asleep so you can stop thinking. In moments such as these, there are usually a million things cramped in your head. And it’s not just the sheep you are trying to count in the hope of dozing off.

Here are just eleven of the thoughts that may keep you up at night:

  1. Did I turn off the lights/lock the door/shut the fridge door? (Yet always too lazy to get up and check)
  2. Did I feed the dog/cat/fish?
  3. Why hasn’t s/he called today?
  4. What if s/he doesn’t want to talk to me/ isn’t thinking about me as much / doesn’t care?
  5. Why didn’t I be more aggressive at the meeting this morning? Subtleness is only understood by intelligent people and that was clearly not the case.
  6. Was I productive enough today? I should do more exercise.
  7. What if I had taken that job in Hawaii two years ago?
  8. I wondering what (ex) is doing now…
  9. I’m tired. Maybe I should call (friend) for drinks tomorrow and a chat. I need people to talk to.
  10. What am I going to wear tomorrow?
  11. If I fall asleep right now I will get roughly four hours of sleep.

What keeps you up at night?

A dreamer, a sleeper, a traveler

Mount Saint HelensHelmut was a sleeper. Most people called him a dreamer but that wasn’t always true. He could sleep without having any dreams.

It was both funny and concerning at how easily, fast and deeply he could sleep.

The saying that even bombs falling can’t awake him, was literally true in his case. For all his drowsiness, Helmut was a widely-travelled man. For work reasons (he was a non-conformist travel reporter) he had found himself in the Gaza region. But when the bombing occurred he was safe asleep in his bed.

During another time, he was across continent, in Asia when an earthquake of great magnitude hit Japan. Helmut felt nothing. He was dreaming of relaxing with a mojito on a beach in Copacabana while rocking gently on a hammock.

Sometimes he was upset that he missed great events. Like for example a FIFA World Cup thrashing of a prestigious team.

Or the New Year’s Eve fireworks at a packed world-famous central square.

Helmut didn’t mean to fall asleep everywhere and at any time. It just happened. Particularly when he was exhausted after an intense day of travelling, running around and researching his renown reportages. He was good at his work. He was just running out of energy and lacking in stamina to endure a full 24-hour day.

Yet, the things he had seen in his life, few people could boast about. Helmut had visited all 50 must-see cities within the span of 2 years, and he had seen much more. He saw things tourists did not know existed. And that was what made his stories unique. They were real, authentic and true. So what if he didn’t experience the force of a tsunami? He was there to view the aftermath, the human sorrow, the destruction, the tragedy of continuing having lost everything, and the courage to restart from scratch.

In the end it was true – Helmut was a dreamer with eyes both shut and wide open. But he saw the world for what it was. And for all it was worth, experiencing a thousand moments of consequence meant so much more than living a few seconds of impact.

 

N.B. Links to the events are merely for reference and to serve as recent examples. No matter how well travelled Helmut may be he cannot have been in so many different places at more or less the same time period.

What lies in a bed

bed_walnutWhat most people look forward to at the end of each day is falling into soft, clean sheets and getting the rest they deserve after a tiring day. Then of course, you have to find the courage to get out of bed the next morning. George Horace Lorimer perhaps said it best “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination, if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.

Sleeping in your own bed entails the comfort of floating – that light-weight, carefree, burden-less sensation that allows you to carry off in a deep, tranquil sleep.

And when you’re away from your own bed for a while, you learn to appreciate it more. It is more than just the feeling of luxury, it is rather feeling where you belong. It is being embraced by a mattress, into which you have molded the very shape of your body. Which has been fashioned over the years so as to act as a perfect fit.

But the best part of it all is when you turn in tired and satisfied after a productive day. That is when you truly experience the indulgence of cuddling into bed, wrapped into warm sheets and drifting into the arms of Morpheus.

Early Bird or Night Owl?

Early Bird or Night Owl

The saying goes that it is the early bird that catches the worm. But on the other hand, the night owl is considered one of the wisest animals on the planet. (Of course, there is also the one that says the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese). So which one is it?

I think I’m a night owl. Wait. I know I am. I usually write and get inspired during the late night hours. And I do find it difficult to get up early in the morning. I will get up if I have to though. It’s just not a matter of choice. And although all this “early or night person” is considered to depend on your “biological internal clock”, I think it also depends on the circumstances in your life. For example, maybe it’s too hot to get up and be productive early in the day. Maybe by the time you sort out your daily schedule, half the day has already gone by. Or just maybe, you appreciate the silence of the world asleep, in order to get your work done. Away from distractions and prying eyes.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t really matter what kind of bird you are, so long as you’re free to fly as you please!

 

Part of Daily Prompt: Your Time to Shine

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Because the Night

Calling on Morpheus

funny_insomniac_owl_sticker-Lately I can’t sleep. At all. And it’s not just because of the mouse running around in the roof, fighting a pigeon, and all the rumbling going on over my head because of it. No. I can’t sleep because I can’t seem to get all these thoughts out of my head. Another consequence of this maledetta crisis… And the more I try not to think, the more something else pops into my head and my insomnia simply nourishes itself and perpetuates this state of non-sleep. Even if I am extremely tired, when I go to bed I suddenly become wide awake. So much that sometimes I actually empathise with owls – if I hooted, I would very well know what it feels to be one – awake all night and falling asleep during the day. It’s not pleasant, I’ll tell you that. You end up eventually falling asleep when you actually don’t want to – when you’re watching your favourite TV series for instance, or during a sunny afternoon.

So how do you treat insomnia? Despite the inadvertently ironic response that “the best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep” (W. C. Fields), I was told that the only way to treat insomnia is to relax. Easier said than done, you may say and I agree. Maybe even meditate – but that sometimes leads to more thinking so…not that helpful. Counting sheep doesn’t help either because I get confused along the way. Then imagining you’re climbing down a flight of stairs also has adverse results leading to the feeling that you’re falling off the bed and resulting in you jolting every few minutes. But I find that actually getting yourself tired during the day may also help you fall asleep at night. So exercise, yoga and a whole lotta running around, ought to do the trick!

So I tried that and it sort of helped. I slept for two hours. Then the super mouse went into a crazy chase and cannibalous scrambling and screeching with a bird in my roof and I was up. Again. My brother joked that some people would actually pay to see a fight like that going on. But I wasn’t seeing anything – and definitely wouldn’t want to either. There was just so much noise going on at hours during which even the night itself is asleep, or rather should be. It’s annoying. And everyone knows that the more irritated you get, the more your blood pressure rises due to an increasing heartbeat and the more awake you feel. Get my point?

Anyway, so here I am trying to fight insomnia away. During the process I have listened to about five playlists twice over, written a 4,000 word story, and a dozen of other short stories of varying themes and plots. Hey, at least I’m being productive.

I’ll try to go to sleep now. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve realized that getting yourself tired actually works. A bit. So I’m hoping Morpheus will visit soon (no, not the one from The Matrix, although that would be cool…). Anyway, if you have any work you would like to get done, give me a shout, I may still be up…

N.B. Written at 2am.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Mr. Sandman

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