No, I’m not writing a new children’s book. The title of this post is how I describe myself at bedtime. I am eventually going to have to graduate to complete sensory deprivation in order to get to sleep.
Currently, I wear a bite guard (because I cracked 2 teeth from grinding, but the bite guard makes it easier to clench my jaw, therefore aggravates my TMJ, which gives me migraines, so I also frequently have to take migraine pills before bed to stave that off).
I wear earplugs. If I don’t wear earplugs, the cat bathing 2 rooms away in the middle of the night will wake me up. My husband leaving the sound on his phone notifications will wake me up every ten minutes. The ice maker in the freezer. The dog snoring. Cars in the road. Trains. Dogs barking three blocks away. All of this will conspire to keep me tossing and turning. My recent earache reminded me just how essential those earplugs are to my sanity.
I use a lavender aromatherapy eye pillow.
I’m not kidding. I know what this sounds like. It’s true, I have to wrap myself in a cocoon of cushy nothingness. No scent beyond lavender. No sound beyond my heartbeat. No light. No teeth touching one another.
But it gets worse. I also have to have the right pajamas. The right sheets. The right pillow. If I tried to sleep without my memory foam, I don’t know what I’d do.
I need the right routine. I am supposed to log off the internet and the computer an hour before bed. I’ve been bad about that lately, staying connected until a few moments before. I need to avoid caffeine late in the day – and too much caffeine, even in the morning. I have to be done eating dinner no fewer than 3 hours before bed.
My fitbit will be here any day now. (I had used one during a sleep-habits study in the fall and loved it. Besides, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. And this actually measures time slept and the amount of time spent tossing and turning.)
It’s extreme. I know that it sounds ridiculous. But thanks to getting into Princess Lollipop character, I am not an insomniac anymore. After three years of medicating my way to sleep every night, I’m okay with this. I do have to make fun of myself (that’s where the nickname came from). I also know that I feel better when I do it this way.
I learned my routine, and other tricks, from the Sleep Doctor, Michael Breus. His book “Good Night” was the thing that got me moving on my sleep. Another ARC I found hanging around the office, this one was life-changing.
What do you have to take to extremes to make yourself feel right? To take care of yourself?