Monday, January 09, 2012

Sleepless in Notting Hill

Happy Monday, all! Yes, it's my first full day back at the Writing Desk after a lovely long vacation, and I'm dragging my butt to my office chair with all the enthusiasm of a child to a plate of broccoli (I'm sorry -- that's all I could come up with).

Why? Because last night was one of those nights. You know, a night when you lie, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling as your mind swirls aimlessly from one topic to another, wishing the man beside you would STOP SNORING so you'd have a hope in HELL of getting some sleep! Ahem.

Much as I'd like to, I really can't blame it on the snoring. I often go through cycles of sleeplessness, and I've devised my own little handy-dandy ways of coping.

1. Move to another location, if possible. A change is as good as a rest -- hopefully! If nothing else, at least the dragging-your-arse-to-the-sofa might tire you out. Extra bonus: the clatter and clang as you alter locales will likely awaken your significant other, so the two of you can experience sleeplessness together! Hey, it may not be quality time, but it's all about quantity. Or not.

2. This is a particular favourite of mine: if you live in an old building like me, entertain yourself by imagining all the previous inhabitants. How many people have died in this exact same room? Or even . . . been murdered here? What grisly secrets could this room hold? The aftermath of the resulting spurt of adrenaline will leave you exhausted for sure.

3. Still awake? Why not contemplate, for hours, turning on the light and reading, but never actually do it? Instead, toss and turn, simply because it's much more invigorating.

4. Count the whoosh of the night buses as they fly down the street. Similar to the sheep method, but minus cute fluffiness and with squealing brakes instead of gentle baaing.

By now, you should either be asleep -- or it should be morning. The long night is over. Now to get through the day . . .

Have a great one!

67 comments:

  1. LOL. Sounds like me at night! :o) Welcome back!

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  2. I had a restless night as well. Though I blame mine on the fact that I'm a "bubble boy" and am in the throes of an allergic reaction, i.e. body rash. No good. No good, I tell you.

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  3. Sounds like me! Nothing has worked for me so far so I usually toss and turn until it's time to get up. I hate those nights! :c

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  4. Yes, sounds like my nights as well. One thing I heard recently is to begin winding down your evening earlier so by the time you get into bed you're in a quieter space. If all else fails, I play spider solitaire till I'm bleary-eyed.
    Karen

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  5. Coffee. It'll get you through the day, easily. And joyfully. Happy writing today :)

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  6. LOL. I usually get up and if it is warm I sit and watch the stars. If it is winter, I try and make up poems about insomnia. :D

    Glad your butt is back in the seat. Looking forward to seeing what the great TR produces for us this year! X

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  7. Counting backwards from 300 does it for me sometimes - I defy anyone to get beyond about 272 - along with any yoga breathing exercises.

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  8. Zerg. Sleeplessness is the worst. :o\ I make lists, then I try to chase down plotlines for whatever book I'm still working on. Then I pray... "Lord, please let me go to sleep now..." :D

    Sometimes one of those works! ((hugs)) Here's to back to it~

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  9. I do sympathise. I have bouts of not sleeping well too and either a) read, b) get up and make a drink or walk around c) lie there and make myself relax, then I doze and finally hopefully fall asleep vut it not then at least I've got some rest d) try not to worry cos that makes sleep even more difficult to come by. Hope you have a better night tonight. take care and welcome back. FP x

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  10. Ugh, I hate those nights! And I always tell myself it would be more productive to get up and read or write or do something, but I never do. I just toss and turn for hours. Hope you get a better night tonight!

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  11. My go-to insomnia cure is the couch - with CSPAN on the telly. (Our 24 hour channel featuring members of Congress and/or deadly dull book reviews delivered in a monotone.) Oh, and I've learned to sleep with foam earplugs to tune out distracting noises (not just snoring but the heat vents flapping, the neighbor's dog barking, and the miscellaneous groans of the house.)

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  12. I already excel at number three...

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  13. I've only recently suffered from insomnia. Wine doesn't help. I should get up but toss and turn. Glad I have ESPN to watch.

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  14. Welcome back! I've been out too and trying to catch up, get back into writing AND start another term of school.

    I tend to fall asleep easily but wake up several times during the night. And it's not night buses that keep me awake: it's the train that runs 50 yards from our loft. Talk about squeaky brakes!!

    Hope you're awake now and working away! And I hope you're able to get some rest tonight. Cheers!

    Jen

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  15. Blame it on jet lag.

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  16. I'm surprised you didn't mention just get up and write, then sleep during the day. Last night my husband sounded like a train going through the house. I slept 3 hours. And no, I didn't get up and write. What, me take my own advice? Not really.

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  17. When I stop sleeping I stop sleeping big time. There's nothing that'll make me nod off, and certainly not your second suggestion! You have my sympathies. A friend reckons she only has to have a banana at bedtime to get a peaceful night. It's never worked for me but it could be worth a try.

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  18. I use a meditative technique of simply counting, concentrating on ONLY the numbers as I say them slowly and quietly in my mind. As soon as a different thought floats into my mind, I go back to 1. Usually at first I can only get to 3 or 4 before something distracts me. Then I can get to 20 or 30 or even higher. For some reason, I find this very relaxing and it's good practice for focusing the mind.

    Great interview! I love broccoli.

    x Glad you're back. x

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  19. On my sleepless night I count how many times my husband gets up the the bathroom...

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  20. I had a restless nights sleep,too. I blame it on the fact that I had a throbbing headache due to allergies.
    Hopefully tonight will be better for both of us!
    Sweet Dreams.

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  21. Welcome back and sleep well tonight. I was sleepless last night and composed a post dealing with it which sent me to sleep.

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  22. Sleep is just like that. It comes when it wants to. Even as a child I had bad nights. We are what we eat say some and maybe there's a truth in that. Some foods just keep us up.
    Lately I put in earplugs on and listen to a favourite cd. Seems to work better than anything else I've tried.
    Have a great day and sleep better tonight.

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  23. I've never thout of imagining who died in the room. Hilarious!

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  24. Ugh! I had that exact same night! (even the blame it on the hubs snoring even though I know that's not it) *sigh* Those are great tips though. I will have to remember the one about imagining the people that lived there before us thing! I listen to the humidifier sighing or day dream. But it still takes forever. I think it's the added pressure that you know you're TRYING to get to sleep because it just keeps getting later and later.

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  25. Ugh! I had that exact same night! (even the blame it on the hubs snoring even though I know that's not it) *sigh* Those are great tips though. I will have to remember the one about imagining the people that lived there before us thing! I listen to the humidifier sighing or day dream. But it still takes forever. I think it's the added pressure that you know you're TRYING to get to sleep because it just keeps getting later and later.

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  26. Unfortunately, I'm always the snorer in any relationship! LOL!!!

    Or I blame the cat! LOL!

    Hope you got to have some rest eventually though!!! Yay!!

    Take care
    x

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  27. Snoring is like fingernails on blackboard to me. Aaaaack. I'm afraid I deal with it by kicking the man; it makes him roll over and stop for a few minutes. But yes, it only bothers me when I'm already having insomnia to start with.

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  28. Wow, did my downstairs neighbor keep you up with her partying last night, too?? With the amazing acoustics of our building - the way her garden flat patio is at the base of a big cement shaft leading up to our bedroom window - I wouldn't be surprised if the sound trumpeted outward those couple miles. I had a big nap today as a result, and hubby had slept on the couch. (He's usually the culprit, however - I've got a snorer, too, gol' damn it). Anyway, hope you're rested and well. My Kindle is loaded with your books, so I'm looking forward to catching up! Speaking of catching up, let me know if ever the mood strikes to take me up on the wine I still owe you. :)

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  29. So many writers I know have insomnia right now. I wonder if it is the weather? Or the season? I have always had terrible insomnia but I have made it productive. I read or write. Arguably, I don't do either well but at least I'm not staring at the clock.

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  30. Um...#2 would have my back straight, nerves wired and the insomnia would last for a few days, too fearful to go to sleep lol!!!

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  31. Sorry you had such a rough night. Sometimes I stop fighting it and either read or try jotting notes down. But I like your ideas better! Hope you sleep well tonight! Julie

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  32. Hope you sleep better tonight! Will have to remember these tips!

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  33. Hope you manage to get some sleep! I'm a victim of number 3. My brain never shuts up!

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  34. Welcome back!

    I hate restless nights. I usually end up either reading or watching tv till I feel sleepy.

    Hope you get a better nights sleep tonight.

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  35. I too am having a hard time sleeping at the moment. Just so much going through my mind. Sometimes I can blame my hormones, but not at the moment. I'd like to think being in a different room to my snoring hubby would help, but I try that and still no sleep. However, I find that ear plugs do help a bit, not just for the snoring but for the cat, birds, traffic, etc.

    The thing I find helps a bit is trying to lose myself in someone else's stories, like a movie I've watched recently, a TV show or of course, a book. It helps if I have strong visuals. Sometimes if I think through the story, my mind starts drifting off to my own subplots and I get sleepier.

    So nice to know I'm not alone!

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  36. How well I know your pain. Probably not a good idea to think of people who have died there, though. I'm more apt to grab my ipod touch and read the news or play WordWarp. Night is sooooo long.

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  37. I'm not sure I could go to sleep once I've imagined someone who has been murdered in the house I'm in.

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  38. I hope you had a productive day! I've had many of those sleepless nights lately. And having a deadline gone, I should start to see more zzzz's!

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  39. I had a night like that last night too... but tonight I can feel the fluffy pillows calling!
    Sleep better
    Laura xxx
    And a very happy 2012 to you too :)

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  40. Here's plug, those Breathe-Rite strips work for my husband. I hardly ever have to wake him up now that he's using them.

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  41. oh man, just reading about your insomnia stresses me out major! I hate not being able to fall asleep. It's the worst! Especially since i lurve sleep so much

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  42. I woke up in the middle of the night, too. Are we all on some weird writers' sync or something?

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  43. I had trouble sleeping last night but it was due to the fact one of the cats threw up in the middle of the night. And the other one decided to step on my head. If they weren't just so darned cute...

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  44. Getting back into your routine can almost certainly upset one's sleep pattern. I got a cd by Paul McKenna of "I Can Make You Sleep" I play that should the need arise.

    Yvonne.

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  45. Ha, sounds like some of my nights! I don't know how many times I kick the hubs because he's snoring or breathing loud ;p

    Oh and side note: my daughter LOVES broccoli- one of her favorite foods! (yeah, she's weird like that ;p)

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  46. I've had those occasional sleepless nights!

    And what's wrong with broccoli?

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  47. Wonderful hubby's snoring does wake me sometimes, but I'm seldom sleepless. Usually I wake up and I haven't moved since going to bed.

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  48. This was so me last night. I couldn't get to sleep until 12 in the morning. Every time I hoped I might, a new thought popped into my brain. Ugh!

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  49. I love broccoli!

    I'm sorry you go through sleepless bits. In the middle of the night, if I can't sleep, I squeeze and relax different sections of my body (face, neck and shoulders, arms and hands, torso, legs and feet) two runs through. Then I squeeze my entire body 3 quick times. It often gets rid of the body stress.

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  50. Oh, you are DARK! Imagining deaths in your current space? Plus, and "old building" in England has 10x the history of an old building in Canada (or the US), so there could be a hundred forgotten stories in those walls! Have you got a short-story collection coming that deviates from your normal themes?
    I have a new space at http://will-somewhatepic.blogspot.com See ya soon ;)

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  51. Sleeplessness is tough, especially when your body feels tired but your mind is wide awake. The more I think about how much I need and want to sleep, the tougher it is to actually relax and fall asleep. A friend once advised me to take long, deep breaths in order to relax, and that does actually help a little.

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  52. How apt a post as I've just had one of my sleepless nights. Very frustrating when we just want to sleep! I have to go downstairs and read a few pages from a lovely book with quotes and verses about silence. That seems to help calm my mind.

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  53. I think imagining the room's previous inhabitants, especially the dead kind, would have me checking into the nearest hotel. :) I hope tonight goes better for you!

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  54. Haha, I'll pass this on to my husband. 'Cause I'm the snorer in our relationship *blush*. When I lived in LA the relentless 24-hr traffic right outside my window kept me up at night. Until, that is, I started imagining it was the sound of the ocean waves, instead of waves of traffic. The sounds were surprisingly similar. Once I "heard" the ocean, I fell right asleep like a I was lying in a hammock. :))

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  55. I wouldn't want to sleep after carrying out 2 (imagining previous inhabitants). I'm such a wimp, it'd give me the willies.

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  56. Oh to sleep, perchance to dream. I hear you. I usually go into the Monster's room and watch telly. Why do they put all the garbage on in the middle of the night? Don't they realize people can't sleep.

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  57. Hi Talli .. I think you should change to writing murder mysteries .. what's hiding behind the wainscotting .. sleep tight tonight .. cheers Hilary

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  58. I can so empathise. In my mind I go around counting the number of chairs and sofas in every room.
    There's also the one where I imagine I am sucking energy up through my feet to my ankles, calfs, thighs etc. until I allow it to escape through the top of my head in a sunburst of positive energy. Do this x3 and you should feel so relaxed you drift off to sleep. Otherwise I get up for half and hour and read.

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  59. Oh I hate nights like that. And for some reason I've had a lot of them lately. Hubby's snoring doesn't bother me because I use earplugs, but still I can't seem to sleep.

    If I think about stories, I'm more awake than ever.

    Best thing I've found is to get up and read a little. It takes my mind off my worries.

    Hope you've caught some shut-eye. :)

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  60. Hey, Talli, hope you've caught up on your rest and got some writing done too.

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  61. Oh, I couldn't sleep last night, either! Yuck. Don't you hate it when your spouse is happily sleeping and you aren't? It drives me nuts.

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  62. I have a habit of getting stupid thoughts right before I'm about to fall asleep. So far, the winner was "Could metric time work?" Then spent most of that night trying to convert hours, minutes, days etc. into metric. Stupid brain!"

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  63. I'm currently going through one of these cycles of sleeplessness :-( I think it's because I tried to fit in SOOOO much work for the week before I went back to school (which was today) that my mind just had too much zooming around it for me to be able to sleep.

    P.S. I shall try NOT to imagine people dying in my room! I don't think that would help me sleep!

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  64. I'm so happy that I can turn it all off in my head. When I'm ready to go to sleep, it's all just white noise in there... Having said that, I still don't sleep as much as most folks....

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  65. Welcome back to 'work' : ) My husband is in Aisa and sent me two texts at 4 am. Normally I don't have my phone nearby but it was on the table beside me. I gave up on sleeping after that. A nap is on my to-do list today.

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  66. I daydream in two ways - either I rearrange furniture and TBR piles and so on in my head, dreaming of all the organization I could bring to our house if I was more energetic; or
    I find a time period from later on in my characters' lives, when the couple has gotten together, and I sort of see what they're doing and what they're talking about.
    It's like reading to fall asleep [g]

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  67. How timely. As I was getting ready for college this morning I had the BBC news on (yes, I still tune into Auntie even though I live in Ireland!) and some "expert" was saying a cure is to say the word "the" over and over, leaving lapses between the words, with no sort of rhythm to it. Shall give it a try next time I am Sleepless in Cork :)

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Coffee and wine for all!