Awake at 5:13 a.m. today and unable to get back to sleep despite this being Sunday. Is this becoming a pattern?
Am I awake because of the thoughts going round in my head or are the thoughts going round in my head because I’m awake?
I have experiencd disrupted sleep patterns at other times, usually when life was particularly stressful for some reason. The worst is when you lie in bed unable to sleep and decide to read. You open your book but you cannot read because you are falling asleep. You lie down and close your eyes but cannot sleep. And so on, over and over.
I have learnt not to worry about not sleeping. This is because if you worry about it you are even less likely to sleep. Worry is itself tiring and a night spent worrying and frustrated leaves you feeling even worse in the morning.
Some people try to beat insomia by playing games such as thinking of animal names beginning with each of the letters of the alphabet in turn. That doesn’t work for me and I soon become bored but still sleepless. Left to themselves, my thoughts during sleeplessness usually go into a loop. They will be about something that is worrying me or some problem I am trying to solve. Round and round go the thoughts, getting nowhere and adding to the feeling of frustration. So I try to marshall my thoughts and send them in a specific direction.
One way to do this is to think of a philosophical question. This can be almost anything because philosophical problems are always more complex than you think when you first start on them. The result is that I have sometimes derived useful insights from these ruminations or simply fallen asleep in the middle of them, which is just as welcome.
Today, instead of investigating a philosophical question, I am writing down these thoughts. Perhaps I will post them on my blog. If you are reading this, then you will know that is what I did.