Sleep goes on strike

I didn’t sleep last night. I was already out of sorts, and then something unfortunate happened that really upset me, and then I was stuck.

See, I’ve had this problem for as long as I can remember: unless I am not merely tired but beyond exhausted, I can’t sleep if I’m upset. Really and truly can’t. You’d think I’d be motivated to escape my troubles, but somehow it doesn’t seem to work that way.

So, I got up, did some work on the dissertation proposal, and then tried going back to bed.

No luck.

So — by now it was false dawn — I drove to the market to get breakfast things. Put the groceries away. Washed dishes. Went back to bed to try again.

Nothing doing.

Then my sweetie woke up, and we talked. I began to feel better, but by this time the sun was well and truly up.

Why am I still awake, anyway? I guess because I didn’t want to miss anything.

I did take a brief nap after breakfast, though. I stretched out on the couch, well within earshot of the rest of the family still conversing around the table.

The soothing sounds of people I love, talking among themselves — that did the trick. Feeling safe and companioned, I was finally able to let go. Of course, the purring cat perched on my chest was helpful, too.

So, I’m curious: when you have trouble sleeping, what helps you? I’d love to hear about it. I think I could use a few new strategies.

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