Curing Insomnia – How to Achieve Pure Sleep

by admin

6:45 p.m:  They arrive home from the evening commute.  She needs to quickly bathe, feed and put the children to bed while he quickly whips up some semblance of dinner so they can eat while the 8 p.m. news is on and be finished in time to “relax” as they catch the much anticipated 9 p.m. network series premier of “Psycho-Numbness.”

Problem!  WAY too much to do still and there will have to be some juggling if they’re going to join the “loco anesthesia” that’s taking the nation by storm prime time on Thursdays!  She has to call HIS mother to make plans for the Mother’s Day brunch in three weeks [or else…].  He needs to make one last phone call to the office to ensure the deal gets booked FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.  As he walked into the bedroom, he discovered that one of the cats played duck hunt in the down pillows AGAIN [that’s three sets in the last two months]!  Laundry was left in the washer that morning, and two loads must still be done before the night is out!  Before they know it, it’s 10:45 p.m. and they’ve missed the two most important segments of the Numbness premier because they were both off in other rooms taking care of “stuff” during commercial breaks.  They manage to plop down on the sofa just in time to catch the last 15 minutes of Numbness, which closes out with a GREAT cliff-hanger ending, baiting them well for next week’s episode.


11:30 p.m:  Darkness…{Though no words are heard in the room, quietly from the back of consciousness like the low rumble of audience whispers as they await the opening act… }

“Uh oh…I forgot to put the grocery list together for tomorrow…does little Jimmy have a snack for tomorrow’s field trip?…did we ever pay that parking ticket?…why did we park there anyway?…who’s taking care of the kids while we go to the booster club meeting Saturday?…they don’t allow children there, do they?…I can’t wait to see what happens to Derek on Numbness next week…that was such a crazy ending…it’s really well written…”

1:00 a.m:  Dozing…dozing…z@zz!z&zzz[snort, snort]zzzz%zz*z#zzz…

And they wonder why it takes them so long to fall asleep…and why it’s so hard to stay asleep…

The scenario above isn’t a medical condition – sadly, it’s a way of life for many, and the battle with getting sufficient rest rages on.  The cares of life will usurp every minute we give them – including those that should be reserved for restoration and repair.  Our challenge is not to yield to them for any reason within our control, and ideally, for any reason at all except physical emergency.  Our mental and physical wellness depend on the sleep that we as a modern society have de-prioritized to make way for the “more important things” of life.  We need to re-establish and enforce rules of sanity around our primary sleep times to avoid propagating negative impacts of stress and scattered attention on our bodies and minds.

The first two “thieves” on the National Sleep Foundation’s “Sleep Stealers” list are Psychological Factors and Lifestyle Stressors.  Because of its many and varied causes, sleeplessness should be addressed FIRST through healthy lifestyle choices.  The Home Care section for adults in the World Sleep Foundation’s discussion of insomnia provides a number of tactics to give us a shot at a good sleep session and the foundation advises initially “Exhaust every possible option before resorting to drugs to cure insomnia.”  A US News and World Report article from March 2009 supports the approach with findings that though prescription sleep medication use increased substantially over a period of time, social concerns continued to rob Americans of sleep at a nearly unchanged rate in the same period.

Let’s set ourselves up for proper recharge and repair by properly preparing for our pure sleep times with environment and lifestyle choices incorporating proper wind-down sequences – when an aircraft skips the landing sequence and goes from 35,000 feet immediately to the ground, nobody calls it a “landing” – everyone calls it a “crash”…sound familiar?

Our physiology dictates our need for sleep and every little change toward achieving better sleep will improve our lives in ways we can only experience once we get there.