I don’t know why, but I’ve been having trouble falling asleep lately. Up until now, my problem always has been waking up, not nodding off. I mean, I used to fall asleep even before both of my feet actually made it onto the bed.
Not any more.
I’m beginning to think the five or six cups of black tea I drink every night between dinner and bedtime might have something to do with it.
For some reason, the minute I stretch out in bed now, things I normally wouldn’t think about suddenly pop into my head. The other night, for example, I spent 30 minutes trying to remember the lyrics to the “Laverne and Shirley” theme song. After that, I challenged myself to name every teacher I’d had from kindergarten through grade 12. Before long, my eyeballs were bugging out of my head, I was so wide awake.
Desperate, I searched online for natural remedies for sleep deprivation. I found a website where fellow insomniacs were sharing pointers.
“What finally makes you fall asleep?” one person asked.
“My alarm going off,” someone joked. “Believe me, the minute I hear it buzzing in the morning, I suddenly can sleep like a log.”
Another suggestion said, “Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. Count every breath and concentrate on it. You’ll feel so relaxed, you’ll be asleep in no time.”
So I gave it a try. But for some reason, the more I concentrated on my breathing, the faster I started to breathe, until I ended up puffing like someone about to give birth. I also could hear my heart pounding like a bass drum in my ears.
“Put on headphones or earbuds and listen to soft music until you doze off,” came yet another suggestion.
I remembered an old cassette tape I’d recorded years ago with soft “mood” music on it, so being too lazy to use a more modern device and create anything new, I dug out the tape, along with my trusty old hand-held cassette player, and took them to bed with me.
By the fifth song, I actually was beginning to feel relaxed and drowsy. Just as I was about to doze off, however, the soft songs ended abruptly and the remaining music on the tape kicked in.
The Guns N’ Roses song, “Welcome to the Jungle,” which begins with a scream loud enough to shatter glass, blasted into my ears. Never have I come so close to needing CPR.
I guess the obvious thing to do would be to give up all of the tea I drink before bedtime and see if that helps. Still, I have been drinking tea every night for ages, so I can’t figure out why it suddenly would bother me. Maybe all of the caffeine has been accumulating in my body all these years and now has transformed my blood into a constant, giant jolt,
I don’t care. I’m just not ready to give up my tea or switch to caffeine-free (ugh!), even if it means I’ll have to suffer through another sleepless night and spend the next day walking around resembling an extra from “The Walking Dead."
On the plus side, I recently read that if you put cold, used teabags on your eyes, they can do wonders for reducing the puffiness and dark circles associated with…insomnia.
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