A SLICE OF LIFE

Lori Borgman finds the funny in ev­ery­day life, writ­ing from the heart­land of the US. Now, if she could just find her car keys…

Friday - - CONTENTS -

Our colum­nist Lori Borgman has found the trick to good sleep: Ditch the clock.

In­som­nia is one of the gifts that na­ture fre­quently be­stows on women who are over 50. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s a gift you can­not re­turn. Some­times, if I wake up at 3am and can’t go back to sleep for an hour, I go ahead and get up at 4am. I’ve al­ways been an early morn­ing per­son, so it’s not a big deal. The only prob­lem is that I am ready for mid-morn­ing coffee by 7am and lunch by 10am.

In­som­nia isn’t all bad – it sharp­ens your men­tal math skills. You lie there wide awake think­ing, “If it’s 2 o’clock now and I fall asleep at 3 o’clock and I get up at 6 o’clock, that’s three hours’ sleep, which is one more hour than last night,” and on and on. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are enough to keep you up all night.

The hus­band has had trou­ble with sleep, too. He has noted that, on oc­ca­sion, it has taken him five, maybe six min­utes to fall asleep. It’s hard to feel sorry for some­one like that.

Plus, once he is asleep, there’s no wak­ing him. I could roll the man out of the bed and onto the floor and he’d not only sleep soundly, but wake up re­freshed and not even no­tice he was on the floor.

A friend sug­gested that a sound ma­chine can help with in­som­nia.

I asked if she meant the sound ma­chines some of the grand­ba­bies have – the ones with two set­tings, one that sounds like a heart­beat sig­nal­ing a pend­ing panic at­tack, and white noise that sounds like a ra­dio sta­tion out of range.

She said no, that they have sound ma­chines for adults, which come with mul­ti­ple op­tions.

The bab­bling brook, with wa­ter gur­gling as it rolls over rocks, was pleas­ant and rest­ful but it made me want to get up and go hik­ing.

The sound of rain fall­ing on the roof was re­lax­ing, too, but I would pe­ri­od­i­cally spring from bed to make sure all the win­dows were closed.

The sound of thun­der was dis­turb­ing. It was so re­al­is­tic I kept lis­ten­ing for warn­ing sirens sig­nal­ing tor­na­does were on the way.

I fi­nally set­tled on ocean waves. It was won­der­ful, sooth­ing and calm­ing. I vi­su­alised the coast­line with the surf lap­ping at my feet, deep blue skies and boats dot­ting the hori­zon. Next thing I knew I was at the com­puter at 1am plan­ning a va­ca­tion to the coast.

I ditched the sound ma­chine and I’m sleeping bet­ter now, thank you.

I’ve al­ways been an early morn­ing per­son, so it’s not a big deal when I get at 4am. The only prob­lem is that I am ready for lunch by 10am

The key was to hide the dig­i­tal clock that glows in the dark and to put my cell phone out of reach. If I want to know what time it is so I can start cal­cu­lat­ing how much sleep I’m not get­ting, I have to get out of bed to check the time.

Truth­fully, I don’t know how much sleep I’m get­ting, but I wake up more rested not know­ing how much sleep I didn’t get. The “keep­ing my­self in the dark” sys­tem seems to be work­ing most days.

Ex­cept for to­day.

To­day, I’ll be hav­ing lunch at 9.

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