You’ve filled in the blank, haven’t you?
Whether newborn or nonagenarian, we humans believe certain conditions must be met before we can journey to Slumberland.
My grandchildren all have possessed highly personalized bedtime needs. Several have required “loveys” before “Waaaaaaa!” has turned to z-z-z, including stuffed animals, a slip and an orange.
Positioning also is important. I read of a toddler who rejected his crib. Instead, he slept atop his nightstand. I get that. My daughter often napped under my rocking chair.
Sometimes routine matters most. One grandson demanded we sing “ABC Song,” “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jingle Bells” every night. In that order. Otherwise, we would cause a monumental tear in his universe.
When little devils finally settle into angel mode, eyes closed and breathing peacefully, we’re ashamed we considered a bedtime exorcism.
Most adults, though, try to exorcise their own insomnia demons.
Of course, we’ve outgrown silly childhood rituals. …
If that were true, we wouldn’t check locks three times before retiring. Fiddle with the thermostat. Line up slippers.
If that were true, the bed-linen industry wouldn’t be making millions. We each require 26 pillows, placed just so. Also, our aptly named comforters.
Some, to their spouses’ dismay, must be swaddled or, more accurately, burrito-ed. Others substitute weighted blankets, gravity blankets and sensory compression blankets to achieve that huggy feeling.
Those names scare my sleep away. A gravity blanket sends my novel-writing mind zooming off on spaceships. A sensory compression bedsheet sounds like I’m sleeping in a hamburger press. As for a weighted blanket — I often throw off covers during the night. Smacking Hubby with a thirty-pound blanket might not help him sleep.
Some adults need visual/auditory stimulation on or off. I prefer that devices sleep elsewhere so buzzes and squeaks don’t keep me awake.
Superior sleeping habits don’t guarantee a peaceful night. Unlike babies, who rarely lie awake worrying about world peace, we adults embrace sleep-bashing topics the second our heads hit the pillows. I’ve counted sheep, only to worry about their welfare. Warm baths, listening to sea sounds, sleeping with an orange — nothing worked.
Even my prayers morphed into worries.
One night, I played an alphabet game learned in Bible school. I recalled God’s names and/or attributes that started with A, such as “Almighty” and “amazing.” Then, B: “blessed” and “beautiful.” Then C, and so on.
Before reaching G, I fell sound asleep.
Since then, I’ve prayed alphabet prayers many times.
Occasionally, my insomnia stretches from A to Z. Eventually, though, I doze off, knowing Someone bigger and better can manage the world.
And oranges stay in the fridge, where they belong.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you remedy insomnia?