Trying to fall asleep is a delicate thing. It’s like saying, “Don’t think about pink elephants” — those giant pink creatures pop into your head immediately, yes?
As soon as you try to fall asleep, it becomes more and more impossible. This is because the very act of falling asleep involves a relaxed unconsciousness that’s the opposite of trying. So if you’re an insomniac like me, you’ll definitely relate to these crazy thoughts that can pop up and get in the way of a good night’s rest.
1. “I need to get organised.”
Why is it that we can spend all Saturday on the couch watching TV, but it’s only once our heads hit the pillow that we decide we need to organise every single aspect of our lives? Visits to the dentist, tax returns, paying fines… if we could conduct our lives from our beds at 2am, we’d be the most efficient people ever.
2. "Oh god, did I really do that?"
Right behind your eyeballs is a never-ending video loop of Funniest Home Videos... starring you. If you've ever said something awkward, tripped in public or farted in front of a love interest, you'll probably remember that moment just before you fall asleep. Even if the incident in question happened in 1999. Fact: cringing has the same effect as coffee — it will just keep you awake and jittery.
3. "I'm dying."
There's something about the darkness of night that brings out the morbid in all of us. Thoughts about death are quite common among those who cannot sleep. While some may be bothered by family health histories, others will obsess about the tiny fleck of mould they saw on their wall, and the possibility that inhaling it will make them die somehow.
Okay, non-sleepy head. Time to breathe and calm yourself - try this meditation from Paper Tiger. (Post continues after video.)
4. "There's definitely a burgler in the house."
By day, you'll take multiple safety risks like jaywalking and leaving the door unlocked. But by night, you're so vigilant you might as well be a superhero trying to protect the entire world. 'Are the windows and doors locked? What if I left the oven on and the house burns down? I should get security screens, because what if a thief with sharp scissors cuts through my flimsy fly screens? I shouldn't have gotten those security screens, because what if there's a fire and we can't escape through the windows...'