Sleepless in Detroit

Insomnia.

It started two weeks ago when I was in Florida with my friend, and I blamed it on eating too much and exercising too little.

It continued when I came home, and I attributed it to generalized anxiety about some things which I won’t go into right now but which passed uneventfully.

It didn’t go away until last night, and I think I’ve discovered the remedy.

I’m usually a very good sleeper.  I follow a strict bedtime ritual, about which I’m quite obsessive compulsive.  Here’s the prescription:

  • One hour of engaging television programming (think Dancing With the Stars, Modern Family, Parenthood), enjoyed with one glass of perfectly chilled Chardonnay, followed by…
  • A hot bath, after which…
  • I climb directly into bed and tuck in with my book until I fall asleep.
This remedy has been successful for as long as I can remember.
But it hasn’t been working for me lately. I’ve done everything according to plan, but I either can’t fall asleep, or I fall asleep and then startle awake almost immediately, wide eyed and restless.  I’ve been tossing and turning, finally surrendering about 3:00 a.m. when I throw back the covers, get out of bed, and head off to my study to read.
Until last night.
I substituted for a friend in our church handbell choir.  I haven’t played bells at church for over a year, but last night I rehearsed with both of our adult handbell groups, followed by Chancel Choir rehearsal.  So from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, I was making music with my friends.
Afterwards, I came home, watched some TV (Pan Am, which I have to say is very disappointing), took my bath, and slept like a baby.
Hmmm….
I’ve always had difficulty maintaining a balance between music and writing. Usually one or the other dominates my thoughts, time, and energy.  Since I quit working, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone, focusing my efforts on writing as well as some marketing activities for a new community theater group I’m working with.  There hasn’t been much musical activity going on here (as evidenced by the layer of dust clearly visible on the piano bench). I’ve been spinning my mind in the same circles lately, so it was beneficial to send my focus in a different direction.
I think it’s just as important to maintain healthy portions of the things that feed our passions as it is the things that feed our bodies. I just spent some time with a Mozart sonata to help me transition out of an afternoon fiddling with computer graphics and press releases.
Now I’m heading off to catch an episode of Blue Bloods on the TiVo.
Sweet dreams…
(wordpress is being extremely stubborn about the formatting on this post and will not do it the way I want it.  seriously annoying. )
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5 thoughts on “Sleepless in Detroit

  1. I woke at 3 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. This happens to me once or twice a week. So here I am, visiting my old friend.

    I sleep better than I did when we lived at Dad’s. I woke almost every night when we lived there. If Dad didn’t wake me, the dogs across the creek did. If the dogs didn’t wake me, I just woke for no reason I could ever detect. Insomnia is a miserable thing. I think a lot of people have an issue with sleep after a certain age – more women than men. I hope you’ve found a solution.

    Sweet dreams.

    • Boy, do I get that, Melissa. Too much creative energy flowing around in there, which is great, but then I’m too tired to do anything about it. Argh is right!

  2. Ugh. I go through phases of this, too. Once I am asleep it’s usually ok, but I often lie awake until 3 or 4 a.m. – not good when I have to get up again at 6:30! it sounds to me like you definitely need a certain amount of music related activities to keep you in good balance 🙂

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