I have always had problems getting to sleep. Basically, I'm fussy. Can't be light. Can't be any noise. If there's a clock ticking, well, you can forget it.
Many people have told me (mainly my mum) that I am 'too much of a thinker'. i recon this might have something to do with my inability to get to sleep. Last night for example, I woke at 3.02am. Wide awake and couldn't get back to sleep. This was my thought process:
'Oh, I'm awake. Why am I awake? It must have been a noise. Listen...I can't hear anything. But there must have been something. Maybe it's a burglar. Maybe it was a rat scratching. They might be crawling all over my bedroom. STOP IT EMMA, you're being RIDICULOUS. But what was it...?'
Know where I'm coming from?
This 'thinking problem' has plagued my sleep as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I would creep down stairs and peep round the lounge door. Dad would notice me after a bit and I would go and sit with him whilst he watched Match of the Day. He'd ask why I couldn't sleep and I'd say I was just thinking too much. He would send me back off to bed. telling me to describe to myself where I was and how comfortable I was. So, I would tell myself how cozy my pillow was and how warm my covers were...the next thing I knew, it was morning!
I started my own thing with my cuddly panda Smilie too. I would think up all kind of adventures for him before, eventually, I fell asleep.
Last night, when I was fretting about rats and burglars, I resorted back to that same default: story telling. Why does this work, I wonder? Is it because stories are boring and send us to sleep? NO! It's because they're soothing and familiar. Stories about my bed and my teddy put me if a safe place which make me forget about the world and fall asleep.
Thinking is great, most of the time, but there are definitely times when you need to stop and take yourself away into another world, where thinking is done for you. Try it and see where you end up...