Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Laughter is the best, non-habit forming, sleep medicine.

I have trouble quieting my mind at the end of the day and, thus, I often have a hard time falling asleep. When I should be relaxing, a torrent of ideas and concerns usually flood my head with an internal dialogue that goes something like this:

If I fall asleep exactly now, I'll get seven hours of sleep before I have to start laundry in time for work. Sleep. Now. Sleep... Now. Now? Relax, Lola. And... sleep. Now. Ugh. If I had one more work shirt I wouldn't have to do laundry so often. Did I drink soda tonight at work? Huh. Maybe that's why I can't sleep. I wish we had milk in the fridge. Some warm milk might help me sleep. Milk. Milk, milk, milk. Milk, silk, elk. Ilk. Ilk sounds like elk. Ilk and elk. I'm tired of elk and their ilk. Haha. Good one, Lola, you should blog about that.

It's awful.

So, a few months ago, I started downloading guided relaxation meditations (I like the free podcasts from Inner Health Studio). I listen to them on my iPod when I have trouble sleeping, and they usually knock me right out.

Last night, though, after climbing into bed and tossing and turning for a few minutes, I reached for my iPod and it wasn't there.

Me: Ugh.
Jason: (Sleepily.) What?
Me: I forgot my iPod in the living room. I wanted to do a meditation.
Jason: I'll do one for you.
Me: Yeah?
Jason: You ready?
Me: Yes.

(At this point, Jason adopts what I can only assume he thinks is a soothing voice. He sounds a lot like a stoned octogenarian.)

Jason: You are on an elevator, on the tenth floor of a building. The elevator begins to descend.
Me: (Exhaling slowly.) Mmm.
Jason: The elevator descends to the ninth floor. Your fingers and toes, um... celebrate... in warmth.
Me: (Giggling.)
Jason: (Trying a new direction.) Imagine your head is on a balloon. The balloon rises, and the elevator descends -
Me: With the rest of my body?
Jason: Shhhh... your stress begins to rise away from your body... but not as high, or as fast as your head...
Me: (Biting my lip, trying hard to suppress laughter.)
Jason: Finally, you feel the last of your stress... escaping through your neck-hole...
Me: (Bursting into laughter and climbing out of bed.) Oh my god...
Jason: (Dropping the doped old man-voice.) Where are you going?
Me: I'm going to get my iPod.
Jason: I did a good job with the accent, though, right?
Me: Yes. The accent was perfect.


- Celes - said...

I just have one question: what's a neck hole?

Lola Cutter Hensel said...

Haha... I'm assuming it's the gaping hole that was created at the top of my neck when my head floated away on the balloon.

Miss Kolleen said...

i'm at work and i just laughed out loud. seriously, i can hear jay's voice in my head, and that's scary.

i find i have the same problem with falling asleep, especially if i run out of medication, which i am notorious for. i tell myself stories to fall asleep.

Kelly said...

I tend to imagine I'm somewhere really cool...like in Sleepy Beauty's castle in Disneyland (yes I'm a dork) or on a beach in Maui. That usually does the trick.

Noel said...

I also am laughing out loud in my office at this.
I do guided meditation for myself. I tell myself I'm walking through the woods on a cold snowy day. All I can hear is the falling snow, and I can feel my hot breath as I breathe into my scarf. It's quiet, peaceful, I don't feel cold, and I have nowhere to be.
There's another one I do about imagining I'm on a bed that's soft and so big it fills the whole room. Endless quilts and pillows made into one huge nest, full of sleeping puppies and kittens.