Bewitching Hour: Keeping Insomnia at Bay

I know this will sound weird but I think our new puppy (6mos.) is helping to curb my insomnia. The reason I think this is simple. She wasn’t home last night and I was once again awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. I was up to my old routine of wandering the floors, going to the bathroom, and making a cup of decaffeinated tea.

For months, even during the time I was actively contemplating a job resignation, I did not have insomnia.  Sure, I woke up but since the puppy was kennelled in the room off the kitchen, I held myself back from getting up and making my midnight rounds. This has been a good thing. I found that most nights I could get back to sleep without needing the trip to the bathroom or cup of hot tea in my hands.  And, to prevent waking the sleeping pup I would resist getting up or making any noise even if I was awake for an extended period of time. So, relatively speaking, I’ve been insomnia free with the exception of a few nights since August.

But, last night since the pup wasn’t home – she was at our cabin with my husband and oldest son – I was free to get up and get my tea, go to the bathroom and do what I had been in the habit of doing before her arrival. I wasn’t happy about this turn of events, to say the least.

Over the years I’ve realized that I am a person who needs to sleep well. When I don’t, I don’t function well. My emotions are closer to the surface than they should be and I am quicker to be angry or cry in frustration. So, I’ve learned to carefully guard my sleep.

I decided that part of my problem last night was that I had some wine around dinner time.  This isn’t unusual but unneeded – especially if it is going to interfere with my sleep. So, tonight I am staying away from a pre-dinner glass of wine and sipping some premium ginger beer (soda) instead. Caffeine is also a no-no for me after 3pm, so while I also enjoy several cups of tea (black) throughout the day, I do not indulge in that beverage late in the day either. Not having the dog here also kept me from a mid-afternoon jaunt around the yard. This is not an extended walk but 20-30 minutes of being bundled up outside walking around with our excitable pup. I am sure the fresh air and exposure to sunshine have also kept my insomnia from plaguing me.

I’m going to try and move my blogging to this time of day – pre-dinner time – so that I am still doing something that I enjoy but won’t have deleterious side effects of something like alcohol or caffeine that might show up hours later when I am ready and desirous of a good night’s sleep.

By the time I give this new blogging time a trial period of about a month, it’ll still be light out at 4:30, so I can change to taking a daily walk if I want to move the blogging back to the morning. I figure it’s all part of getting used to a new routine but continuing to make healthy choices. We will see how I do.  I know I’ll try almost anything to secure a good night’s sleep and keep insomnia from visiting me during my middle of the night bewitching hour.

 

 

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