I awaken to the sounds of diesel engines and flowing water.
“What’s happening out there?” my wife asks as we peer through the window. “Surely they’re not reading the water meter at this unearthly hour.”
“I think it’s the fire hydrant, Luv”, I say, as I watch the chap turning the handle which releases a flood of water down the road.
I go to investigate.
“Excuse me. Is there a problem with the water?”
“Just flushing the water mains, mate. You had a letter about it”.
“Not had a letter about it.”
“Yeah, you had one last week.”
Is this turning into one of those conversations?
“Definitely not received a letter about this.”
“Should’ve. Anyway, I’m just a contractor. Not in my control.”
“Is there a problem with the water?”
“No. We’re flushing the mains water. We do it during the night so that it doesn’t discolour the water in your house.”
Hmm… perhaps we shouldn’t have checked our taps worked and flushed the toilet before venturing outside.
I wander back inside and try to get back to sleep.
Ever tried that?
Another chapter of my book might work. Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday. Great book.
But even that doesn’t help.
Eventually, I decide to get up and start the day early…
- Gratitude journal (yep – there are still things to be grateful for, even when you’ve been woken up at 3:30am)
- Check social media and tweet something about the water
- Make a cup of tea for my wife
- Fire up the computer
“I wish I hadn’t drunk that tea,” says Christine.
“It tastes of minerals.”
“Oh dear. I did run the water for a while,” I said. “Here, have a drink of water instead…”
What to Do When You Can’t Sleep
As I’m writing this bit, it’s just turned 9am, and I feel like I’ve got loads done.
That’s a great feeling – and it’s over-riding the tired feeling.
So why couldn’t you get back to sleep, David?
Eight years of shift working – with 12-hour night shifts – has put paid to being able to get off to sleep easily.
But here are a few things which sometimes do help me get to sleep…
- Reading a book
- A hot cup of camomile tea
- Breathing and counting
Let me expand on that breathing and counting thing. Yep – I saw you thinking, “how does that work, David?”
Here’s how it works…
I breathe in for 1 unit of time, then I hold my breath for 4 units of time, and exhale for 3 units of time.
That means that if it takes 3 seconds to breathe in, I hold the breath for 12 seconds (i.e. 3 x 4 units), and then exhale over 9 seconds.
I seem to remember reading about that method in a Tony Robbins book many years ago. Was it Awaken The Giant Within?
Maybe it’s the calming effect of the controlled breathing which helps.
Or the mind being focused on counting the seconds – rather than being free to think about all sorts of things which tend to keep me awake. A bit like counting sheep, I suppose.
Or perhaps it’s a combination of the two.
Whatever… it seems to work for me.
Except for this morning, of course!
But I hope you find it useful.
Anyway. Time for a tea break. I need the caffeine.
I think I’ll run the water a while first, though.A couple of little hacks which might help you get to sleep. #sleep #insomnia Click To Tweet
Those two books, by the way, are well worth a read.
I can’t guarantee they’ll help you to sleep, but they’ll certainly enhance your life.
Awaken The Giant Within – by Tony Robbins. It’s all about living a spectacular life.
Perennial Seller – by Ryan Holiday. The art of making and marketing work that lasts.