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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Overcome Insomnia

Cats are masters of relaxation. They can sleep anytime, anywhere, in just about any position.
With humans it’s a little different.

Some people go to bed because it’s that time of the night and hope they fall asleep quickly. Some manage quite well, others toss and turn, others still fall asleep within minutes but wake up at night and can’t go back to sleep.

While some have no problem reaching for sleeping pills, others prefer a more natural way of catching those zzzzzzz’s.

Experts recommend chamomile tea, relaxing music, ocean or river sounds, whale sounds, bird songs, breathing techniques, or toe tapping.
Personally I have tried them all and these are my findings:

Chamomile: doesn’t work for me at all. I’ve even tried two tea bags in a cup to make the brew extra strong, but I was as awake at 3:00 a.m. as I was at 11:00 a.m. As an added disadvantage, I had to get up several times during the night to go to the washroom.

Relaxing music: this didn’t work because in my mind I was singing along with the song and when I switched to instrumental only, I found myself thinking of dance or ice-skating routines.

Ocean and river sounds: this had the same effect as chamomile tea. Not only could I not fall asleep, I had to get up several times to use the loo. In addition, the crashing waves made me think of boats capsizing and people drowning.

Whale sounds: this I found fairly relaxing, but my cats didn’t. As soon as the CD started producing the whale sounds, my cats appeared to be spooked. Those who were already sleeping on my bed jumped up and ran from the room.

Bird songs: perhaps you can imagine what kind of effect this had on the cats. From the first chirp, they were on high alert. They seemed to think that the birds were in the room, and were determined to find them. From the bed they jumped onto the nightstand, on the linen closed, on top of the bookcases and even the windowsill. Those birds drove them nuts. Of course, this made sleeping for me impossible.

Breathing techniques: this could have worked if it was not for Holly. With this type of technique you’re suppose to inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. I did this and found it relaxing, but suddenly I felt a weight on my chest. When I opened my eyes I found Holly staring down on me like I was an alien. Her facial expression was comical, as if she was thinking “What the heck are you doing?”

Toe tapping: Experts say that toe tapping is very effective to relieve headaches, insomnia, tension and fatigue. While I don’t doubt it, I would not recommend doing this with cats on the bed. I tried it, with rather painful results. As I started the toe tapping, Charlotte saw something move under the duvet and decided to catch whatever it was. You can probably imagine what happened … exactly, she launched herself at my feet and bit my big toe.

All things considered, I think it’s best to just lay back and stroke a cat. The feel of its soft fur, combined with the cats’ purring noises has a relaxing effect too and might just result in sleep.

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