Coping with "muchness and many-ness" in the quest for sleep

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I've been having insomnia problems again.

I had some real success with the online CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) program SHUTi that I've blogged about, and even though I'm (pretty much) still following it, I'm back to almost three or four nights a week not being able to fall asleep until 4:30 or 5 a.m.

I'm going to a sleep clinic next week, so I'll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, though, I've been trying to find ways to quiet my mind and ease those racing thoughts that can keep me up.

And one of the things I'm looking at is "muchness and many-ness," a phrase I read years ago in Richard Foster's book The Freedom of Simplicity. I've thought of it often in the years since.

In my case, the "muchness and many-ness" is not so much activities as it is information and sensory overload.

There are some people who thrive on noise and activity, and indeed do their best work when their headphones are on and they're listening to music or to a podcast. I know of people who have a TV in every room and they're all turned on so that wherever they go, they can hear their program.

But this is not me. Too much noise and distraction is crazy-making for me. Please don't ask me to go to Costco with you. Two or three hours at a mall is exhausting. And cable news with all the arguing talking heads? Get me outta here!

This is more my style -- a quiet beach in northern Michigan which we visited last week.
I grew up in a home where classical music was often playing. But I was unable to even expose my children to that or to any other good music (although they all took piano lessons) because I just couldn't have any more noise in a home where there were three children and we were homeschooling and I was busy thinking about many things.

There's plenty of noise going on in my head without adding any more. Thinking, thinking, thinking about something all the time.

{Over the years, I have asked my husband "what are you thinking about?" And he'll answer "nothing." I used to feel hurt that he wasn't sharing with me, until I realized he was telling the truth! Some people really do have times when they are quiet in their minds. Just chillin'. No wonder he sleeps so well.}

So I've had to deal with the fact that I cannot have too much "muchness or many-ness" in my life. Even though I've always led a quieter life, I need to do so especially now. And there are so many more distractions and so much more noise in our world.

All electronics have to be shut off at least three hours before bed. For me, that means no computer time after 8:30 p.m. No movies or books that could be scary, stimulating, or interesting enough that I will want to think them over at bedtime and that will keep me wired up into the early, and late!, morning hours.

It's a frustrating thing as evening is prime time for reading and blogging and researching things on the internet. I feel impatient with myself that I can't handle these things without literally losing sleep.

So, I can knit. Or read gentle books like old favorites by Miss Read or Grace Livingston Hill or Elizabeth Goudge. Or take a bath. Or write in a journal.

 I had a quiet childhood, with a professor for a father, and, later, when she went to work, a librarian for a mother. Books were big. Other than the classical music and very small amounts of TV time for some favorite shows, it was quiet there for reading and handcrafts like embroidery and knitting.

I need to return to those kinds of evenings.

{As an aside, I tremble for the children of today who are handed screens from toddlerhood. Where is the time for long summer afternoons to read and imagine and go outdoors in the fresh air and play? I feel certain it must change the wiring in their brains and be harmful, and science backs this up.}

 It's so easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest, and download apps and spend time on social media. It's fun. But I'm purposefully trying to scale back on those things, for my sleep as well as my sanity.

{Depending on the source you read, it's estimated that Americans check their phones around 80 times per day. One source says that we touch our phones 2,617 times a day. Seriously?! And Instagram is purported to be the worst social media for mental health, being associated with increased depression, anxiety, and sleep issues. (The study was conducted on younger people, but still . . . ) I have to fight the FOMO myself as I know my friends are posting on IG, and I do feel sometimes I'm missing out.}

It's constant, the apps, the social media, the cable news, the steady stream of info (why do we have to watch TV when we're pumping gas or getting our teeth cleaned or eating in a restaurant?!). 

How can we gain any perspective on our world if we are constant receivers of input all the time? How can we possibly have time to sort through it all and make rational, thoughtful conclusions about what's happening?

How can we ever hear that "still, small voice" of God if it's never quiet?

When we were in China, I stopped on a walking trail to observe a Chinese woman patiently working to build up the mud wall along a rice terrace. The scene was such a contrast from the fast-moving, high-energy city of 34 million in Shanghai where we had just been (and where, by the way, everyone is also glued to their iPhones). Her life is hard, and she is poor. But I thought that she may have the better life in some ways than those poor souls rushing through traffic and enclosed in skyscrapers all day long in Shanghai. And I imagine she has time to sit with her family in peace and quiet and that she sleeps very well at night.

{Of course, maybe I'm just being a crank. A teen who was with us on our trip thought Shanghai was the most exciting place in the world!}

All our work these days is mental. That can be more anxiety-inducing than physical labor. Which is a reminder to me that sometimes washing the floor or hanging out laundry or vacuuming the house is more soul-giving and ultimately leads to better sleep than scrolling through Facebook or watching news or researching the latest trends and breakthroughs.

Another thing that causes "muchness" in my life is online shopping. I hardly ever go to a store and love the convenience of comparing items and reading reviews in the comfort of my home. I can literally look at hundreds of dresses (and I have) for a wedding or event. Or spend hours looking for lamps, as I did recently, comparing ones offered on different sites and reading reviews. One site I looked on had over 33,000 floor lamps alone.

{And in my defense, why is it so hard to find a dress that is knee length, covers the upper arms and doesn't reveal cleavage, but is still stylish?!}

The sheer overwhelming number of choices we have is a blessing, but sometimes I think it is a curse. Even deciding on toothpaste can be overwhelming. Whitening? Paste? Gel? Chloride or no? Peppermint? Spearmint? Same goes for yogurt and milk and laundry detergent and . . . 

 I know I'm not the only one dealing with insomnia. Millions of Americans are sleep-deprived or suffer from insomnia, some reports saying one in three. We all need rest.

How do you all cope with insomnia, and with that other problem of "too much?"

*******

Did you know there's a tea farm in Michigan? Me neither. I thought there was only one in the U.S., but when I looked it up, I see there's lots (of farms, that is; there's actually only one tea plantation, the Charleston Tea Plantation).  I found this Hummingbird Nectar Herbal tea in a little store, and was told it was grown in Michigan. Very spendy, as they say, but how could I resist?


30 comments :

  1. Hello, So sorry for this struggle you are experiencing! I do hope you find a solution soon. I know you have tried many things and as you know some things only work for awhile. Oh to stop all the thinking and just rest, But I do not recommend anything from Richard Foster as I know for a fact it has to much New Age and Mystical attachment, only a few will discern the undertones. Have a good day my friend! It has been busy with all the grand kids here. Keep in touch!!
    Hugs, Roxy

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    1. Yes, we all need to be discerning in our reading. But I think the concept is a useful one. Thanks Roxy.

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  2. So sorry you are dealing with insomnia, Deborah. My insomnia consists of waking up and having trouble getting back to sleep. Here's what I do when that happens: Take slow deep breaths and repeat the Lord's prayer over and over. It helps, most of the time.
    Beth

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  3. First of all, what an excellent post. You have done a masterful job of expressing this subject that is common to so many of us. I've wondered how it was going with you. Insomnia is so frustrating and so debilitating, more and more so the older we grow.

    Like you, I simply cannot be online at night. My cutoff time is 7:30 and the times I ignore that I know sleep will not come early. And last week I made the mistake of watching a tv movie with my husband thinking we needed some shared tv time instead of him watching it in the sitting room and I in my office. To say it was some kind of an action Sylvester Stalone movie, very noisy, should explain why it was past 3 a.m. when I finally fell asleep. No more of that, I will watch a Hallmark movie, turn it off around 9 and go to my bedroom to read in my chair with one lamp on, my bed all ready to climb in when I feel sleepy. And my book has to be one of those you mentioned or the Jan Karon Mitford books that I'm rereading for the 3rd time before her new one comes out in September.

    I wish I could be online at night. Who has time during the day? So I am usually limited to an hour in the afternoon when I'm resting. It takes real discipline to not pick up that phone and check everything: new emails, FB, Pinterest... I too have seen reports that say the more time you spend on FB the more unhappy a person is, and that IG time fosters the most unhappiness. (I'm very glad I haven't had the patience for it, even though my d-i-l signed me up for it.)

    Please do share anything that helps you in this battle for good sleep. And thank you!



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  4. I am very sorry for your lack of sleep. I do hope you receive answers/help soon. That is very interesting about the tea! Will be praying for you.

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  5. Perhaps I tend to be like you as my home is quiet this evening except for the click of the keys and the ticking of the clock. I have found that the brightness of my screens even disturbs my sleep so I have them set on nighttime settings after 6 pm. I am not proud. I can resort to Nyquil in a pinch or to melatonin. I try not to nap...getting tougher for me as I seem to require one...but I resist in the hope that I'll be good and tired at bedtime. I drift off listening to some melodious commentary from a couple of octogenarians. Helpful, say what? Here's to quality sleep! 💤

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  6. Not being able to sleep is difficult. Turning off the electronics certainly helps me, too. And taking a walk after dinner seems to calm my mind as well as my body. I'm glad my husband usually goes with me, but we live in a safe area and I don't mind going alone on occasion. I find myself playing over the events of the day instead of going to sleep, or I wake up with them looping through my brain.
    I wish you success at the sleep clinic.

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  7. Deborah,
    So sorry you struggle with this chronically...I do from time to time. I notice if I go to bed too early (before 11 or 11:30) I wake up between 3 and 4 am wide awake. So I have to get up because I am so bored lying in bed so wide awake. Then of course by early afternoon I can barely keep my eyes open. Not being to sleep is no fun! I don't know what the answers are but I will be watching to see what you find out....wishing you a restful night...:)

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  8. Sleep is not as good as it used to be when I was a young mother who fell into bed exhausted and slept until a baby woke me or the alarm rang and indicated that it was time to hit the shower and get the kids ready for school!
    Now I go to sleep knowing that I will wake several times each night...I accept that I will fall back to sleep eventually and try hard not to get up and read my book!
    I did try Gravol...it works for me but I do not like to do "drugs!"
    Online shopping does not excite me...I like to touch and feel and try on what I buy...and if I thought that I checked my phone 80 times a day I think I would throw it away! I do like Instagram...
    we are currently at the cottage relaxing and looking out at The Salish Sea, breathing in fresh salt air and eating wholesome fresh food...I am sleeping well...going to bed early and rising about 6 or 7am...feeling rested but I am not watching ANY TV or News....maybe that is why!

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  9. So sorry to hear of your lack of sleep. I suffer occasionally. At the moment I am so busy with the cottage that both my husband and I are asleep by 10. We are not on Facebook or Instagram, which suits us.

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  10. I'm right there with you, friend. I've had issues with sleep since my late 30's. I fall asleep quickly, but wake up between 1 and 2am then toss and turn for a couple of hours. I've tried sleep hygiene, meditation, ambient noise, sedative music, new sheets, a range of pillows, satin and copper pillowcases. Occasionally, I give in to Benedryl or Advil PM, but then feel guilty which isn't healthy, either. Sometimes after a frustrating period of tossing and turning, I give in and turn on my phone even though I know it's a big no-no. When I surprise myself with a natural night of good sleep I'm absolutely elated!! The good news is you and I are not alone. I know a host of women who are up at 2am with us. Knowing there are a bunch of us wide awake together makes me feel "normal" and a whole lot better.

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  11. Oh I'm so sorry about your lack of sleep. I know when I'm sleep deprived I can't function. And by the end of the day I have what we call in our home the "mean sleepies". This is when I'm very cranky and have little patience for anything or anyone.😠 When that happens I ask the Lord to help me to control my tongue and keep my attitude in check.
    Anyway, I don't have any advice for your sleep. Maybe melatonin can help.

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  12. I'm so sorry Deborah...I can certainly relate to so much of this post. I found myself shaking my head in a "yes" motion when you started to name all of those screens that are shoved in our faces for just everyday situations. My hubby has the TV up way too loud for me and I am constantly asking him to turn it down. I have blogged about this before but not about the sleep issue...about the NOISE issue...the world is way too noisy! As far as sleep goes for me, I usually don't have a problem falling to sleep but just last night, after falling asleep around 10:30 or so, I woke up and looked at the time and was shocked to see that it was only 12:30! I was ready to get up...but I didn't...I turned over and went back to sleep until 3:30. I did have something heavy on my mind when I went to bed so I laid there for another half hour or so, prayed a little while and was up before 4:30, with 5 AM being my regular time to get up anyway. I cannot sleep past 5 AM even when I go to bed at 11. Here's the funny part of my comment... instead of electronics keeping me awake, all I have to do is start editing photos and it puts me to sleep every time! Even during the day! Well, I certainly didn't mean to write a book here but I do hope that you find some relief for your insomnia. Lack of sleep can really mess us up! Great post and great comments from others! Hugs to you, friend!

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  13. I can SO appreciate your comments on this subject, Deborah; however, I feel badly for you not being able to sleep well due to the muchness. When I am overstimulated - whether it's rearranging things at the antique mall, shopping online, or doing something like taxes or other bookwork - I do get that overload sensory feeling, and will lie awake rehashing all that I'd done in the day's waking hours. This results in many hours of wakefulness beyond going to bed, as late as 2-3am (I typically go to bed around 9-10pm). I hope you get relief at the sleep clinic. It sounds like you're ready for a return to the environment you grew up in. Just this afternoon my husband and I were lamenting over how kids today are truly 'wired for sound' with electronics. Problem is, their parents aren't helping. We watched a family of parents & small child (7 or 8) all looking down at their phones in a restaurant, which prompted my husband's and my conversation on the subject exactly. I'm glad my kids didn't grow up like that.

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  14. I'm sorry to hear that your sleep problems have returned. I hope that the visit to the sleep clinic will help you find a remedy for your insomnia.

    Thanks for sharing the link to the North American tea farms. The Charleston Tea Plantation is on my tea bucket list. I would have splurged on the Michigan teas too...I don't mind spending a little more $ if I know it's supporting a local business!

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  15. Deborah,
    I just read an article on insomnia and of course thought of you right away! Have you heard of the nutmeg in water taken an hour before bed? In the article it said 1/4 tsp in a cup of water under the supervision of a doctor....you might try and google it. I haven't heard of that one before but it was a well respected natural doctor...

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  16. Deborah, I loved that book Freedom of Simplicity too. It's been a long time since I read it, but now that you mention the inspiration you are finding in it at this time, I might have to take it from its perch and read it again.

    I do hope and say a little prayer that you will find what will work for you as you deal with this dreadful insomnia business.

    Sending hugs,
    Brenda xox

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  17. So sorry for the sleeping stress you are experiencing. I have found that some people, sensitive people, creatives for example, need silence to wade through the bombardment of impressions they receive. One of the ways I have found to deal with this mental clutter is to stay in the Word. Commune with the Lord. The Holy Spirit will calm your mind and penetrate the noise to still your spirit. Abide in Christ and He will fill your heart with stillness and wisdom. Read the Word until you feel Him speaking to you. Put the Word down and dwell on that passage until you feel Him speaking to you. Close your eyes and let Him comfort you. It is a discipline. Embrace it. Be Still And Know That I AM GOD.

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  18. I have sleep problems too, Deborah, though mine is the inability to stay asleep. provided I don't have any caffeine after about 2 p.m., I can fall asleep as soon as I go to bed. Unfortunately, within about an hour, I always wake up. I might fall back to sleep quickly, or I might not, but I can count on being awake again in about another hour. All through the night that is the pattern...Sleep for an hour, wake up, sleep for an hour, wake up. no wonder I'm exhausted all day long!

    Best Buy and other electronic stores are the ones that do me in. All those digital gadgets just send me over the edge. Truly, those stores make me nervous and cause me to melt down. I've learned that I am what is called "a highly sensitive person." I have to avoid stores and situations that overwhelm me.


    Love,
    Patti

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  19. This is one of the best posts I have ever read Deborah. I agree with you on sooo many counts. I am not a noise or confusion person and thrive in quietness and order. I have never had serious issues but did have a time that I would wake up around 1:30 and have difficulty going right back to sleep. Shortly after that I started using essential oils and I now diffuse a blend called Serenity by Doterra and I put a drop or two on my pillow and on the inside of my wrists. Have you ever tried essential oils? I do hope that you will find the answer and start sleeping. I cannot even imagine being so sleep deprived. Blessings to you!

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  20. I have that mind racing all the time, Deborah, and when it happens at night, I have been saying over and over...Come Holy Spirit. I do hope that you get help at the sleep clinic that you'll be attending. I'm like you, and enjoy quiet time. I don't like noisy restaurants or crowds. I think there are a lot of us out there.
    The teas sound wonderful and how nice that you found a tea farm right there in Michigan. Pleasant dreams, my friend!

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  21. You know my insomnia has gotten out of control too. I feel your pain. My insomnia isn't about my thoughts tho - nothing worrying me - it's just I cannot get sleepy and cannot stay asleep. I see days turn into nights turn into days often.

    You have my cell - text me on sleepless nights, maybe we can chat. I will be up too.

    I am praying for the both of us. Hugs. Peace to you, sweet friend.

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  22. I understand your feelings. My husband sleeps like a log and falls asleep in about 2 minutes. I've always had such sleep issues! A benadryl generally solves it for me each night, but I well remember nights like you describe. The daily exhaustion was overwhelming.
    Your quiet evenings sounds just lovely! I think it's a good thing, and probably much better for you in many ways. I do hope your sleep returns. Let us know about the study when you go!

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  23. Debra in my experience with booze over the years...beer, JD or rum in coke / whatever...jazzed me up.

    Wine did the opposite.

    Try a glass or two of wine with or prior to your dinner

    See if it makes you sleepy

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  24. SO sorry to read that you are struggling with this again. First of all as to 'gentle reads' we have the same taste in them. I don't know if you have ever read D.E. Stevenson books but you'd love them. Your library should have a few and most of mine, I have purchased used online.

    I have, over the course of my lifetime, had troubles getting to sleep and they seemed to go in stages...a few weeks on, a few weeks off.

    In the middle of the night if I toss and turn too much I just give in to it, get up, read the news, blogs, whatever for an hour or so until I get sleepy again.

    I could suggest a glass or two of wine with dinner. Everyone's metabolism is different but if I have a beer or mixed drink it affects me the same way as coffee, but wine slows me down and makes me sleepy earlier if I have that sometimes.

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  25. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, I can certainly underline the majority of your thoughts here.
    We too always said that high in the mountains in Central Java, those poor people, working the fields and being IN nature all day, live close to heaven. The SIMPLE lifestyle is far more rewarding indeed and at times one thinks that they are the winners.
    We just went on a short cruise, 4 nights. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner with 148 guests at once, on the Mississippi river. Well, those are costly trips and they offer great food, tailored for special diet needs. NOPE!
    My kidneys are on the border of entering the severe stage so I'm very, very conscious of my food choices which means cooking your own meals! But even with my low sodium request and explicit mention to the waiter/waitress, I never got a real low sodium meal! It is all about TIME & MONEY... All else has to give.
    But I know already one thing that for me no more cruises as I want to be in charge of my health!
    Talking about sleeping... Needless to say that I had to flush the sodium out with plenty of water. One liter per night and about 4 or 5 bathroom trips. It also gave me discomfort in feeling foggy in the head, not quite a headache but not fit. I know it is because of the kidneys struggle but here at home I feel a lot fitter so diet does affect our sleep in a big way. You might want to look into that aspect too, and plan for a more low sodium diet. That means READIN all labels... It is quite shocking to find that most items are way too high in sodium. But knowing that the pharmaceutic industry is the biggest lobby, it once more shows that it is all about money.
    Talking about our childhood, life was simpler and food was healthier too!
    I too love the quietness with light classical music; nothing more.
    We only went one night to the entertainment on the boat; it was great but I could not handle that NOISE for every evening as Pieter goes to sleep rather early (he's 88 so that's natural) and I too like to slow down from the day. Being in a huge group all day is noisy enough. We would have loved to be more outdoors for a long walk but there was not even time for doing so. A guide toured with us the plantations and you were never alone, never quiet.
    Shopping on line is also my favorite as my head cannot handle too well the enormous noise from any mall. I hate going to one. For Costco, we both know rather well to go through very swift so that is no problem. We find better health food at Costco, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's than here locally... So we make that trip.
    We had a request of a dear friend, Lady Chef Maria who runs her restaurant and also a B & B with her partner. He was out of country and they were out of rooms so she called me while I was at Oak Alley in Louisiana, if we could handle a guest from Germany (business) for 4 nights. I said yes, I can do that, the house is all clean (I did that before we left, as I feel like nobody should have to deal with my dirty laundry or any cleaning just in case something would happen!) and a touch up would be easy. So tomorrow I will serve the final breakfast. It is good to be on such an early rise schedule and we slept like a rose last night. But I have not bought any unhealthy food for his breakfast because I don't ever want to have such items in my refrigerator or pantry. He enjoyed the Whole Foods Market vegan cheese and such. I did have some good marmalade as Pieter can finish that.
    Yesterday I went to the post office for a parcel drop off as Pieter had done so early morning as I was not yet ready for joining him. Felt so good about having biked my 17 km. My own speed also, not having to slow down for heart patient husband Pieter... What he did in nearly 2 hours, I did in 1.5 hr. Guess doing such exercise in the fresh air makes for good sleeping time too.
    Hope you get something out of my long reply but I know what you are talking about.
    Diet does affect your sleep, meaning deep - restful sleep in a big way!
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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  26. Oh, I forgot to mention that I sat a few times this week for crocheting in the quiet of the home... No distraction and that way you don't make mistakes. So happy about the result. My kitchen bay window gets new curtains and new Ikea roller blinds. The middle window which is the larger one, requested a size that was not available here in the USA. Nor were they willing to order it from Europe... NO customer service! So I ordered it myself and had it sent c/o to my youngest brother and he sent it to me. Makes no sense Euro 39.95 and shipping yielded Euro 35.00... But I got it and no custom problems as I sent it to myself. My brother put the order with picture on the outside so they knew the value, what it was and that it was from me to myself. Worked great!
    Thought this was not a summer task but so far it was great therapy too...
    Hugs again,
    Mariette

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  27. Hi Deborah, I can so relate to your insomnia and avoidance of noise and 'mind clutter' as I like to call it. It's no mystery why I ended up living in the middle of the forest......It's difficult to shut off the noise when life just bombards you with sensory overload. I have suffered with insomnia for years, and have spent many wee hours trying to wind my thoughts down. It seems the harder you try to sleep, the more elusive it becomes. I am a classic introvert - being around crowds of people or even a large gathering or party drains me for a couple of days. I don't get my energy from being around people, but from having solitude and quiet time to sort out my thoughts. I tend to stay away from the computer for days at a time, not even opening my email, and hate talking on the phone, unless it is with my children or best friends. Even then, I can get overwhelmed if they are going through problems and want to tell them to me. As women, and as wives and mothers we can be the dumping ground for everyone's grievances. I know that my children will call me when they have problems, and I know that if you can't call your mother, who can you call? - but there are times when I get drained because I've had too many of those conversations. My remedy is to make time for what I like to do and make it a priority. I have learned to say 'No' to things I don't want to do, too. Too many social commitments are draining, too. I hope this helps you feel like you are not alone. I hope you can find some relief or you just might have to find a job working the graveyard shift. (Sorry, had to include a little light-hearted humor :) Sending hugs xo Karen

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  28. Hi Deborah,

    Sorry to hear about your insomnia. May I mention a great supplement here? Plexus Slim is a pink drink that balances your blood sugars, balances cholesterol levels, helps with anxiety and moods and feeling good in general, and when things are balanced in our bodies, it also helps with getting better sleep. Numbers of people are getting better sleep with drinking this pink drink! Plexus Slim is for EVERYONE not just for overweight people. It was first created for diabetics to balance their blood sugar levels. I would love to see you try it for 30 or 60 days because if you don't like it for any reason, Plexus has a 60-day money back guarantee! And it's so delicious! It is made with naturally sourced ingredients - 5 calories, sweetened with stevia. It does a body good! I've been drinking it for 3 years now. Please email me with your questions. And here is my website so you can check out all their other super natural supplements. By purchasing as a Preferred Customer, you get a better cost than retail and you get the 60-day money back guarantee! I am an Ambassador and I get the products wholesale, plus I also get commissions on my own purchases. Please think about trying it. You won't be sorry. There are lots and lots of people who are drinking the pink and are not sorry they tried it. :-) www.shopmyplexus.com/lls You should see my name (Linda Shukri) in the upper right hand corner of the website. Plexus Worldwide is a US company so don't worry if the weblink changes to Canada.All the prices are in US$. All Ambassador websites link up with the headquarters in AZ. And if you like, I can call you to chat about our wonderful products. or you can email me at lindaleeshukri@gmail.com Looking forward to hearing from you soon. And anyone else that is reading this comment - are you interested? contact me! :-) all the best to you, Linda

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  29. Hi, Deborah. This Blog reminds me of my grandson's autism psychologist. She sets up a topic and then says, "So how do you feel about that"? That's all well and good since she responds to his remarks. For the life of me, I can't find any 'response' from the narrator of these topics that ask: so how do you feel about that? Maybe I am Blog impaired or don't understand the nuances of this form of dialogue (blogging). I am totally computer savey but social media I shun like the plague. Much like you I grew up in a quiet house, raised by seventy-some year old grandparents. Reading was my escape and still is today. You got me beat on the books...I could live in a library - I'm clinging to about 300. I love M. C. Beaton. Her Hamish and Agatha Raisin books are awesome. So is Laura Child and the Tea Shop Mystery Series (all, very clean). I hate the new phones. If I wanted a hand-held computer I would purchase a Tablet or ipad (which I have and love). I just want a phone! Is that too much to ask far?! I home school my grandson who lives and breaths his computer. Thank heavens he wears headphones...but I love to hear him laughing with his friends. I bought my husband head phones for the TV. Do I want to hear how to change the carborator on a lawn mower on Utube-NO! It's funny how you try to recreate childhood memories. Take for example, the current topic of organization. You could set your watch by my grandmothers daily routine. Today, your lucky if you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner anywhere near their appropriate times. I had to go and live with "modern" relatives when my grandfather passed away at 85. In this modern household I developed alot of anixety just worrying what the day would bring. School was my only certainty. Young people seem to enjoy the fanetic pace. I don't know where this is going...except to say, perhaps, it's ok to cherish the past and copy it today, if you can. Young people don't hardly even iron their cloths anymore because they see it as a waste of time which they gave up for technology and striving. My grandson is all about technology and "today" but we're raising him with "Leave It To Beaver" values. Someday he'll be pulled back to strive for the peace and order he had growing up...the peace and order in his life we taught him that he didn't even recognize as any thing much, just his everyday life. How boring-right? Ha,ha! To the subject of sleeping...I can SO relate to your sleep issues! I follow Dr. Sears with the Zone Diet. But I eat Vegan. If you eat a carb before bed (that's right) it produces seratonion (sp?) and your brain just relaxes like a baby. Protein before bed-really bad. Well, I think I have used up all my comment space for the month! Really enjoy your Blog and the thought-provoking content. I used to can in North Carolina all the time but here in Florida you can barely grow anything worth canning-at leadt where I live. I had 80 rows 40ft. long on my North Carolina property and I canned just about everything God made...but fruit trees were missing-which, interestingly, you see alot of in Florida, Go figure.
    Bye, best wishes.

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