I have been trying for the past few weeks, to develop nighttime habits to help me shut my mind off before bed. Well, maybe not shut it off completely but keep it from wandering and keeping me awake all night. So far nothing has helped.

I’ve always had a slight case of insomnia. As I got older and am getting older, it has gotten worse. When I was a kid, my mom would wake up at midnight or 1 a.m. to find me playing in my room, simply because I couldn’t sleep. In junior high and high school, I would read when I couldn’t sleep. In college I could have slept…but art projects forced me to stay awake.

Now, I don’t know if I have come to expect it, or have just gotten used to it. I plan stuff around the fact that I know I will be up ‘til 12 or 1 a.m. I end up getting everything ready for the next day, I have my clothes picked out, I have necessary things for errands set out with my purse so I can grab it all and go. I have caught up on my reading… But…I need sleep.

Anyways, for the past few weeks I have been trying to do things in the evening that will allow me to let my mind stop, no racing thoughts, to do lists, or I should have dones to keep me from sleeping.

My nightly routine since I was little went something like this: Cup of milk an hour before bed, a bath, and two chapters of a book (20-30 minutes worth of reading time). In high school it changed to, a cup of juice sometime before bed, and an hour of reading time. I only took a bath at night if my legs needing shaving, and instead took my showers in the mornings. In college, it was a bottle of water one to two hours before bed, work on homework, art projects, and writings, etc. from the time I got home ‘til the time I went to bed…with a one hour t.v. break.
My nightly routine hasn’t differed much from this except that I am watching two hours of t.v. a night, and have far less studying to do since I graduated. I end up playing with my puppy for an hour or so depending on the day, and her attitude, we usually do a half hour walk in the afternoons as well. I help fix supper for the night, and do laundry. I still get my hour, sometimes two of reading in, which completely got left out in college. Well, not left out, I just wasn’t able to always read what I wanted to read and had to read books for class.

But still, my mind races at night. It’s not like I have a million things to do. I can make out my whole list of to dos for the week on one 4x6 note card, sometimes smaller. At night is when I get to be a rockstar, a writer, a movie star, the artist that I have always wanted to be. I have a tendency to act out things in my head while my thoughts race from thing to thing. And it’s never a coherent route from point a to point b. At night I am also able to re-enact things that happened throughout the day, to re-work them. To think of how I could have handled it better or worse, or made myself feel better about the situation by telling the other person off.

Maybe I should keep a journal by my bed and write in it every night when I finish reading. But I’ve tried keeping a journal before and it lasts a week at the most. I’m still looking for solutions, and slowly finding aspects here and there from different ones that seem to work. Once I have a concrete idea down on how to accomplish this, I’ll do a post on it.

In the mean time, if you have a suggestion, please leave it. I would love the help!!


David Griffin ~~ Photo Director ~~ National Geographic

After seeing this video, I am more excited about my photography than I ever have been.