Oof. I am tired. The kind of tired where a dull and nagging ache settles itself inside my head for 72 solid hours. The kind of tired where it feels as though some sort of vacuum has sucked all the moisture out of my eyes and then reversed and spit dust back into them for good measure. The kind of tired where that last sentence actually seemed like a reasonable metaphor. The kind of tired that makes me somehow sit quietly amid lively conversation with good friends for a full five minutes or more without interjecting a single comment, side-story, or loud and scathing judgment. That's tired.
I've slept poorly all week, I think due mostly to the seemingly unending string of 90+ degree days, which make it impossible to sleep without running the window AC (because it's 86 degrees in my bedroom) and also impossible to sleep with the AC unit running (because it sounds like a freight train running directly toward my bed). I think I can easily trace the source of my current perma-headache; I just don't know what to do about it.
On top of that, I've had all sorts of things on my mind... you know, like falling bridges and strained friendships and uneventful dates and where on earth to find a god-damned jean jacket. So I lie in bed, my brain spiraling around and around like a hamster on a rattly little wheel. Hamsters are nocturnal, you know. So is the part of my brain that wants to think everything through right now! it seems.
This means that in the past week, I have used just about every silly little focus-shifting mind game I can think of to get myself some rest. No, I don't mentally count the claymation sheep in the Serta commercials. Instead, I do these far more sensible things.
Five foolish ways I try to make myself fall asleep
- I lay in Shavasana, the final resting pose that takes me to the edge of sleep in nearly every yoga class I attend. Surely if it can put me to sleep on a hardwood floor it can put me to sleep in my bed, right? Except that every time I attempt this, I remember that I cannot sleep on my back, so I might as well just be tossing and turning instead.
- I say the alphabet backwards (something I actually taught myself to do during a bout of insomnia back in college). My faulty breathalyzer may not save me from any run-ins with the police, but at least I'll be prepared for the sobriety tests, right?
- I sing all of the Girl Scout camp songs I can remember (in my head, silly, not out loud). In particular, I'm partial to On My Honor and Barges. A few years ago, I managed to recall all the words to three verses of the former without using the Internet. (No wonder I cannot sleep, with my brain rifling through its archives and file folders so wildly.)
- I go through the alphabet, trying to think of one male name and one female name for every letter. If I go through two rounds, I will inevitably get stuck on Q , and will eventually fall asleep still trying to come up with something other than Quinn, Quincy, or Quentin.
- I try to think of every teacher I have ever had... easy enough until I get to college, and then I realize how very bad my memory is.
I actually don't think I'll even need any of these methods tonight. There is finally a cool breeze coming in through my window; I can fall into bed without setting an alarm; and my head is ready to hit the pillow any second. Wish me luck.