One Remedy for an insomniac

A couple of months ago I was waking in the middle of the night, almost every night. Every time when I woke, the gears of my mind began turning, and I began thinking either about the events of the previous day, all the possibilities of the next, or whether or not one of the little ones had wandered off down the street in a night terror. (Just kidding, that fear has mostly passed.) I’d get up to turn off a fan, cover up the baby, recheck a locked door. And then I’d lie back down, awake for 2 hours.

Unfortunately, I get ideas in my head. I’m a “Why” person. So when it came to my insomnia, from what I’d read I was sure that caffeine was the offender. I got stuck on this notion for a long time.

Like most people, the thought of giving up something, especially something with strong comfort associations for me, is just what I need to go hog wild. So giving up caffeine entirely made we want it more. But an older friend rightly told me, “The best thing a mother can do for her children is to get a good night’s sleep.” You can see the dilemma.

Then we had a cool night in June, and I put on my winter pajamas to go to bed. I woke in the night as usual but closed my eyes and went right back to sleep. I can tell with a few years behind me that as we age, we learn quicker. Hallelujah. I thought, what if I went back to sleep easily because I had more clothes on? Apparently so. Night after night, I’ve gone to bed in my winter pajamas, a sheet and thin blanket on me, on warm nights the oscillating fan blows throughout the night. I wake just a bit, enough to know it, and I go right back to sleep.

This has shaken the ground underneath me a bit. To be so sure for so long that one thing was causing a problem, a cause I felt pretty powerless to do anything about and then to find a solution in what seemed like an accident, is a real left-field feeling I have never had. Really, I don’t think this sort of lesson or knowledge has ever come to me like this before. It never occurred to me that I might be cold or even slightly chilled. The fine line my body temperature was crossing was almost indistinguishable. My body knew it, even if it took my mind months to figure it out.

I’m not one to think I’m right about everything. In fact I’m a chronic fence sitter on major issues, but what else might I be wrong about!? The possibilities are exciting.