After you’ve turned off the light, and closed your eyes

and settled down to sleep – what are you thinking?

Does that seem an odd question? Do you just close your eyes and !Boom! you’re off to dreamland? Or do you start doing mental gymnastics – jumping around all the things you have to do tomorrow or the things you did did today that are bothering you?

Or do you decide on what you want to dream about – mentally saying “I want to dream about ____”  Someone told me that they count backwards from 100 – I tried that, I lose track and it’s boring and I still don’t fall asleep.

Sometimes I try to sing myself to sleep, in my head singing, not out loud singing. I may start with the Doxology and move on to the Sanctu Kyrie part of Anthem . I’ll sing these over and over in my head. I guess I fall asleep eventually. One way or the other, most of the time, I fall asleep eventually.

If my brain decides I have to relive a variety of embarrassing, painful, uncomfortable incidents from the past, well then, there will be no sleep at all. Sometimes, I’ll just tell myself “Stop that, don’t think about that, think of something else”.

Sometimes I have conversations that could only take place in my mind, never in real life. Or, if some event is happening the next day I will rehearse what I will say and do. The time before sleep is never without thoughts, lots of thoughts, some conscious, some unbidden.

What happens in your head when you put it down to sleep?

12 thoughts on “After you’ve turned off the light, and closed your eyes

  1. I thought I was the only one who rehearsed conversations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that and the worst part is that the real conversation that takes place the next day usually doesn’t work out the same as how I planned

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    • Honey chile, there is nothing any one person does that there isn’t another person doing the same damn thing LOL What’s that meme about finding people who share your weird…

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  2. Most nights I’m out as soon as I turn off the light but on the nights I’m not, or I wake up at 2am, I play a movie in my head starring me and anyone else I choose! I have several different scenes that I think of and I attempt to take the scene further from where I last remember. I don’t usually get far along before I’m asleep so these are long ass scenes!

    When I was in college way back in Topeka, I worked for an outpatient mental health center. The psychiatrist there said to focus our minds on something as well as our inner voice to keep them from wandering. His suggested was to picture the number 1 in your mind and keep constant focus on it while repeating the word “one” with each slow breath in and out. While that has worked it can get boring so that’s why I created the movie so my mind and voice are focused on the scenes.

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    • Ok, I’m loving your movie! I’ve done a similar type of thing kinda too long and convoluted to explain it. I can’t do any of that focus on one thing concentrate on your breathing woo-woo stuff. Does NOT work for me, it’s so damn boring. There is a relaxation technique where you concentrate on relaxing your toes, then your ankles etc moving up your body – again, I barely get to my knees when I’m bored and go on to obsess about something else LOL

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  3. sometimes im asleep quickly, other times i may review events from the day or the past in my head. sometimes im just freaked out by what program i was watching. i try to practice breathing meditation.

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  4. The only thing that I found that works for me is to listen to a book, one I’ve read and know by heart. When, not if, I wake up during the night I just start it again. Boring escape fiction works best – the stuff with no meaningful plot. 🙂 Just enough to keep my brain too busy to rehash the coulda, shoulda stuff.

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    • Interesting what works for folks, tho I wasn’t talking about insomnia per se, just how people fall asleep, or prepare to fall asleep, what goes through their head as they lay it down to rest. (As an aside, I can’t abide audio books, I’ve discussed before that I don’t like people reading aloud to me, or talking at me – the sound of the human voice mostly irritates me LOL I absorb information through reading not talking.)

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  5. I usually don’t think of any “wrongs”, per se, that have happened during the day or during my lifetime… after I lay down…. but sometimes I simply can’t sleep anyway. And it goes in waves. Sometimes I fall asleep really well and sometimes I go all night without sleeping… and the sleeplessness seems to last for weeks. I wish I knew the answer to it all but I don’t. I do know that if I listen to the radio or to music, then my sleep is totally shot. Usually reading helps but then again, there’s nights I read til I’m tired… I turn off the light…. only to turn the light back on 30 minutes later because I can’t sleep…. read some more… and on… and on… and on. If I had to name one thing in life that’s a major stressor to me (other than idiot you-know-who), it would be my sleep patterns. It sounds like I’m not alone.

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    • I suffer from bouts of insomnia, it will last for a few days, mostly because I’m feeling anxious about something. Normally my sleep is disturbed by insane leg cramps. Or I don’t rest easy because I know I have to be up at a certain time so I never give myself over to sleep knowing I can’t sleep as long I I might need to – that’s why I can’t nap – I know I have a finite amount of time. If I had to attribute my bouts of insomnia to anything I guess it would be stress.

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      • I had to make a phone call at 7:30am this morning, on the dot. So naturally I couldn’t fall asleep last night until about 6am this morning. We’re two peas in a pod, Grace. Gawd, am I tired this morning!

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