Better sleeping when you are old – or any time

  1. The first thing is comfort
  2. Night listening
  3. Thinking - with magic if you like
  4. Drastic measures
  5. The worst thing

1.First thing is comfort.

 Enjoy feeling comfortable. I often just lie in bed enjoying the feeling of feeling comfortable, the sort of luxury feeling sunbathers have when they lie in the sun for hours.  I had so many sleepless nights with pain in my adult life, that now that I do not, I really enjoy comfort without pain.

The mattress. I have the most comfortable mattress in the world, which is pure natural rubber, about forty years old. It surpasses any inner spring or water-bed.  It is most environmentally friendly, in how it is made, how long it lasts, and many uses for the rubber when it finally wears out. It is allergy free and  bugs can’t live in it.  It can be washed and its cover can be washed. 

  A pure rubber mattress is no good for heavy people who wear it out in the middle, but lovely for everyone else. Well worth the extra initial cost. It pays for itself over the years. (NB. NOT artificial foam rubber.)

Satin pillow-slips are bliss to put your head on. 

Accessories. I can put out a finger to turn on radio or a CD, or a hand to pick up the phone or a notepad or a book, and the extra pillows to sit up.

2. Night listening

Listen to silence and to birds when this is possible. Our street is mostly quiet at night, and I lie and enjoy listening to the silence, and in the early morning to the birds. The possums, and the occasional car or late teenagers.

Music My favorite night CDs include some Vivaldi and baroque music beginning with P (Paco something) that I can rarely remember – they are so sad that they comfort.

Night radio – I like the 5.30 a.m. humorous BBC shows with their wit and intelligence and fun – although I cannot make out what most of the Goons are saying, and I doze off during My Music and My Word and Just a Minute and Many a Slip though I try not to. Some of the Bioneers just preceding them some days is inspiring but less fun. (Sometimes some horrid anonymous music tgoes on and on before these shows. Protest.)

Night reading before sleep. Something to carry in my doze-dreams – a poem from A Poem a Day (I strongly recommend this book), a magazine I like, something inspiring,, funny ,a biography, a re-read childhood book. I read till sleepy or too tired to keep going.

Meditate. Some people meditate, eg practise emptying their minds or practice a dream state or imagine they are hovering over the world like angels. Or they think of times they were sleepy and had to stay awake.

Counting. Some people count –  They count all their relatives or friends, or sheep running a maze or kelpie dogs going over fences,

3. Thinking - best of all when you can't sleep

Do not worry - there are better things to think about

I remember the people and scenes and events I have enjoyed in my life. ‘And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.’

Inventing things that need inventing. And you can use magic if you like. Play the Wishing Game

Night-Inventing - or Day-Dreaming

I can supply lists of ideas about inventing for anyone who would like to get into the spirit of this one.  Some examples:

One invention is my history-camera, so that I make films of any time in history, as well as of what is happening now. This is VERY interesting as you can imagine – solving theological problems or making them worse. Finding crimes being prepared and putting the film up on YouTube.

Another invention to shock everyone is a contagious ‘plus-ease’ (the opposite of a disease) that affects men’s libido (and women’s), so they desire affection not sex. This has enormous consequences for relationships, including prostitution, and stops population growth because men only want sex as the consummation of a loving relationship.

My truth paper automatically prints the truth in black, lies in red and purple if nobody knows – withinteresting consequences to think about.

An invention that short-cuts the food chain so we can put rocks into a little machine and it comes out sausages or whatever food  you like.

Invent buttons. A sleep button so that you can program yourself to when you want to sleep and wake. A button that can help control unpleasant emotions would be good, but rather dangerous – that one needs more thinking.

Design your ideal home.

Solving other problems of the world, including using magic. Many problems look as if only magic would solve them.

For example, press a button and the weapons of the world explode when people try to use them to harm. Or fizzle, now I come to think of it.

Alternatives pleasures  to gambling and other self-harm.

 Slow drinking to enjoy alcohol. Some races have intolerance to some forms of alcohol. On this principle, since too many people at present are not deterred from harmful excess byvomiting or morning afters, another ‘plus-ease’ infection spreads by which fast drinking of alcohol sets off hiccups or something similar. Drinking slowly, people then find they can enjoy it more though they cannot drink as much, and it costs them less.

The Middle East . . . But the necessary magic must not hurt anybody.

So there is plenty to think about. Even the troubles of the world don’t impinge so painfully at 3 a.m. if you have ideas or magic to solve them. See also Inventions Needed

 You can also think up poetry - and if you are not weary, even write it. 

Using night for thinking keeps the brain ticking, - good exercise for it.

Drastic measures

Decide: If  I am not asleep in ten minutes by the clock, I will get up and (something I should do but do not want to). This thought can be very good at getting you straight off to sleep – or else you do what you have been putting off. Letters for example. Drawback is weariness, and needing daytime sleep. But if you have all the time in the world to sleep, daytime sleep matters less.

 Getting up and having a drink or a meal if you are not asleep I ten minutes is less drastic, and often works. Some people have a thermos by their bed. Or even have a shower. Or do something you would LIKE to do.

The worst thing

The worst thing is to lie there and worry about not sleeping. Avoid even thinking about not sleeping. Go through ALL the Night-Enjoyment and Sleep-Producing Ideas above if necessary. Any time you catch yourself thinking ‘Oh dear, I am not sleeping,’ or worrying about things instead of thinking about solutions, you give yourself nought out of ten for Ways to Sleep.

I also have collected a lot of clinical writing about Sleep Problems of the elderly.  They begin ‘Complaints of sleep difficulty are common among the elderly. In a National Institute on Aging study of over 9,000 persons aged 65 years and older, over one half of the men and women reported at least one chronic sleep complaint’ and go on in a professional and dry manner. I can send a summary to anyone who would like it.

Make the most of your free time at night