Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Zombia = the zombie like state you achieve after weeks of suffering from insomnia

Zombia = the zombie like state you achieve after weeks of having no quality sleep suffering from insomnia.  That state where you can't pay attention to anything, you stare off into space, occasionally drooling.  Sometimes you revert back to that toddler state where you scream and throw fits, occasionally things, because you're tired and cranky.  Other times, you start crying because you're just too tired it hurts that bad.  I have been under the plague of Zombia recently, but I'm working on a cure.  For about a month now, there's been really ?three? nights where I've not encountered the below problems in epic proportions.  Which means my Zombia has gone into severe stages.  So it's time to fight back.

All right, maybe a massive bazooka style gun isn't necessary in order to get good sleep.  But I can sure-as-heck tell you I'm approaching solving this problem with all my ammunition and the biggest guns I've got - and I've got some big guns! (I mean my brain).  So...plan of attack?

Symptom: It takes anywhere from one to four hours to get to sleep after laying down initially.

Point of Infection? I'm used to someone puttering around the house, in the next room, or going to bed with me.  There's a sense of time awareness that is suddenly gone since there's not another person to use to gauge time against.  One scenario that typically occurs is that I get busy and just keep going.  I'm rearranging the apartment, or sewing, or coloring, or something.  I'm either not aware of what time it is, or not caring what time it is while I'm doing this.  OR - I'm lying down watching a few shows and think - I'm not tired, so I'll watch one more.  This continues.  For a while.  This is typically what I do after more than a couple of days of insomnia, which has plagued me occasionally throughout my life.

Plan of Attack! CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE!!! Sounds exciting, right!?!  Well, it helps, so I'm not knocking anything that works right now.  First I turn off all sound making devices.  Then I clean - wash my body/face, brush my teeth, put on lotion, etc...A limbering up song to dance to then two sun salutations later, I turn off lights, crawl into bed, and meditate on NOT THINKING for ten minutes.  I don't really count the time, or look at the clock, but every time I catch my mind wandering away into icky thoughts, I bring it back to NOT THINKING.  I figure I do that enough and by the time I reach "ten minutes" I'm sleeping.  So far, it's helped.  Rock!

Symptom: I wake up three to four times during the night.

Point of Infection? Before when I heard a noise, or some noise would wake me up, I used to half raise my eyes, reach out and touch the other person - I'd have my grounding point, and then I'd go back to sleep.  Now I consciously wake up, trying to figure out what woke me up, then identify it, then try to go back to sleep.  Which is sometimes difficult.

Plan of Attack! I make sure when I go to bed I double lock the door and window.  Just a double check, but somehow it's reassured me and I've not woken up as many times during the night recently.  More pillows in the bed, so whenever I reach out, I find something soft and fuzzy that's reassuring.

Symptom: My sleep is plagued with unpleasant emotionally frustrating and upsetting dreams.

Point of Infection? Everything in my life right now? :chuckles:  The message in my dreams typically boils down to one of three things 1. Not having the right 'tools' for the job at hand - i.e. being unprepared for the task at hand 2. Not being able to get where I need to go.  i.e. I live on the second floor and there's no stairs, no access points or I'm stranded without transportation, or reliant on people who are late.  3. I am not in control i.e. driving a car on ice with no brakes - the stereotypical recurrent dream I have when I don't feel like I'm in control of my life.

Plan of Attack! Time.  There's no real 'thing' I can do to decrease the anxiety I feel about being in a new place in my life for the first time besides time proving that I'll be fine.  I try to build self-soothing techniques into my routines - candlelight, bubble baths, warm fuzzy fluffy soft things to cuddle, pretty colors, being crafty and creative, etc...  But it'll just take some time to adjust to the new environment.  I'm thinking of this as kicking Patience's butt.  Or conquering patience.  I know it's an aggressive stance to take to 'conquer' something that's fairly passive, but whatever.  It gives me strength and stamina to deal with patiently waiting.  Something I've not always been good at before.

Techniques to conquer ZOMBIA - or at least my techniques to conquer my version of it.

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