Friday, February 26, 2010


Restless nights in your room,

Oh for tomorrow—the thought, the doom,

As the mind ponders and races,

Got a firm mind to don bib ‘n’ braces.

Venturing through the challenging wares,

Why it seems so many cares?

Not that I’m stressed—just mystified,

So much need my sleep, truly I’ve cried!

Toss ‘n’ turn to stop the gait,

The voices in my head call me “mate,”

How do I stop them I do not know,

Counting sheep—away we go!

Truly there are a thousand different things,

That I could be doing with this time the thought now rings,

I get up with purpose; write, pray or clean,

Me and my mind, together a team!

Now I’m up I think what to do,

Blessed the feeling though my eyes still glue,

A minute or two and I’m ready to charge,

Me and my mind—ready and at large.


What do we do with those horrendous sleepless and restless nights? One thing I’ve learned is that tossing and turning is no good at all. Try getting to sleep for thirty minutes and if there’s no success we’re best to get up and do some light reading (without too much light around) and have a warmed glass of milk. A steady and warm shower can also help replicate the relaxing conditions pre-sleep.

A really good night’s sleep involves five by 90 minute sleep cycles. If you’re struggling to even get three of these i.e. four and a half hours sleep, never mind it; getting one full ninety minute cycle before you are due to wake up is key.

For instance, if I get up at 2.30am and must wake by 7.00am, I need to be back in bed by 5.30am. Of course, earlier is better. And with a poor night’s sleep comes the need for an earlier night or some 10-20 minute naps during the ensuing day. The last ninety minute cycle will almost certainly give you the most vital pre-awakening rest you’ll need. This sort of sleep is like the re-booting of the computer for our conscious minds. It makes all the difference for now.

Let’s not stress too much about a lack of sleep—focus on gradual, steady improvement over the weeks and months. Be patient with yourself.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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